Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies

Linda Hugle, Hidden Valley High School, Grants Pass, OR


Appropriate for grades 9-12.

OVERVIEW:  Social science teachers often discover that the rights
we cherish are rather mundane to our students.  When we warn of
threats to our constitutionally guaranteed rights, our students
often side more with expedience, for instance, than with due
process.  Likewise, in international crises, the challenge is
leveled:  Why don't we just nuke 'em?

This generation which has not experienced warfare sometimes
expresses a yearning for its excitement and finality.  Perhaps as
history teachers we have glorified war by our focus on victors,
strategies, and wartime leaders.  This activity is an attempt to
balance this treatment of war with concern for the domestic
consequences of nations going to war.  It is particularly
appropriate after studying the fall of Athens or Rome in World
History, the US in the Civil War of during World War I, and as a
current issues lesson during times of international tension.

PURPOSE:  The purposes of this activity are threefold:

 1.  To demonstrate to the history student that human experience
     does reveal patterns which modern society can learn from.

 2.  To develop analytical skills.

 3.  To develop awareness of the political and economic
     ramifications of war regardless of military outcome.

OBJECTIVES:  Upon completion, participants in this group activity
will be able to:

 1.  Identify several political, economic, and personal rights
     which citizens of various nations have enjoyed during
     peacetime but lost during wartime.

 2.  Compare circumstances and political consequences of American
     and foreign wars.

 3.  Analyze historical data to predict domestic consequences of a
     hypothetical U.S. war today.


 1.  Ask the history students studying one of the wars listed on
     Data Sheet 1 or 2 to identify the war's effect on the warring
     nation's own citizens.  Include the political, economic, and
     personal consequences.  Afterwards, distribute the two Data
     Sheets (omit consequences of war being studied) or assign
     pairs of students to research the domestic consequences of
     different U.S. and foreign wars.  To focus attention on
     diversity, locate each on a world map and on a timeline. 
     Remind the students that these were usually consequences to
     the victors.  When questioning strategies you might include
     why governments demanded these powers and why citizens
     surrendered their rights.  Would we willingly surrender these
     same rights during war?

 2.  Discuss the current role of the U.S. in the world and
     conflicts we currently have with other nations.  The class
     should choose one nation the U.S. might consider using force
     against.  Assign students to small mixed-ability groups and
     distribute Group Assignments to each.  Describe an imminent
     hypothetical U.S. war and ask the groups to rank the listed
     consequences from most likely to least likely to happen
     today.  (Assume this war would not result in nuclear
     annihilation.)  It is useful to limit the number of
     consequences allowable in the "might happen" column.
     Requiring group consensus instead of simple majorities
     encourages vigorous debate.

 3.  After each group shares its predictions with the class, ask
     students INDIVIDUALLY to circle those consequences they would
     not mind.  Share the debrief.


DATA SHEET #1 - Some effects of nations going to war on their

Roman Republic:     Farmers forced to fight led to agricultural 
(c. 200 B.C.)         crisis and takeovers of farms by large
                    landowners, powerful aristocracy developed.
                    Political violence, civil war.
                    Representative democracy overthrown by
                      military dictators.
                    Debtors become slaves.
                    Loss of freedoms, such as freedom to criticize

European Crusades:  Religious minorities persecuted and killed.
(1100 A.D.)         Intellectuals, "free thinkers," punished
                      severely for "heresy."
                    Church gains power over regular governments.

Aztec Warfares:     Emperor gains absolute power, tyranny.
(c. 1300 A.D.)      Citizens sometimes killed for pleasure, other
                      times for sacrifice.
                    High taxation to support armies.
Spanish Reconquest: Nobles lost positions of authority.
(1469-1492)         Land seized from opponents.
                    Jews, Moslems, and "heretics" (Protestants)
                      persecuted and killed.
                    Intellectuals, artists, and doctors

Russian Expansion:  Ivan the Terrible's army murders thousands of 
(1547-1584)           "boyars."
                    Peasants become slaves to landowners.
                    Taxes on peasants rise sharply.
                    Peasants' freedom ended.

English Civil War:  Land and property seized from people on both 
(1642-1660)           sides.
                    Numerous executions of opponents.
                    Parliament (representatives) overthrown by

British War
 w/ France:         Dramatic increase in taxes to finance war.
(1754-1763)         New restrictions on trade to favor one
                    Riots and violence.
                    Soldiers stationed in private homes.

Napoleonic Wars:    Representative government overthrown by
(1799-1815)         Loss of rights to women.
                    Workers lose rights.
                    Loss of freedoms of speech and press.
                    Dictator's spies spy on citizens and
                    Soldiers drafted into army.
                    Taxes raised.
                    Raw materials taken for government.
                    Trade restricted.

DATA SHEET #2 - American Wars which have resulted in losses of

War of 1812:        Central government takes power from state
                    Trade restricted.

Civil War:          President takes over Constitutional powers of 
(1861-1865)           Congress.
                    Government examines private mail and
                    Military leaders allowed to arrest citizens
                      without warrants.
                    Criminal rights suspended (habeas corpus,
                    Freedom of speech and the press ended by
                      arrests and presidential orders.
                    Draft of citizens.
                    Government seizes private property.
                    Taxes raised to support war.
                    Unbacked paper money is	:{ٕɹѽs͹)World War I:        Government control over key areas of economy, 
(1917-1919)           including railroads, farms, and power
                      plants; also fixed prices.
                    Increased taxes (first income tax).
                    Hate propaganda sponsored by government, let
                      to persecution of Americans of German
                      descent, Irish-American, and Jews.
                    Vigilante groups form to lynch labor leaders
                      and pacifists.
                    Espionage Act gave strict punishment to those
                      critical of war censorship of mails.
                    Censorship of press; end to freedom of speech
                      (Sedition Act).
                    Supreme Court grants government right to
                      overthrow freedom of speech.
                    Selective Service Act created mandatory draft.
                    Intolerance led to brutal attacks on Black

World War II:       Government control over economy (rents, wages,
(1941-1945)           salaries, factories, rationing, etc.).
                    Government sponsored hate propaganda.
                    Draft resumed.
                    Favored treatment for big business led to
                      problems for smaller ones.
                    Japanese-Americans forced into concentration
                      camps, lost their homes and property.
                    Labor unions lost rights.

Vietnam War:        Presidents take over powers of Congress.
                    FBI and CIA spy on citizens.
                    Draft resumed.
                    Increased "cooperation" between government and
                      big business.
                    Freedom of press restricted.
                    Criminal rights restricted.

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:  This activity takes about two class
periods to complete.  It is a very powerful activity which
vindicates history as a relevant field of study.  As students
develop their critical thinking skills, they become aware of the
complexity of decision-making and the important consequences of
rash actions.


Discuss within your group each of the following potential
consequences if the U.S. went WFɽ with               .
Determine the degree of likelihood of each and categorize
accordingly on your paper.  You will be graded for effort and
participation and also for participation in discussion of your
results tomorrow.


     Decreased U.S. power internationally
     Increased U.S. power internationally
     Demagogues gaining power
     A "draft"
     Women being drafted
     Private property seized by government
     Concentration camps
     Increased covert activities
     Rights of the accused (habeas corpus, etc.) suspended
     Restrictions on trade
     Increased taxes
     Decreased taxes
     Anti-               propaganda
     Persecution of minorities
     Censorship of newspapers
     Increased spying (wiretapping, etc.) on American citizens
     President taking power from Congress
     Congress taking power from the President
     Riots in the U.S
     Increased military control over civilian government
     Restrictions on freedom of speech
     Oil shortage (or shortage of opponent's main export)
     Government takeover of some industries (oil?)
     Economic prosperity
     Economic depression
     Government control of economy (wages, prices, etc.)
     Congress overthrown by military dictator
     Increased tolerance of minorities
     Greater citizen involvement in government
     More worker's rights
     Political violence and assassinations
     More money and higher inflation
     Farm crisis and loss of farmland to large-scale farm
     Increased alliance between government and big business
     Increased government corruption
     More secrecy in government
     More openness in government
     Vigilante groups
     More tolerance of dissent



These things|These things|These things|These things|These things
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* Circle those consequences which you would not mind if they


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