In this lesson, students will identify multiple economic, social, and geopolitical factors that influenced Americans’ attitudes about the United States’ role in the world from 1939–1941, when people in the United States were deeply divided about what actions, if any, America should take in defense of countries threatened by German military conquest. Through an examination of primary source documents, students will identify and evaluate arguments that different Americans made for the provision of military materiel to Britain in 1940. Ultimately, students will reflect on questions that this lesson raises about America’s role in the world today.
Isolation or Intervention? A Case Study on the Lend-Lease Act
Subject English Language Arts — Reading Standards for Informational Text, Speaking and Listening • Social Studies — Historical Thinking, US Government, US History
Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Activity, Assessment, Handout, Lesson Plan
Common Core State Standards, State-specific
Discuss the constitutional issues and impact of events on the U.S. home front, including the internment of Japanese Americans (e.g., Fred Korematsu v. United States of America) and the restrictions on German and Italian resident aliens; the response of the administration to Hitler's atrocities against Jews and other groups; the roles of women in military production; and the roles and growing political demands of African Americans.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
More from this Contributor
Immigration and Refugees: A Case Study on the Wagner-Rogers Bill
Activity, Assessment, Handout, Lesson Plan, Presentation | Grades 9-12
The Holocaust: History and Memory (A Virtual Field Trip to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum)
Lesson Plan | Grades 6-8
Americans and the Holocaust: Interpreting News of World Events, 1933–1938
Activity, Handout, Lesson Plan, Presentation | Grades 9-12
Americans and the Holocaust: Exploring the Online Exhibition
Handout, Lesson Plan | Grades 9-12