Archive for the ‘Chapter 30’ Category

Participants in World War I

Here’s the .pdf:
Participants in World War I



The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

This site has a nice overview of the flu outbreak worldwide:

Then make sure that you read this article from the New York Times, which mentions how St. Louis’s response was much wiser than Philadelphia’s:

And here is the short article by Tim O-Neill from the Post-Dispatch, which I will just copy here because they never keep their links current:

ST. LOUIS – In October 1918, the meat grinder known as World War I was lurching to its exhausted conclusion in the Argonne forest. Another, even bigger, killer was just getting started.

The 1918-19 influenza pandemic, known to history as the Spanish flu, was racing across the world. Estimates of the flu’s worldwide toll range from 25 million to 50 million deaths, including 675,000 in the U.S. The numbers overwhelmed the butchery of four years of ghastly trench war, which managed to kill about 8.6 million, including 116,000 American doughboys.

In St. Louis, a strong-willed doctor moved quickly, drastically and successfully to limit the horror. He was Dr. Max C. Starkloff, then in the 15th of his 30 years as city health commissioner. He prevailed on Mayor Henry Kiel to let him order the closing of almost all public places, including churches, schools, dance halls, fraternal lodges, theaters – even open-air funerals. His proclamation said that “Spanish flu is now present and probably will become epidemic in St. Louis.”

The Liberty Loan Organization canceled its rallies. Washington University football players wore masks in practice. St. Louis police officers were told to forgo arrests on petty cases, the better to reduce court docket calls.

Starkloff issued his order on Oct. 7, 1918, only three days after the first reported case of influenza in the city. But there already had been two flu deaths among the soldiers just south of the city at Jefferson Barracks, where the hospital population was 800 and growing quickly.

Starkloff’s strategy was “social distancing,” the simple practice of keeping people away from one another. During the brief but deadly sweep of the flu that fall, the death rate in St. Louis was 2.8 per 1,000 residents, lowest among the nation’s major cities. The rate was 8.0 in Pittsburgh, 7.6 in San Francisco and 7.1 in Kansas City.

Businessmen whose sales plunged beseeched City Hall to loosen the rules. Catholic Archbishop (later Cardinal) John J. Glennon urged Starkloff to reopen the churches. But the son of a German-born doctor held firm and had the trust of Mayor Kiel, who told Starkloff, “I don’t want anyone to die. Therefore, I shall support you.”

On Nov. 11, Armistice Day, Starkloff let downtown stores sell American flags, but only outside on the sidewalks. He allowed the schools to reopen a few days later and lifted the last of his ban on Nov. 18. Near month’s end, Starkloff closed the schools again for a short time.

Deaths continued, even spiking in December. But the number of new cases fell. The virus worked quickly through its victims, then faded. It had infected 31,500 people in St. Louis and killed 1,703.

Starkloff retired in 1933 and died at home in Carondelet in 1942 at age 82. Shortly after his death, a grateful city renamed its City Hospital just south of downtown in memory of him. One of his great-grandchildren is Max Starkloff, a local leader in disability services who founded Paraquad Inc. and the Starkloff Disability Institute.

Poetry in World War I: Owen’s “Mental Cases”

Before reading the poems, read this brief introduction. Then read this poem, complete with explanation.

Mental Cases

Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls’ teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain,-but what slow panic,
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands’ palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?

-These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable, and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men’s extrication.

Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented
Back into their brains, because on their sense
Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black;
Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
-Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous,
Awful falseness of set-smiling corpses.
-Thus their hands are plucking at each other;
Picking at the rope-knouts of their scourging;
Snatching after us who smote them, brother,
Pawing us who dealt them war and madness.
————————–Wilfred Owen

Links for More Information:
More of Owen’s poetry
The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Archive

The Story of the Christmas Truce

It’s a wonderful little tale– On Christmas, 1914, an unofficial truce was allegedly declared at one place along the front, and presents and goodwill was exchanged between German and British soldiers. The story even goes that there was a soccer game. Here ( is the article from a very good site on information about the Great War.

Here is an excerpt:

‘Scots and Huns were fraternizing in the most genuine possible manner. Every sort of souvenir was exchanged addresses given and received, photos of families shown, etc. One of our fellows offered a German a cigarette; the German said, “Virginian?” Our fellow said, “Aye, straight-cut”, the German said “No thanks, I only smoke Turkish!”… It gave us all a good laugh.’


Hulse’s account was in part a letter to his mother, who in turn sent it on to the newspapers for publication, as was the custom at the time. Tragically, Hulse was killed in March 1915.


On many parts of the line the Christmas Day truce was initiated through sadder means. Both sides saw the lull as a chance to get into no-man’s land and seek out the bodies of their compatriots and give them a decent burial. Once this was done the opponents would inevitably begin talking to one another.


The 6th Gordon Highlanders, for example, organised a burial truce with the enemy. After the gruesome task of laying friends and comrades to rest was complete, the fraternisation began.


German officer in a British trench during the Christmas truceWith the Truce in full swing up and down the line there were a number of recorded games of soccer, although these were really just ‘kick-abouts’ rather than a structured match.


On January 1, 1915, the London Times published a letter from a major in the Medical Corps reporting that in his sector the British played a game against the Germans opposite and were beaten 3-2.


Kurt Zehmisch of the 134th Saxons recorded in his diary: ‘The English brought a soccer ball from the trenches, and pretty soon a lively game ensued. How marvellously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.’


The Truce lasted all day; in places it ended that night, but on other sections of the line it held over Boxing Day and in some areas, a few days more. In fact, there parts on the front where the absence of aggressive behaviour was conspicuous well into 1915.


Captain J C Dunn, the Medical Officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, whose unit had fraternised and received two barrels of beer from the Saxon troops opposite, recorded how hostilities re-started on his section of the front.


Dunn wrote: ‘At 8.30 I fired three shots in the air and put up a flag with “Merry Christmas” on it, and I climbed on the parapet. He [the Germans] put up a sheet with “Thank you” on it, and the German Captain appeared on the parapet. We both bowed and saluted and got down into our respective trenches, and he fired two shots in the air, and the War was on again.’


German comrades, winter 1914-15 (copyright Simon Rees, click to enlarge)The war was indeed on again, for the Truce had no hope of being maintained. Despite being wildly reported in Britain and to a lesser extent in Germany, the troops and the populations of both countries were still keen to prosecute the conflict.”

Read the whole thing.

Poetry in World War I: MacCrae

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up your quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

———————— John MacCrae

What does this poem imply about the meaning of sacrifice by fallen soldiers?

In flanders fields...

In flanders fields…

Poetry of Langston Hughes

Mother to Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.


The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Questions- Chapter 30

These are due Tuesday, February 11, 2014.

Chapter 30 Questions

1. What did Wilson mean by “overt acts” by Germany? What finally pushed the US into the war?
2. What economic factors mitigated against the US joining the war?
3. Upon what idealistic moral foundation did Wilson establish the case for going to war? How did the Fourteen Points reflect his ideals?
4. What is the relationship between wartime propaganda and wartime limits on free speech? What happened to Eugene Debs?
5. How did the need to increase wartime economic production increase the federal government’s power and interference in the economy? What federal agencies were established to increase economic production and to help pay for the war? (see pp. 700 and 704)
6. How were workers’ concerns and needs impacted by the crisis of war? How did labor conflict escalate racial tensions, and why?
7. How did the war impact the women’s movement? What did the passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act in 1921 signify about attitudes toward women?
8. Why was conscription necessary—and controversial, especially considering the US’s late entry into the war? How long did it take to get troops into Europe after the US declared war?
9. In what battles did the American Expeditionary force play a major role? Where were these battles? Ultimately, what were the most important American contributions to the war?
10. Why was Wilson undercut as a negotiator at the Paris Conference? What role did partisan politics in America play? How did his dream of a League of Nations actually weaken his effectiveness in negotiations?
11. Explain what impact the war had on imperialism.
12. Create a chart depicting what France, Italy, and Japan received from the negotiations.
13. How did the treatment of Germany in the negotiations undercut the hopes for a lasting peace?
14. What were the main criticisms of the potential League of Nations? Who were the “irreconcilables?”
15. What price did Wilson pay over the controversial Treaty of Paris?
16. What did Lodge do to try to kill the League of Nations? What paradoxical response did Wilson then have?
17. Why was the election of 1920 called a “solemn referendum?” What was the actual and symbolic result?
18. What were the long-term consequences of the failure of the Treaty of Versailles?