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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Montana and the Great War: Bringing It Home

World War I came at the height of the Progressive era, a time of intense ideological disagreement. What was the appropriate role of government in the economy? Were immigrants a threat to American culture? What was the proper relationship between individual freedom and the common good?

Given the debate over fundamental values, it is no wonder that, according to historian David Kennedy, “Americans went to war in 1917 not only against Germans in the fields of France but against each other at home.”

No where was this more true than in Montana. It is hard to overstate the significance of the U.S.'s entry into World War I--to the men who served (17 percent of Montana men ages 18 to 44), to their families, to Montana's German immigrant farmers, to Socialist Finnish and Irish nationalist miners, to syndicalist loggers, and to everyone living in Montana during the war and to all of those who came after.

Now, 100 years later, it's a good time to look back at this complicated past.


High school teachers: We invite you and your classes to help us unpack this past by examining the way the war affected people in your own communities and sharing your findings with us by participating in our project Montanans and the Great War.

This project offers high school students an opportunity to work as historians, engage with primary and secondary sources, add to our collective understanding, and share their findings with authentic audiences.  

To prepare teachers to engage their students in this work, we're offering a 1.5 day workshop, June 12-13, 2017 (OPI Renewal Units and travel scholarships will be available.)

Learn more about the workshop--and how to apply--here. The application deadline is April 15, 2017. Applicants will be notified on their acceptance by May 1, 2017. 

P.S. Elementary and middle school teachers: Stay tuned. We'll soon be announcing a summer workshop designed for you.

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