Prior to the United States’ official entry into World War I in 1917, Americans debated their
nation’s role in the conflict. During the period of neutrality,, both a preparedness movement and
a peace movement emerged. Led by former President Theodore Roosevelt, the preparedness
movement encouraged the United States to strengthen their military power following the
outbreak of the Great War in 1914. Anti-war activists, like Jane Addams, Helen Keller, and
William Jennings Bryan, protested the United States’ involvement and advocated for peace. In
this activity, students consider the different perspectives Americans might have had on entering
the Great War.