Question 1 (Document-Based Question): 55 minutes Suggested Reading period: 15 minutes Suggested writing period: 40 minutes Directions

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Question 1 (Document-Based Question): 55 minutes

Suggested Reading period: 15 minutes

Suggested writing period: 40 minutes

Directions: Question 1 is based on the accompanying documents. The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise. You are advised to spend 15 minutes reading and planning and 45 minutes writing your answer.
Write your responses on the lined pages that follow the question.
In your response you should do the following:

  • State a relevant thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question.

  • Support the thesis or a relevant argument with evidence from all, or all but one, of the documents.

  • Incorporate analysis of all, or all but one, of the documents into your argument.

  • Focus your analysis of each document on at least one of the following: intended audience, purpose, historical context, and/or point of view.

  • Support your argument with analysis of historical examples outside the documents

  • Connect historical phenomena relevant to your argument to broader events or processes.

  • Synthesize the elements above into a persuasive essay that extends your argument, connects it to a different historical context, or accounts for contradictory evidence on the topic.

1. Compare and contrast the views of American foreign policy and America’s role in the world after World War I and World War II.

Source: Speech by Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican Senator, on March 4, 1919

. . . as it stands there is no doubt whatever in my mind that American troops and American ships may be ordered to any part of the world by nations other than the United States, and that is a proposition to which I for one can never assent. It must be made perfectly clear that no American soldiers, not even a corporal's guard, that no American sailors, not even the crew of a submarine, can ever be engaged in war or ordered anywhere except by the constitutional authorities of the United States. To Congress is granted by the Constitution the right to declare war, and nothing that would take the troops out of the country at the bidding or demand of other nations should ever be permitted except through congressional action. The lives of Americans must never be sacrificed except by the will of the American people expressed through their chosen Representatives in Congress.

Document 1

Document 2

Source: United States. Cong. House. The Neutrality Act. H.J. Res. 54. Washington: GPO, 1939.

"Sec. 2. (a) Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a) it shall thereafter be unlawful for any American vessel to carry any passengers or any articles or materials to any state named in such proclamation. (b) Whoever shall violate any of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or of any regulations issued there under shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. Should the violation be by a corporation, organization, or association, each officer or director thereof participating in the violation shall be liable to the penalty herein prescribed."

Document 3

Source: Political Cartoon by Dr. Seuss, May 15, 1941

Source: Cartoon published in The Christian Science Monitor by Paul Carmack, 11 August 1945

Document 4


Document 5

Source: Truman Doctrine speech by President Truman, March 12, 1947

"At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one. One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression. The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms. I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way. I believe that our help should be primarily through economic stability and orderly political process."

Document 6

Source: Marshall Plan Speech by George C. Marshall at Harvard University June 5, 1947

It is already evident that, before the United States Government can proceed much further in its efforts to alleviate the situation and help start the European world on its way to recovery, there must be some agreement among the countries of Europe as to the requirements of the situation and the part those countries themselves will take in order to give proper effect to whatever action might be undertaken by this Government. It would be neither fitting nor efficacious for this Government to undertake to draw up unilaterally a program designed to place Europe on its feet economically. This is the business of the Europeans. The initiative, I think, must come from Europe. The role of this country should consist of friendly aid in the drafting of a European program and of later support of such a program so far as it may be practical for us to do so. The program should be a joint one, agreed to by a number, if not all European nations.


Document 7

Source: Draft of President Truman's North Atlantic Pact Speech April 1, 1949

On this historic occasion, I am happy to welcome Foreign Ministers of the countries which, together with the United States, form the North Atlantic community of nations.
The purpose of this meeting is to take the first step toward putting into effect an international agreement to safeguard the peace and prosperity of this community of nations.
It is altogether appropriate that nations so deeply conscious of their common interests should join in expressing their determination to preserve their present peaceful situation and to protect it in the future.
What we are about to do here is a neighborly act. WE are like a group of householders, living in the same locality, who decide to express their community of interest by entering into a formal association for their mutual self protection.


DBQ Notes

Prompt: Compare and contrast the views of American foreign policy and America’s role in the world after World War I (November 1918-1941) and after World War II (1946-1950).

Thesis:   Possible thesis statements could include the following.

• The gravitation toward isolationism following World War I and the American foreign policy reflecting that.

• Distrust of the motives behind the entrance of the United States into World War I.

• Beliefs in the superiority of the American system and the distancing of American identity from Europe.

• Arguments that America’s place as a world power tied in with its involvement around the world.

• Fears of the expansion of communism and a sense of duty to prevent it post-World War II.

• The emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as the two leading great powers and the resultant conflict between the two nations post-World War II.

• The devastation of Europe and the need for the U.S. to fill the void of Britain and France after both World War I and II.

Analysis of Documents

As explained in the scoring notes, to earn full credit for analyzing documents, responses must include at least one of the following for all or all but one of the documents: intended audience, purpose, historical context, author’s point of view. Although examples of these elements are listed below, these examples of analysis must explicitly be used in support of a stated thesis or a relevant argument.
Document 1

Source: Speech by Henry Cabot Lodge on March 4, 1919

Intended audience: Specifically the American Senate

Purpose: To reject and state his opinion on the matter of joining the League of Nations

Historical Context: After World War I, Woodrow Wilson tried to get congress to pass his Fourteen Points, but it was rejected by Senators like Henry Cabot Lodge. This leads to America never joining the League of Nations and results in the League of Nations being very weak.

The author’s point of view: Henry Cabot Lodge was one of the major leading figures of the Reservationist and would only support the ratification of the treaty if and only if revisions were made to it. Lodge was also the leader of the Republican bloc of Irreconcilables which were people who opposed further intervention into European affairs.
Document 2

Source: United States. Cong. House. The Neutrality Act. H.J. Res. 54. Washington: GPO, 1939.

Intended audience:  The American Public, Congress, and the House of Representatives.

Purpose:  The purpose of the Neutrality Act was to defuse growing tensions with the United States, which was being directly influenced by escalating tensions in Europe and Asia.

Historical Context:  

 • Books like, The Merchants Of Death carried the idea that America was entering the war for personal and economic gain.

 • NYE Hearings during the time strengthened the push for isolationism among Americans.

 • France and Britain declared war on Germany after they overtook Czechoslovakia.

 There was a weapon embargo with Britain and France, which was ended by this act.

The author’s point of view: Writing this document would give the government a chance to reopen trade and gather up economic and political opportunities as they showed themselves with little interference from the American masses.
Document 3

Source: Political Cartoon by Dr. Seuss, May 15, 1941

Intended audience: American Public and lawmakers

Purpose: To ridicule the idea of isolationism before American entry into World War II.

Historical context: When World War II started, America declared neutrality and like World War I refused to enter because of isolationist motives. This cartoon depicts the stance America took on World War II and also is right before the American entry into the war because of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The author’s point of view: Doctor Seuss hated the idea of American isolationism so when the Nazis began taking over Europe, he began creating political cartoons. These political cartoons ridiculed isolationism in order to change the public and lawmakers’ view on isolationism.
Document 4

Source: Cartoon published in The Christian Science Monitor by Paul Carmack, 11 August 1945

Intended audience: The American people

Purpose: To demonstrate America would be a world power and would use the atomic bomb as a negotiation tool in order to pressure other countries into drafting an ideal American peace treaty.

Historical context: Following the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and before the signing of treaties, the atomic bomb’s role as leverage in negotiations is depicted.

The author’s point of view: The Christian Science Monitor was not a religious newspaper and tried to publish unbiased and practical articles on events.
Document 5

Source: Truman Doctrine speech by President Truman, March 12, 1947

Audience: The American People

Purpose: To create a negative image of the Communism and also raise support for economic aid for the European countries.

Historical context: A couple of months after the Truman Doctrine the Marshall Plan was announced which provided economic aid to the European nations that were against Communism. This also applies to American intervention into world affairs and also the beginning of the fight against Communism.

The author’s point of view: Truman as a soft-spoken small man, struggles to live up to F.D.R.’s image which contributed to his aggressive stance toward communism.  
Document 6

Source: Marshall Plan Speech at Harvard University June 5, 1947

Intended audience: the speech is for the American audience and parts of Europe, specifically Western Europe, who are in need of assisting due to damages caused by World War 2.

Purpose: to inform the American public of the federal rescue plan, Marshall Plan, developed to allow the United States to assist European nations on both sides of the war in rebuilding damaged industry and infrastructure in the wake of World War 2, and to prevent the communist influence in the war-ravaged areas.

Historical context: Aid given out to help rebuild the war ravaged nations of Europe. It was also at a time of increasing distrust between the Soviets and the U.S.

The author’s point of view: It was stated by the secretary of state, George Marshall. He was an American soldier and statesman famous for his leadership roles during World War II and the Cold War.

Document 7

Source: Draft of President Truman’s North Atlantic Pact Speech, April 1, 1949

Intended audience: The people of the nations involved in NATO and the Soviets.

Purpose: To outline the goals of NATO and redefine the relationship between the involved countries for cooperation.

Historical context: It was a post World War 2 alliance different from the secret alliances of the past. All countries involved were openly binded to the alliance.

The author’s point of view: Truman as President of the United States, the leader of this newly formed alliance positively outlines the goals of NATO.
Analysis of outside examples to support thesis/argument

Possible examples of information not found in the documents that could be used to support the stated thesis or a relevant argument could include the following.
• The irreconcilables and their hardline stance taken against the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations following victory in World War I.

• The debt moratorium as a means for Europe to recover and resume payments.

• The absence of the U.S. in the League of Nations and the refusal to ratify the Treaty of Versailles by the senate.

• The passage of multiple neutrality acts in 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1939.

• The senate inquiries made on the economic interests of World War I by the Nye Committee

• American presence and involvement in Latin America after World War I.

• A return to very low expenditures on military and defense post-World War I.

• The effect of the Great Depression in creating discontentment with American involvement in World War I.

• Rejection of the Marshal plan by the Soviet Union and its replacement with COMECON.

• The Truman doctrine and its economic and military aid to Greece and Turkey in their fight against communism.

• The creation of the military organization NATO and the Soviet response of the Warsaw Pact.

• The Soviet acquisition of the atomic bomb in 1949 resulting in heightened tensions.

• The aggressive stance taken toward communism through the policy of containment.

• A massive surge in military spending following World War II.

• The creation of the U.N. with U.S. involvement and a peacekeeping force.

• Renaming of the Department of War to Department of Defense in 1949 in an effort to justify increased military spending.

• The support of Chiang Kai-Shek in China against the communist opposition of Mao Zedong.

• Revisionist and Irreconcilables
Contextualization: Students can earn a point for contextualization by accurately and explicitly connecting historical phenomena relevant to the argument to broader historical events and/or processes. These historical phenomena may include, but are not limited to, the following.

• The demonization domestically of communism in the U.S. and capitalism in the Soviet Union.

• Calls for isolationism in the U.S. before involvement in World War I by noteworthy people such as Eugene Debs and Helen Keller.

• Questions posed on American expansion in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

• The equating of capitalism and free market with Christian ideals and principles.

• Nativism movements and the resultant limits on immigration from foreign nations.

• The Roosevelt Corollary and subsequent involvement in Latin American affairs.
• The Great Depression and its effects on foreign policy
• Calls for isolationism in World War II by German Americans such as Charles Lindbergh
• Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy
• American economic prosperity and the increase in military spending

Synthesis: Essays can earn the point for synthesis by crafting a persuasive and coherent essay. This can be accomplished providing a conclusion that extends or modifies the analysis in the essay, by using disparate and sometimes contradictory evidence from primary and/or secondary sources to craft a coherent argument, or by connecting to another historical period or context. Examples could include, but are not limited to, the following.

• Linking the argument to Washington’s warning against involvement in European affairs.

• Linking the argument to previous questions on American imperialism in the late nineteenth century.

• Linking the argument to the fear and distrust of communists within America during the McCarthy era.

• Linking the argument to American efforts at neutrality during the Napoleonic Wars.

• Linking the argument to American involvement in the Korean War and Vietnam War in order to suppress Communism

• Linking the argument to America taking an active role in fighting terrorism in the Middle East.

Sample DBQ

During the 20th century, the world was ravaged by two gruesome wars, World War I and World War II. In 1914 as a result of secret alliances and a refusal from either side to back down, Europe plunged into war. Germany’s depleted manpower and America’s entrance brought the war to an end. The harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the inability to enforce its terms led the world into a Second World War several years after the first. The United States again sided with the Allied Powers in World War II and through a series of eventual victories on the Eastern and Western fronts, the Allies claimed victory once again. There were similarities in the aftermath of both wars, including American loans to Europe and a continued presence in Latin American affairs. However, the two wars had far different effects on American foreign policy. The isolationist stance taken after World War I did not carry on into the post World War II era, and instead the United States’ reserved role in the world was replaced by a policy of global interventionism to further American interests. Overall American foreign policy after World War I and World War II had similarities such as America lending money to Europe and differences such as America becoming more interventionist than isolationist.

Although American foreign policy after World War I was mainly isolationism while foreign policy after World War II was interventionist, the polar opposite, similarities still existed. After World War I, the Germans faced not only the challenge of rebuilding, but also the task of paying off the exorbitant reparations imposed upon her by the allies after World War I . In order to aid the Germans in their herculean task, America loaned Germany money. As Germany struggled to repay its debts President Hoover issued a debt moratorium which gave the Germans a one year break before they resumed the payments. Similarly George C. Marshall announced the Marshall Plan after World War II in order to provide aid to the rebuilding European countries (Doc. 6). In reality, the Marshall Plan had an ulterior motive which was to gain the support of European countries and prevent them from turning towards Communism since the Americans strongly believed that Communism went against the foundations America was built on. Although the motives of these two policies may differ they both still accomplished the same task of helping Europe rebuild after the war. Although America stayed out of European affairs after World War I, they continued to maintain a presence in Latin America even after Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the Good Neighbor Policy, which attempted to prevent American intervention into Latin American affairs. They maintained a presence in Latin America through economic pressure in order to get what they wanted. Additionally America also interfered in European affairs in an isolationist way by allowing arms trade with Britain and France (Doc. 2). World War II had just started and in order to aid the allied powers without completely getting rid of America’s isolationism, Roosevelt pushed for another Neutrality Act in 1939 that allowed America to provide weapons to the Allies. Similarly America established its presence throughout the world in order to combat Communism in both Europe and China after World War II by supplying these governments with economic aid. In both cases America influenced countries through the use of economic pressure which produced more favorable results most of the time.

        American foreign policy after World War I was predominantly isolationist, which greatly differed from the interventionist ideals of post World War II America. This policy toward isolationism was seen at the Paris Peace Conference, where it was decided that a diplomatic coalition of nations would be formed that would be named the League of Nations. When President Wilson brought the Treaty of Versailles to Congress to be ratified, Henry Cabot Lodge and his associates rejected it, citing fears that the League of Nations may call American troops to war without the approval of congress (Doc. 1). Henry Cabot Lodge, a Reservationist and also the leader of the Republican bloc of Irreconcilables, had a greatly biased response because he was a Reservationist, a group of people who would not ratify the Treaty of Versailles unless revisions were made. Out of all the desired revisions, the Reservationist wanted to change Article X of the treaty the most because they were disturbed by the idea of American troops being called to protect the territory of other members of the League of Nations. Because an agreement could be not reached, the Treaty of Versailles was never ratified; therefore, America never joined the League of Nations and also remained had to sign separate treaties with Germany and Austria. A prominent voice critical of America’s refusal to join the war was Dr. Seuss. His 1941 cartoon depicts a bed representing all of Europe’s troubles and a comfortable America sleeping in a separate bed (Doc 3). As the war progressed, Dr. Seuss was appalled by the United States neutrality and disregard for the people affected by German aggression. He published several pro-war cartoons throughout the war in which he campaigned for involvement in the war and later for the purchase of war bonds. Public opinion was still largely against joining the war however, and it would take much more to change that. The staunch opposition was a response to the distrust behind the motives of the United States’ entrance in World War I. Investigations such as those done by the Nye Committee concluded that the war had brought massive profits to the munitions industry. America’s neutrality was brought to an end along with public opposition to the war on December 7, 1941 when a preemptive attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, brought the United States into the war.

        Foreign policy after World War II greatly differed from that of post World War I because America left its isolationist ideals behind and became more involved in world affairs. After World War II ended, America was the strongest nation in the world because it had the deadliest weapon in its arsenal, the atomic bomb. As depicted in the political cartoon by Paul Carmack, the atomic bomb gave America immense leverage over the other nations because America was the only one at that time with the atomic bomb and could easily decimate any country in their way like they did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Doc. 4). America was more willing to involve itself in the world because it had to make sure the Soviet Union could not influence the other countries into follow its Communist path since America feared that the world would be overrun with Communism. Once the Soviets acquired the atomic bomb however, foreign policy would devolve into a deadlock between the nations. A series of proxy wars would ensue in place of possible conflict during the Cold War. This differed from American policy after World War I because America was more reluctant to go to war as demonstrated in their late entry into World War II while post World War II America went to war and aided in wars whenever Communism was involved. Another method to oppose Communism was outlined in President Truman’s doctrine which cast Communism in a negative image and raised support for economic aid for the European countries (Doc. 5). A couple of months after the Truman Doctrine, Marshall announced his plan of economic aid for the European countries. The Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan involved America in more foreign affairs because it openly gave help to rebuilding European countries in order to help them rebuild and so that they were more inclined to ally with America against the Soviet Union. These two policies were dissimilar to American foreign policy after World War I because it openly interfered with foreign affairs which contrasted with American isolation after World War I. Not only did America provide economic aid to European nations, they also created and openly announced an alliance between America and the Western European countries. In President Truman’s North Atlantic Pact Speech, he outlined the goals of NATO and marks the end of secret treaties (Doc. 7). By joining NATO, America fully invested themselves into interventionism because they announced that they were with NATO which meant America would come to the aid of any nation in NATO if they were attacked. American entry into NATO demonstrated the drastic change in foreign policy from post World War I because they were willing to form alliances with other countries after World War II while their World War I counterparts refused to ally with anyone. Additionally the United States also joined the United Nations after World War II, which differed from their approach post World War I, where they were not able to join the League of Nations.

The view of the United States’ role in the world and its foreign policy was largely influenced by the first and second World Wars. World War I reaffirmed the committal to isolationism while the Second World War led the nation into assuming far greater responsibility in world affairs. The foreign policy of the United States post World War II set a precedent for taking a more active role in furthering American interests abroad in the mid and later portions of the twentieth century. For example, in an effort to prevent communism from spreading, the United States intervened militarily in Korea and Vietnam. The justification for becoming involved in the affairs of both nations was attributed to the fear that once one nation fell to communism, the entire region would fall like “dominoes.”  Similarly in the 1990s when Kuwait was occupied by Iraq, the U.S led a U.N. coalition to liberate it. This instance, though not fueled by opposition to communism, was largely made possible by the U.S.’s global presence and interest in policing the world.  

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