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World War I - Society and Culture

Pre-Statehood Era: 1700-1818

Early Statehood: 1818-1861

Civil War Era: 1861-1865

Late 19th Century: 1866-1900

Early 20th Century: 1900-1914

World War I: 1914-1918

Roaring Twenties: 1918-1929

Great Depression: 1930-1941

World War II: 1941-1945

Cold War Era: 1946-1991

Millennium: 1991-Present

Lesson Plans


Children and Family

Mother Jones and Illinois Children, January 20th, 1916

  • "Mother" Mary Harris Jones, best known for her work in labor rights, was also known for her concern for children's rights. In this speech, Jones commented on working children, child abuse, and juvenile incarceration in Chicago and Illinois. This is an excerpt from a speech she delivered in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 20th, 1916.

  • Citation: Jones, Mary Harris. "Speech at a convention of the United Mine Workers of America, Indianapolis, Indiana, January 20th, 1916" from UMWA Proceedings. Indianapolis: Bookwalter-Ball Printing Co., 1916. 171-172.


Singing Patriotic Songs in Schools, 1917

  • In the months leading up to the United States' entry into World War I, patriotism ran high. Governor Lowden promoted patriotism by designating a week in which students in Illinois public and private schools were to sing particular patriotic songs. He made this proclamation on February 9, 1917.

  • Citation: Jenison, Marguerite Edith. War Documents and Addresses. Illinois in the World War: Vol. 6. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923. 4-5.

"Students to Try Teacher Called Anti-American," November 26th, 1917

  • German culture and those of German descent were objects of hatred during World War I. This article tells the story of a German teacher (likely of German descent herself) in Winnetka. She was accused by students of being anti-American. She had allegedly remained her in seat while the Star-Spangled Banner was played at a school assembly.

  • Citation: "Students to Try Teacher Called Anti-American" from the Chicago Tribune, November 26, 1917.

Women and Gender

"Full Suffrage Here Seen as Blow to Foe," February 8th, 1918

  • Before and during World War I, American women struggled to win the right to vote. Women's contribution to the war helped win public opinion in favor of women's suffrage. In addition, the "war for democracy" highlighted the disenfranchisement of half of the American population. This article describes a speech on this subject, made at a meeting of the National Women's Party in Chicago.

  • Citation: "Full Suffrage Here Seen as Blow to Foe" from the Chicago Tribune, February 8, 1918.