Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: The Debate in the United States over the League of Nations: League of Nations Basics

Woodrow Wilson
Photo caption

Woodrow Wilson.

American foreign policy continues to resonate with the issues surrounding the debate over U.S. entry into the League of Nations-collective security versus national sovereignty, idealism versus pragmatism, the responsibilities of powerful nations, the use of force to accomplish idealistic goals, the idea of America. Understanding the debate over the League and the consequences of its ultimate failure provides insight into international affairs in the years since the end of the Great War and beyond.

In this lesson, students read the words and listen to the voices of some central participants in the debate over the League of Nations.

Note: This lesson may be taught either as a stand-alone lesson or as part of the curriculum unit, The Debate in the United States Over the League of Nations. This curriculum unit may serve as a sequel to the complementary EDSITEment lesson U.S. Entry into World War I: A Documentary Chronology.

Guiding Questions

What was Woodrow Wilson's role in and vision for peace and the League of Nations after World War I?

Learning Objectives

Describe Wilson's concepts for peace and the League of Nations and efforts to foster American support for it.

Analyze the competing perspectives within the debate over joining the League of Nations.

Evaluate the short and long-term consequences of the creation of the League of Nations.