Different Lenses on the Great War

Module 2 - Different Lenses on the Great War


In this module we will be exploring America's position in the world, and relationship with other powers at the down of the 20th century. We will examine the arguments made by isolationists for remaining neutral and removed from foreign affairs, as opposed to those who advocated for a more aggressive role by America in foreign affairs, including the expansion of American territory beyond the continental United States. Embedded within these arguments are broader issues related to race, immigration, social and political ideology, and economics. As we investigate America’s move from rugged isolationist to active world participant in the early decades of the 20th century, we must be cognizant of how this shift was influenced by, and a result of, the cataclysm of World War I. This crisis was truly global in scope, and reshaped the social, political, and economic landscape of most nations around the world. Each country and/or society attempted to confront the challenges posed by the crisis in its own way. This impact can be seen in art, literature, race relations, class relations, economics, and politics. During this course of study, students will work to develop their analytical skills through a close examination of four core texts presenting contrasting images of America and its role in the world. In addition, small groups will further develop their collaboration skills though an in-depth research project culminating in a website.


  1. Read Bryan and Roosevelt & complete evidence log
  2. Read Wilson and Smith & complete evidence log
  3. Annotate either Bryan, Roosevelt, or Wilson-Smith
  4. Different Lenses on WWI Project
  5. Module 2 History Notes Packet
  6. Literary Response Prompt: The Great Gatsby and American Life in the 1920s

Readings and Media