Chat with us, powered by LiveChat This assignment should be at least 300 words and contain your reactions or questions about some specific issue within the historical narrative which you find compelling. - Wridemy Essaydoers

This assignment should be at least 300 words and contain your reactions or questions about some specific issue within the historical narrative which you find compelling.

 This assignment should be at least 300 words and contain your reactions or questions about some specific issue within the historical narrative which you find compelling.  For full credit, your journal entry must not simply sum up the reading or repeat points made there.  Rather, I am looking for you to create your own interpretation, explain the emotional content of the piece, and/or discuss some original insight.  Include citations as needed. 

Historians Overview: Trench Warfare

The Trenches – What They Were Really Like

By Paul Fussell for PBS

The first thing was it smelled bad. It smelled bad because there were open latrines everywhere. There were bodies rotting everywhere. Nothing could be done about them. You could throw a shovel full of quick lime on them to take some of the smell away, but the odor of the trenches was appalling.

It's hard to imagine people living for years in the middle of that smell. That's what they had to endure. For the most part there were no bunks, no places to lie down when you weren't on duty; so you lay in the mud, in a hole cut in the side of the trench, or in a dugout if you were an officer or an NCO.

The best time for attacking is in the early morning; partly because you have the advantage of darkness in forming the troops up. You also have the advantage of a full day in which you can prosecute the development of the attack before it gets dark again. Both the Germans and the British had morning stand-to, which is short for stand-to-arms.

In the darkness as dawn was just about to open up, they would each stand on their firing steps in the trenches, which puts you about this high above the trench. You stood there with your loaded rifle waiting for an attack from the Germans. The Germans did the same thing.

When it was fully light, and it was clear that no attack was going to happen that morning, you stood down and had breakfast. Eating it on the firing trench, which was like a building bench in the trench you were occupying.

Then there's nothing to do all day, except listen to the bangs as the shells went off everywhere.

The object of each side was to try to put mortar shells into the enemy trench and blow it up, or kill the people in it. So there's constant noise and bombardment all day long. Now one couldn't stay forever in the trenches. You stayed usually about a week. Then you were rotated back with another unit, and a fresh unit came up for its week of trench duty.

There were rats the size of cats.

Both the Germans and the British were troubled with rats. The rats ate corpses, then they came in and snuggled next to you while you were sleeping. And they ate your own food, and they were filthy creatures. They also carried disease – bubonic plague primarily.

Many people think that the great flu epidemic of 1919, which affected the United States, had something to do with bubonic plague, which was being carried by these trench rats. Actually, more American troops died of flu than of bullets and shell fragments in the war.

Sky study becomes one of your few amusements.

You never see your enemy and the only thing you can see is the sky up above. You look at the sky constantly from the opening of the trench, because you can't look out to the side. All of your view is vertical. You consequently get very interested in birds for the first time, because those are the only animated things you can see, except for rats and lice, or other human beings.

You never see the enemy except when he's attacking, or you're attacking and you get close to him. So it's a curious, almost studious isolation that the troops are in. They're isolated from the setting and they're isolated, of course, from home, from normal pursuits, and so on. You could read in the trenches sometimes, but it was pretty hard to do with all the explosions going off all the time.

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Historians Overview: African Americans and World War I

African Americans and World War I by Chad Williams, Hamilton College

World War I was a transformative moment in African-American history. What began as a seemingly distant European conflict soon became an event with revolutionary implications for the social, economic, and political future of black people. The war directly impacted all African Americans, male and female, northerner and southerner, soldier and civilian. Migration, military service, racial violence, and political protest combined to make the war years one of the most dynamic periods of the African- American experience. Black people contested the boundaries of American democracy, demanded their rights as American citizens, and asserted their very humanity in ways both subtle and dramatic. Recognizing the significance of World War I is essential to developing a full understanding of modern African-American history and the struggle for black freedom.

When war erupted in Europe in August 1914, most Americans, African Americans included, saw no reason for the United States to become involved. This sentiment strengthened as war between the German-led Central Powers and the Allied nations of France, Great Britain, and Russia ground to a stalemate and the death toll increased dramatically. The black press sided with France, because of its purported commitment to racial equality, and chronicled the exploits of colonial African soldiers serving in the French army. Nevertheless, African Americans viewed the bloodshed and destruction occurring overseas as far removed from the immediacies of their everyday lives.

The war did, however, have a significant impact on African Americans, particularly the majority who lived in the South. The war years coincided with the Great Migration, one of the largest internal movements of people in American history.

The Great Migration

Between 1914 and 1920, roughly 500,000 black southerners packed their bags and headed to the North, fundamentally transforming the social, cultural, and political landscape of cities such as Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. The Great Migration would reshape black America and the nation as a whole.

Black southerners faced a host of social, economic, and political challenges that prompted their migration to the North. The majority of black farmers labored as sharecroppers, remained in perpetual debt, and lived in dire poverty. Their condition worsened in 1915–16 as a result of a boll weevil infestation that ruined cotton crops throughout the South. These economic obstacles were made worse by social and political oppression. By the time of the war, most black people had been disfranchised, effectively stripped of their right to vote through both legal and extralegal means.

Jim Crow segregation, legitimized by the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Supreme Court ruling, forced black people to use separate and usually inferior facilities. The southern justice system systematically denied them equal protection under the law and condoned the practice of vigilante mob violence. As an aspiring migrant from Alabama wrote in a letter to the Chicago Defender, "[I] am in the darkness of the south and [I] am trying my best to get out."

Historians Overview: African Americans and World War I

Wartime opportunities in the urban North gave hope to such individuals. The American industrial economy grew significantly during the war. However, the conflict also cut off European immigration and reduced the pool of available cheap labor. Unable to meet demand with existing European immigrants and white women alone, northern businesses increasingly looked to black southerners to fill the void. In turn, the prospect of higher wages and improved working conditions prompted thousands of black southerners to abandon their agricultural lives and start anew in major industrial centers. Black women remained by and large confined to domestic work, while men for the first time in significant numbers made entryways into the northern manufacturing, packinghouse, and automobile industries.

Anxious white southerners claimed that northern labor agents lulled unsuspecting black southerners to the North and into a life of urban misery. But, to the contrary, the Great Migration was a social movement propelled by black people and their desires for a better life. The Chicago Defender, which circulated throughout the South, implored black people to break free from their oppression and take advantage of opportunities in the North. Even more influential were the testimonials and letters of the migrants themselves. Migrants relied on informal networks of family and friends to facilitate their move to the North. Individuals would often leave to scout out conditions, secure a job, and find living arrangements, then send for the rest of their family. Word of mouth provided aspiring migrants with crucial information about where to relocate, how to get there, and how best to earn a living. This sense of community eased a black migrant's transition to city life.

Southern migrants did not always find the "promised land" they envisioned. They frequently endured residential segregation, substandard living conditions, job discrimination, and in many cases, the hostilities of white residents. Older black residents sometimes resented the presence of the new migrants, as neighborhoods became increasingly overcrowded and stigmatized as ghettos. But life in the North was nevertheless exciting and liberating. No longer subjected to the indignities of Jim Crow and the constant threat of racial violence, southern migrants experienced a new sense of freedom. Southern culture infused northern black communities with a vibrancy that inspired new forms of music, literature, and art. The Great Migration marked a significant moment in the economic, political, social, and cultural growth of modern black America.

The War, Democracy and Justice

By early 1917, the clouds of war had reached American shores. President Woodrow Wilson initially pledged to keep the country out of the conflict, arguing that the United States had nothing to gain from involving itself in the European chaos. Wilson won reelection in 1916 on a campaign of neutrality, but a series of provocations gradually changed his position. Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic Ocean and sank several vessels carrying American passengers. On March 1, 1917, the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany encouraged Mexico to enter the war on the side of the Central Powers, became public and enflamed pro-war sentiments. Wilson felt compelled to act, and on April 2, 1917, he stood before Congress and issued a declaration of war against Germany. "The world must be made safe for democracy," he boldly

Historians Overview: African Americans and World War I

stated, framing the war effort as a crusade to secure the rights of democracy and self- determination on a global scale.

These words immediately resonated with many African Americans, who viewed the war as an opportunity to bring about true democracy in the United States. It would be insincere, many black people argued, for the United States to fight for democracy in Europe while African Americans remained second-class citizens. "If America truly understands the functions of democracy and justice, she must know that she must begin to promote democracy and justice at home first of all," Arthur Shaw of New York proclaimed. The black press used Wilson's pronouncement to frame the war as a struggle for African American civil rights. "Let us have a real democracy for the United States and then we can advise a house cleaning over on the other side of the water," the Baltimore Afro-American asserted. For African Americans, the war became a crucial test of America's commitment to the ideal of democracy and the rights of citizenship for all people, regardless of race.

The United States government mobilized the entire nation for war, and African Americans were expected to do their part. The military instituted a draft in order to create an army capable of winning the war. The government demanded "100% Americanism" and used the June 1917 Espionage Act and the May 1918 Sedition Act to crack down on dissent. Large segments of the black population, however, remained hesitant to support a cause they deemed hypocritical. A small but vocal number of African Americans explicitly opposed black participation in the war. A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen, editors of the radical socialist newspaper The Messenger, openly encouraged African Americans to resist military service and, as a result, were closely monitored by federal intelligence agents. Many other African Americans viewed the war apathetically and found ways to avoid military service. As a black resident from Harlem quipped, "The Germans ain't done nothin' to me, and if they have, I forgive 'em."

Most African Americans nevertheless saw the war as an opportunity to demonstrate their patriotism and their place as equal citizens in the nation. Black political leaders believed that if the race sacrificed for the war effort, the government would have no choice but to reward them with greater civil rights. "Colored folks should be patriotic," the Richmond Planet insisted. "Do not let us be chargeable with being disloyal to the flag." Black men and women for the most part approached the war with a sense of civic duty. Over one million African Americans responded to their draft calls, and roughly 370,000 black men were inducted into the army. Charles Brodnax, a farmer from Virginia recalled, "I felt that I belonged to the Government of my country and should answer to the call and obey the orders in defense of Democracy."

Racial Violence and Segregated Armed Forces

Racial violence tested blacks' patriotic resolve. On July 2, 1917, in East St. Louis, tensions between black and white workers sparked a bloody four-day riot that left upwards of 125 black residents dead and the nation shocked. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) responded by holding a Silent Protest Parade in New York City on July 28, 1917. Eight thousand marchers, the men dressed in black and the women and children in white, solemnly advanced down Fifth Avenue to the sound of muffled drums and holding signs such as the one that read, Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy.

Historians Overview: African Americans and World War I

Violence erupted again the following month in Houston, Texas. Black soldiers of the 3rd Battalion of the 24th Infantry, stationed at Camp Logan, had grown increasingly tired of racial discrimination and abuse from Houston's white residents and from the police in particular. On the night of August 23, 1917, the soldiers retaliated by marching on the city and killing sixteen white civilians and law enforcement personnel. Four black soldiers died as well. The Houston rebellion shocked the nation and encouraged white southern politicians to oppose the future training of black soldiers in the South. Three military court-martial proceedings convicted 110 soldiers. Sixty-three received life sentences and thirteen were hung without due process. The army buried their bodies in unmarked graves.

Despite the bloodshed at Houston, the black press and civil rights organizations like the NAACP insisted that African Americans should receive the opportunity to serve as soldiers and fight in the war. Joel Spingarn, a former chairman of the NAACP, worked to establish an officers' training camp for black candidates. "All of you cannot be leaders," he stated, "but those of you who have the capacity for leadership must be given an opportunity to test and display it." The black press vigorously debated the merits of a Jim Crow camp. W. E. B. Du Bois, the noted scholar, editor of the NAACP's journal The Crisis, and a close friend of Spingarn, supported the camp as a crucible of "talented tenth" black leadership, manhood, and patriotism. Black college students, particularly those at historically black institutions, were the driving force behind the camp. Howard University established the Central Committee of Negro College Men and recruited potential candidates from college campuses and black communities throughout the country. The camp opened on June 18, 1917, in Des Moines, Iowa, with 1,250 aspiring black officer candidates. At the close of the camp on October 17, 1917, 639 men received commissions, a historical first.

The military created two combat divisions for African Americans. One, the 92nd Division, was composed of draftees and officers. The second, the 93rd Division, was made up of mostly National Guard units from New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Massachusetts. The army, however, assigned the vast majority of soldiers to service units, reflecting a belief that black men were more suited for manual labor than combat duty. Black soldiers were stationed and trained throughout the country, although most facilities were located in the South. They had to endure racial segregation and often received substandard clothing, shelter, and social services. At the same time, the army presented many black servicemen, particularly those from the rural South, with opportunities unavailable to them as civilians, such as remedial education and basic health care. Military service was also a broadening experience that introduced black men to different people and different parts of the country.

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Historical Journal 2: The Experiences of World War I

MLA format

One of the main jobs of historians is to interpret the past by reviewing primary documents, scholarly secondary sources, and then creating an analysis of this research.  Please reach Chapter 22 in your textbook, and then click on the links below to access sources on World War I and soldiers' experiences that will help you with your journal assignment.

Sources

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWHbF5jGJY0&ab_channel=WarArchives

Source 2 life in trenches

Source 3 historians overview

Source 4

Dear Home – Letters from World War I

Study of WWI correspondence from members of the Armed Services.See full details

Narrated by Harry Smith, Produced by Christine T. Lowery, In Save Our History (New York, NY: A&E Television Networks, 2000), 43 minutes

This assignment should be at least 300 words and contain your reactions or questions about some specific issue within the historical narrative which you find compelling.  For full credit, your journal entry must not simply sum up the reading or repeat points made there.  Rather, I am looking for you to create your own interpretation, explain the emotional content of the piece, and/or discuss some original insight.  Include citations as needed.

Rubric

Historical Journals Rubric (1)

Historical Journals Rubric (1)

Criteria

Ratings

Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnswers the Questions Posed

Answers all questions within the prompt

15 to >0.0 pts

Full Marks

0 pts

No Marks

15 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeExamples to Support Ideas

Provides at lease 3 specific, cited (MLA format) examples to support ideas and/or assertions

15 to >0.0 pts

Full Marks

0 pts

No Marks

15 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSource Analysis

Analyzes the primary and/or secondary sources provided within a historical context

10 to >0.0 pts

Full Marks

0 pts

No Marks

10 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeGrammar/Spelling/Editing

Writing and arguments/assertions are written clearly and concisely

10 to >0.0 pts

Full Marks

0 pts

No Marks

10 pts

Total Points: 50

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