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Unit 5: Crisis and Change

Lesson D: Postwar Anxiety, Creativity, and Change

Lesson Overview

Vickers Machine Gun Crew with Gas Masks

Vickers Machine Gun Crew with Gas Masks [1]

The First World War was a key turning point in world history. After the long and horrific conflict ended, many hoped for a lasting peace. World War I devastated Europe. New borders, countries and mandates affected the balance of power in the Middle East and Africa. The war also disrupted the global economy and spread a flu pandemic to regions untouched by the fighting. Nearly an entire generation of young men had perished in the trenches, and millions of civilians had succumbed to famine, flu, and the horrors of modern war.

The Treaty of Versailles and other major political negotiations left some countries richer and others poorer than they had been before the Great War. Traditional social patterns were disrupted, and young people, especially women, adopted new values and sought to have more influence on their lives and the world around them.

The war brought changes in technology, particularly in transportation and communication. Artists, writers, and musicians broke with the past, too. Some expressed their disillusionment, or disappointment, with post-war society. Others experimented with new styles in search of meaning in an uncertain, anxious world.

Key Questions

  1. How did World War I affect the women's suffrage movement?
  2. How did World War I affect literature and the visual arts?
  3. What were the global social, political, and economic effects of the media during this time period?
  4. What were the effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic?

Student Outcomes

  1. Examine the global impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic.
  2. Explain the impact of World War I on the women's suffrage movement worldwide.
  3. Evaluate the impact of jazz, literary movements, and artistic movements such as Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Realism on culture.
  4. Describe the impact of African and Asian art forms on European art.
  5. Analyze how new media, such as newspapers, magazines, commercial advertising, film, and radio contributed to the rise of mass culture and interactions around the world.
  6. Obtain historical data from a variety of sources. (Historical Thinking Skill)
  7. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation, including the importance of the individual and the influence of ideas. (Historical Thinking Skill)

Key Terms

Student Resources

Chart of Activities:

Activities to Complete Estimated Time
10 minutes
Key Terms
5 minutes
Activator: The World 1918 -1929
15 minutes
Activity 1: Global Influenza Pandemic World Map
10 minutes
Activity 2: Global Influenza Pandemic
20 minutes
Activity 3: Consumers and the Media in the 1920s
15 minutes
Activity 4: The Impact of WWI on Music, Literature, and Arts
10 minutes
Activity 5: The Impact of WWI on Music, Literature, and Arts Discussion
15 minutes
Activity 6: Women's Lives Change After WWI ñ Equal Rights
20 minutes
Activity 7: Women's Suffrage Timeline
10 minutes
Activity 8: Women's Suffrage Historical Opposition
15 minutes
Activity 9: Women's Suffrage Timeline Review
5 minutes
Review and Assessment
20 minutes
Lesson Summary
5 minutes

Lesson Completion Time

The total estimated time to complete this lesson is 175 minutes.


Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WW1_TitlePicture_For_Wikipedia_Article.jpg is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.