Women Peace Activists and the Red Scare in the 1920s, Lesson Plan

 Click here for the home pageView a list of full-text sources - i.e. works, books etc..View a list of all authors in the databaseView a list of all documents (e.g. letters, speeches etc...) in the databaseView a list of all document projects (collections of primary texts organized to answer a specific question)Browse a list of documents organized by subjectFind sources (i.e. books, pamphlets etc...) by specific criteriaIn-depth text searching with more than 20 fieldsClick here for comprehensive helpView all lesson plans, document based questions and other teaching toolsBrowse a list of social movements in the United States and go directly to documentsView a list of all images in the database


 

Go To

Teacher's Corner
U.S. Survey to 1877
U.S. Survey from 1865
U.S. Women's History

DBQs
Other Classroom Uses
Teaching Links

Home
Projects
Search
Contact Us

 

 

Linda Pacini Pitelka
Maryville University

 

Introduction

There is ongoing tension in American history over the meaning of patriotism and the role of dissent. The documents in this section explore this issue in the context of the first Red Scare when the women’s peace movement was attacked by right-wing groups for being unpatriotic.

Objectives

To explore the response of women in the peace movement to the Red Scare in the 1920s; to understand the issues on all sides of the controversy; to consider the roles of patriotism and dissent in a democratic society.

Lesson Ideas

image Read Documents 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. What was the nature of the controversy discussed in these documents? What was the WILPF? What about the DAR? Who were Carrie Chapman Catt and Maud Wood Park? What position did they take on the question? Be prepared to discuss these issues in class.

image Read Documents 7A, 7B, and 7C. What do these documents indicate about the situation in Florida? In the voice of a Floridian in 1926, write a letter to the editor of a Florida newspaper taking a position in support of either side, clearly articulating your arguments.

image Read Document 8, “Lies-at-Large” by Carrie Chapman Catt. What does she propose?

image Read Documents 14, 15 and 16. Summarize the arguments of the letters and the editorial. What do you think these documents signify? Be prepared to discuss this question in class.

image Read Document 17. List the main arguments made in this document and be prepared to discuss them in class.

image What is the significance of Documents 21, 22, 23, 24? What does the 1931 date tell us about these issues?

Short Paper Assignments

Choose a major figure or group from the documents. Suggestions: Jane Addams, Carrie Chapman Catt, Emily Greene Balch, DAR, WILPF. After reviewing the documents and doing background research, write an op-ed piece for a newspaper at the time articulating the stance of the individual or group in question.

Role Play Discussion in Class

Using the information gleaned from your research and the documents, prepare to play the role of your chosen figure (or group representative) in a class discussion on the following issue: "What does in mean to be patriotic in a democratic society?"

Term Paper Assignment

Research the peace movement and its detractors during the era of the first Red Scare. Write a 12-15 page paper that addresses the following questions: what kinds of accusations were made against the women’s peace movement? How did the movement respond to the accusations? What implications do these events have on the question of patriotism and dissent in other times in history, including the present? What can we learn from studying these questions that might help us grapple with such issues in the present day?
     

| Documents Projects and Archives | Home | Scholar's Edition | Full-Text Sources | About Us | Contact Us |