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[Detail] Maria Gonzalez and soldaderas. Photographer - Robert Runyon.

Historical Issue-Analysis and Decision-Making

Private Arthur Kraft, a young enlisted man, was assigned military duty on the South Texas border. He had only been there four months when he was killed by insurgents during a raid. This photograph of Kraft's casket aroused public concern at the time about the United States' retaliation against raids on the Mexican border. It can be used today by teachers to engage students in a discussion about the United States's most appropriate course of action in response to these raids during the Mexican Revolution. Teachers can structure discussion around the following questions:

  • As a U.S. official deciding what course of action to take in response to the raids, what factors would you need to take into consideration?
  • What are the alternatives to a military response? Which course of action do you think would have been the best?
  • What pressure might you expect to come from the public after seeing this photograph in local and national newspapers?
  • Should public pressure affect decisions about international incidents?
  • Are there issues in the news today that are similar to the Kraft case?