2 America Mobilizes for War Compared to the armies of Europe, the United States’ army was quite small.While some men volunteered for service in the army, others were drafted (involuntarily chosen) to participate after the passage of the Selective Service Act.Out of the 24 million that served, ~2.8 million were drafted. In total, the U.S. supplied 4.8 million troops to the war effort in Europe.
3 America Mobilizes for War The Council of National Defense had established separate agencies to coordinate food production, railway use, etc.However, there was too much overlap and difficulty coordinating between agencies. So, the War Industries Board was created to regulate all industries dealing with war supplies. It was led by Bernard Baruch.Similarly, Herbert Hoover, as head of the Food Administration, guided farm efforts and food conservation during the war.
4 America Mobilizes for War In order to encourage support for the war, the government created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) to educate the public on the causes and why the U.S.’ involvement was necessary.The CPI was led by George Creel.This agency launched a massive propaganda campaign to both recruit and garner support during the war.
5 Opposition and its Consequences While most Americans supported the war, there were still individuals who did not.In response to this dissent, the government passed the Espionage Act, which allowed the postal service to ban any dissenting/treasonous mail.They also passed a Sedition Act in 1918 which made it against the law to speak ill of the government.Many saw this as the government taking away the civil liberties of American citizens.German Americans and other dissenters were targeted in their communities, often physically harmed because of the growing hatred.
6 The War Changes American Society Many substantial social changes occurred as a result of WWI.Women took over the jobs of men who went overseas, and were rewarded with the passage of the 19th amendment.Job openings also provided African Americans opportunities, and many of them moved North to fill these jobs in industries. This became known as the Great Migration.Similarly, Mexican Americans took over many of the farming jobs left open by servicemen.
8 America Gives Allies the Edge When the U.S entered the war in 1917, it had turned into a stalemate between the Allied and Central Powers.In an effort to protect merchant ships from German U-boats, the U.S. began implementing a convoy system, in which smaller, armed ships would escort larger merchant ships.
9 America Gives the Allies the Edge Russia had already withdrawn from the war before the U.S. entered, freeing up German troops to concentrate on the Western Front.The Bolshevik Revolution had overthrown the Russian czar.The U.S. provided much needed troops to the Allied forces, and were led my General John J. Pershing.Though they did not have as much combat training, they were fresh in the fight and provided a much needed boost in terms of morale.This earned them the nickname ‘doughboys’.They helped stop the German advance on the Western Front and many distinguished themselves during battle.
10 Wilson Promotes “peace without victory” When the war ended on November 11, 1918, it was time to decide what would happen to the Central Powers.Wilson promoted the idea of “peace without victory”, an idea in which the victors should not punish the losers. This would cause resentment.He considered his proposal, known as the Fourteen Points, as a way of encouraging self-determination within Europe.
11 Wilson at the Paris peace conference At the Paris peace conference, Allied leaders did not agree with Wilson’s idea of ‘peace without victory’.Instead, they forced Germany to pay reparations, or payment for war damages.New states were created, breaking up the land that the Central Powers had gained during the war.Although many of his Fourteen Points were cast aside, Wilson was able to salvage his proposal for a League of Nations– a worldwide organization to discuss problems (in the hopes of avoiding another war).
12 America Rejects the Treaty Back in the United States, certain individuals were hesitant for the U.S. to adopt the Treaty of Versailles as it was written because they feared it would allow the U.S. to engage in war w/o the consent of Congress.Some believed that if this was fixed in the way the treaty was worded, it could be viable.However, the Treaty of Versailles did not pass in the Senate because of strong opposition, and as a result, the U.S. never joined the League of Nations.