Unit 2 Discussion Assignment: April 1917 – Should the United States Be an Empire?
It is April 20, 1917. You are a citizen of the United States. In this assignment, you will be adopting the persona of someone who lived at that time. Your persona will be assigned to you, per instructions below. Your person will debate whether or not the United States should be an empire.
- Read chapters 19, 20, and 21 in your textbook The American Yawp (USE THIS PLEASE)
How big should the United States be? This fundamental question has existed since the American Revolution, and it remains highly relevant today. It was not inevitable that the US would eventually grow to include fifty states, plus American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, Federated Micronesia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Island, and hundreds of international US military bases plus international businesses.
Arguably the debate between expansionists (who favored territorial, economic, military, political, and/or cultural expansion) and those who wanted to stop or reduce US interference overseas was at its most intense in the early 1900s. At that time, the nation was unquestionably becoming an international superpower, and the public fiercely debated for and against this trend.
Along with developing your skills in the Three Steps of History (Research, Analysis, and Communication), you are to place your person in 1917, when the United States officially enters the “Great War” (World War I) in Europe.
Learning Outcome(s) Addressed
- Analyze historical facts and interpretations
- Analyze and compare political, geographic, economic, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual institutions, structures, and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures
- Recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and the complexities of a global culture and society
- Recognize the impact of geography, environment, and the natural world on the course of history and how choices are often limited by physical factors beyond the control of human beings
- Grasp the capacity of human beings to make a difference in history, and recognize the complexities of cause and effect and of intended and unintended consequences.
Step 1: Find your persona. For your persona in this assignment, add the number of letters in your first name with the number of letters in your last name, and multiply the total by 2. Scroll down to the end of this assignment to see what person coincides with that final number.
Then gather evidence as you can (statistics, events, and examples) from your textbook readings and video lectures regarding US territorial, economic, military, political, and/or cultural expansion up to 1917.
Step 2: Analyze that evidence and see what it is telling you: Try to view these issues from the standpoint of your assigned persona. Note: your person and no one else can see the future, but we can examine the past and present to determine best options.
Step 3: Communicate your findings honestly to yourself and others: Each of you will submit a minimum of three highly detailed posts:
- Your first post will begin with a short description of who your person is. Again, you will find this information on the persona spreadsheet. Next you will focus on two specific imperial events, and thoroughly detail why your person would or would not support or oppose these events. Show all the historical evidence you gathered that tells you why your person would support or oppose the imperial actions.
My person is below:
Name: Charlie Hill Gender: Female Born: Foreign born Nicaragua Age: 54 Religion: Non-religious Political Affiliation: Conservative Education: High School Income: Middle Income Location: Atlanta, GA