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Interpreting the Evidence

Total Hero Dead from New York State Listed at 12,276

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Era:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Community
    World War I

  • Primary Source Types:

    Written Document

  • Regions:

    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load "Total Hero Dead from N. Y. State Listed at 12,276," World War I, c. 1920 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Newspaper article about the number of New Yorkers killed in World War I, c. 1920.

Historical Context
The costs of World War I in monetary and human terms are difficult to ascertain. While America’s late entrance mitigated some of her losses, this news article shows the effects of war dead and wounded on states like New York.
In sum, at least ten million soldiers littered the fields of Europe, with many thousands of Americans among them. At least twice that many were wounded as devastating technological advances took its toll on the individual soldier and those figures don’t include the psychological damage inflicted by modern warfare on soldiers and civilians alike. Questions quickly emerged about inept leadership and outdated tactics used by nearly all the militaries during the war. Equally disturbing though was the loss felt in European and American consciousness. “The Lost Generation”, as it came to be called, disillusioned by the seemingly senseless losses, limped into the twenties questioning the very fabric of Western values that may have helped start the war in the first place.
As difficult as it would be to deal with the individual lives lost or shattered by the war, it would be a long time before America and Europe came to terms with the far-reaching effects of modern warfare.

Essential Question
How are citizens informed during times of war?

Check for Understanding
Summarize the key ideas found in the article and evaluate the validity of the information provided.

Historical Challenges
Compare the dead wounded of the United States in its wars of the 20th century and determine where the First World War ranks in terms of losses.

Interdisciplinary Connections
Math/ Science: Calculate and compare the ratios of fallen soldiers from the various nations involved in World War I.