America: History of Our Nation

World War I (1914–1919)

Web Extra!

What were the arguments for and against the League of Nations?

  1. In many ways, President Wilson's dream of taking part in the League of Nations was fulfilled when the United States joined the United Nations in the 1940s. Working with a partner, use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo! to learn more about Wilson's argument for joining the League of Nations and Henry Cabot Lodge's argument against it.
  2. Next, use bubbl.us* to make mind maps with your partner. First, brainstorm why joining an international organization after World War I would have been a good idea. Use your textbook to find information on the causes of World War I and use it as an example in your pro-League of Nations mind map. You can also include Wilson's reasons for joining the League. Then brainstorm why joining would not have been a good idea. Again, use information about the causes of World War I as examples in your anti-League of Nations mind map. You can also include Lodge's arguments for joining.
  3. Print each mind map. Then visit the United Nations Web site and click on UN Millennium Development Goals. Read about the goals the member nations hope to achieve by 2015. How do these goals compare to the reasons Wilson wanted to join an international organization? Do any of these goals threaten the United States' independence, as Lodge feared? Use your mind maps to answer these questions, marking them with information from the UN Web site as necessary.

Extensions

  • The League of Nations was replaced with the United Nations after World War II. How were the goals of the two organizations similar? How were they different? Research both groups and then create a short table comparing and contrasting the two groups. For example, you might compare both groups in terms of how they attempted to prevent war or how they helped war refugees.
  • Use a search engine again to look up newspaper articles published during President Wilson's tour to gather support for U.S. membership in the League of Nations. What kind of media coverage did Wilson's tour receive? Did reporters seem to use more of the arguments in your pro-League of Nations mind map or your anti-League of Nations mind map?

Alternative

Working with a partner, use online or print resources to learn more about Wilson's argument for joining the League of Nations and Henry Cabot Lodge's argument against it. Next, use a large piece of easel paper to make flowcharts with your partner. First, brainstorm why joining an international organization after World War I would have been a good thing. Use your textbook to find examples to use in your flowchart. You can also include Wilson's arguments for joining. Then brainstorm why joining would not have been a good idea. Again, use your textbook to find examples. You can also include Lodge's arguments for joining. Finally, research the current goals of the United Nations. Do these goals match up with the reasons Wilson wanted to join an international organization? Do any of these goals threaten the United States' independence, as Lodge feared? Use your flowcharts to answer these questions, marking them with information from the UN Web site as necessary.


*For instructions on how to create and use mind maps, see the bubbl.us instructions.