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The year is 1916. The Great War (WWI)
has been raging for over a year. The United States has remained neutral
and stayed out of the conflict. Opinion in the States is sharply divided
as to what our role should be in this conflict. Should we stay out of
it completely and only offer humanitarian aid to victims of the war? Or
should the US join the war? If the US joins the war, who should we

First watch this video that describes the state of the United States at the start of World War I. (9:26)

Next, watch this short clip on Woodrow Wilson and how he wanted to make the world safe for Democracy. (1:26)

Lastly, take a look at these three (3) online exhibits that show how
poster art was used to sway opinions of the American people either for
or against the war.

    • New York’s Library of WWI Propaganda –
    • Library of Congress Selling America on WWI Online Exhibit –
    • Echoes of the Great War – American Experiences of WWI (includes positions for and against the war) –

Think about the different opinions about America’s involvement in
World War I, all the different people who have those options, and why.
You will choose one position for or against joining the war and one
perspective for this assignment.

Your assignment is to create a
“propaganda poster” either for or against the US entering WWI. Your
poster must be a combination of graphics, photos, or other images that
you find from your research and a short slogan or other motivational
saying supporting your cause. You must provide a reference on the poster
worksheet for each graphic, photo, or other image that you use in your
poster unless you created it yourself. There is a list of resources to
get your started at the end of this assignment that are also listed in
the course shell.

Your “poster” can be on a PowerPoint slide, a Google slide, Google
Drawing, a Word doc, a pdf, or other presentation format. Once you have
created your poster, it is best to save it to a pdf format. You will
also fill out the poster worksheet
to explain your poster and list the sources you used in making your
poster. Upload both your poster and the poster worksheet through the
submit button here in Blackboard.


  • Create a poster. Requirements for the poster:
    1. Clearly convey one of the positions listed below. The United States should:
      • Remain neutral and only proving humanitarian aid.
      • Join the Allies.
      • Join the Central Powers.
    2. Have at least one statement that advocates for your position.
      • e.g. Dogs for neutrality!! Don’t let your masters pull you into this needless war!! Who will defend them when you are gone?
    3. Include information about who you are and why you are advocating for
      that position either in an additional statement or in a graphic form.

      • Are you an immigrant supporting your home country or your new country?
      • Are you a union worker who agrees or disagrees with the union position on the war?
      • Are you a concerned US citizen speaking out about US policies or issues of equality?
      • This does not have to be based on who you are now.
    4. Have at least one illustration, photograph, or other graphic that helps convey your position.
    5. Be easy to read and show some thought about the design. (Don’t just slap images and words on a slide and call it done.)
  • Turn in the poster worksheet, completely filled out. Change the file name to your last name, first name and section number

See the sample poster, Dogs Against War!

A tutorial on how to design a propaganda poster –

A tutorial on Google Drawing –

Need help with PowerPoint? Use this guide here –

Course Objectives

  • Recognize the major turning points in American history since the Civil War.
  • Specify ways that women and minorities have responded to challenges and made contributions to American culture.
  • Examine how changes in social and economic conditions and technology
    can cause corresponding changes in the attitudes of the people and
    policies of the government.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in contemporary U.S. history.
  • Write clearly and concisely about contemporary U.S. history using proper writing mechanics.

Links for Research and Images

African-Americans in the War

Anti-War Effort

  • Online articles on the Anti-War effort of WWI, including a section on Labor and Socialism
  • The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Anti-War Resolution

Immigrants and Other Social Movements

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