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Military Mobilization lesson plan

Throughout American history, military mobilization has had lasting effects on communities. The term mobilization is used to describe the process of assembling and organizing soldiers and supplies for times of war or national emergency.

The degree of mobilization required depends on the extent of the conflict. In modern total wars, mobilization has led to conscription of soldiers, war bonds, rationing, conversion of industries to military manufacturing, and increased government regulation of the economy.

Tri-Village first experienced the impact of military mobilization in 1916, as the fledgling area of Upper Arlington was taken over by the Ohio National Guard.

This mobilization effort was part President Wilson’s Punitive Expedition, a response to Francisco “Pancho” Villa’s raid of New Mexico. Mobilized to defend the U.S. and Mexican border, the National Guard established Camp Willis in Upper Arlington as a training camp.

More than 7,000 soldiers mustered at Camp Willis. Residents who had already moved into Upper Arlington were subject to military security and had to have passes to go anywhere. Although the National Guard only occupied the land for three months, it stopped land sales and destroyed much of the infrastructure the Thompson Brothers had established.

On a much larger scale, military mobilization in World War II impacted nearly every American community, including the TriVillage area. World War II was disruptive for millions of American families.

A peacetime draft was instituted in 1940 to supplement military enlistments. Nearly 18 million soldiers served in the war, with 39% volunteers and 61% draftees. On the home front, families experienced crowded housing conditions and rationing of consumers goods. Many Grandview residents volunteered for military service in World War II.

Women went to work in agencies supporting the war effort. Children conducted scrap drives to reallocate materials for war goods. Victory gardens were established at Goodale and Grandview Avenue.

Standards Alignment

Ohio’s Learning Standards: Social Studies

Grade 3

Content Statement 9. Members of local communities have social and political responsibilities

Content Statement 10. Individuals make the community a better place by solving problems in a way that promotes the common good.

Content Statement 12. Governments have authority to make and enforce laws.

High School American History

Content Statement 22. The United States mobilization of its economic and military resources during World War II brought significant changes to American society

Learning Objectives

- Identify and evaluate actions taken by the American government to mobilize for war or conflict.

- Explain the impact of military mobilization on American communities.

- Describe the sacrifices individuals made for the common good during World War II.

Discussion Questions

1. How did events along the U.S. and Mexican border impact Upper Arlington in 1916? What actions were taken for military mobilization?

2. What were the short-term and long-term effects of the establishment of Camp Willis in Upper Arlington?

3. How do governments justify mobilization efforts that might seem to violate property rights and civil liberties? Do you think mobilization can go too far?

4. What actions were taken by the government to mobilize for World War II?

5. How did American citizens make sacrifices for the common good during World War II?

6. What are some examples of actions taken by Grandview residents to support World War II?

Extension Activities

- Have students debate the topic of how far the government should be allowed to go for military mobilization. Does military necessity take precedence over property rights and civil liberties?

- Have students create a poster encouraging citizens to support the war effort in World War II. Posters should focus on the actions citizens could take to support the war, such as victory gardens, scrap drives, war bonds, and industrial jobs.

Download a PDF of the lesson plan.

Content from this lesson plan is taken from the Columbus Neighborhoods: Tri-Villagedocumentary.