Section 3: The War at Home
Congress Gives Power to Wilson
War Industries Board
War Industries Board- main regulatory body established in 1917 and reorganized in 1918 under the leadership of Bernard M. Baruch
Baruch was a prosperous business man Board encouraged companies to use mass-production techniques to increase efficiency. encouraged to eliminate wastes by standardizing products making only 5 colors of typewriter ribbons instead of 150 WID set production quotas and allocated raw materials War Economy wages in most industries rose during the war years. hourly wages for blue collar workers-those in the metal trades, shipbuilding, and meat packing rose by 20 percent To deal with disputes between management and labor, President Wilson established the National War Labor Board in 1918. Workers who refused to obey board decisions could lose their draft exemptions. the board worked to improve factory conditions pushed for an 8 hour workday, promoted safety inspections, and enforced the child labor ban.
Selling the war
The United States spent about $35.5 billion on the war effort. the government raised about one-third of this amount through taxes, including a progressive income tax, a war-profits tax, and higher tax on liquor, tobacco, and luxury goods. It raised the rest through public borrowing by selling Liberty Loan bonds. The government sold bonds through tens of thousands of volunteers.
Committee On Pubic Information
propaganda- biased communication designed to influence people's thoughts and actions.
The head of the CPI was a former muckraker journalist named George Creel Creel persuaded the nation's artists and advertising agencies to create thousands of paintings, posters, cartoons, and sculptures promoting the war Creel's propaganda was highly effective. While the campaign promoted patriotism, it also inflamed hatred and violations of the civil liberties of certain ethnic groups and opponent of the war.
Attacks on Civil Liberties Increase
Anti Immigrant Hysteria
The main targets of these attacks were Americans who had emigrated from other nations, especially those form Germany and Austria- Hungary. Many Americans with German names lost their jobs. Orchestras refused to play the music of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Some towns with German names changed them. A mob in Collinsville, Illinois, wrapped a German flag around a German born miner named Rovert Prager and lynched him. A jury cleared the mobs leader. Americans changed the name of German measles to " liberty measles
Espionage and Sedition Acts
In June 1917 Congress passed the Espionage Act and in May 1918 it passed the Sedition Act. Under the Espionage and Sedition Acts- a person could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for interfering with the war effort or for saying anything disloyal, profane or abusive about the government or the war effort
- Like the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 these laws clearly violated the spirit of the First Amendment
- The Espionage and Sedition Acts targeted socialists and labor leaders
- Eugene V Debs was handed a ten year prison sentence for speaking out against the war and the draft
- The anarchist Emma Goldman received a two year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine for organizing the No Conscription League
- When she left jail the authorities reported her to Russia
- "Big Bill Haywood and other leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World were accused of sabotaging the war effort because they urged workers to strike for better conditions and higher pay
- Haywood was sentenced to a long prison term
- Under such federal pressure the IWW faded away
The War Encourages Social Change
African Americans and the war Black public opinion about that was divided. On One side people like the W.E.B. Du Bois, who believed that blacks should support the war effort. Du Bois believed if the blacks believed in the war it would strengthen calls for racial justice, William Monroe believed that victims of racism should not support a racist government Most Blacks favored the war
The Great Migration
Great Migration- the large- scale movement of hundreds of thousands of southern blacks to cities in the north. By moving to the North blacks tried to escape racial discrimination, a boll weevil infestation, floods and droughts. North had many job opportunities. The outbreak of WW1 brought blacks work in steel mills, munitions plants, and stock yards.
Women in the war
women moved in to jobs that had been held for men, such ass railroad workers, cooks, dockworkers, and brick layers. They mined coal and took part in ship building. Also they took part in traditional jobs like nurses, clerks, and teachers. Women also worked as volunteers. In 1919, congress passed the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. In 1920 the amendment was ratified by the states.
The Flu Epidemic
1918 the flu epidemic affected one-quarter of the U.S the effect on the economy was devastating. Mines shut down, telephone service was cut in half, and factories and offices corpses of poor people lay unburied for as long as a week. More than a quarter of the soldiers caught the disease. One- third of the troops died. 500,000 americans died, before the flu disappeared in 1919.
Section 4: Wilson Fights for Peace
Wilson Presents His Plan
Even before WW1 was even over Wilson presented his plan for world peace. On January 18, 1918 he delivered his now famous Fourteen Points speech before Congress. The points were divided into three groups, the first five points were issues that Wilson believed had to be addressed to prevent another war:
1. There should be no secret treaties
2. Freedom of the seas should be maintained for all.
3. Tariffs and other economic barriers among nations should be lowered or abolished in order to foster free trade.
4. Arms should be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety, thus lessening the possibility of military responses during diplomatic crises.
5. Colonial policies should consider the interests of the colonial peoples as well as the interests of the imperialist powers.
The Allies reject Wilson's Plan
Wilsons naivet about the political aspects of securing a peace treaty showed itself in his failure to grasp the anger felt by the Allied leaders. Georges Clemenceau had lived through two german invasions of France and was determined to prevent future invasions. David Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, won reelection over the slogan "Make Germany Pay. The Italian prime minister wanted control of Austrian-held territory.
Debating the Treaty of Versailles
On Junes 28, 1919, the Big Four and the leaders of the defeated nations gathered in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles to sign the peace treaty. After four years of devastating warfare, everyone hoped that the treaty would create stability for Europe.
Provisions of the Treaty
The Treaty of Versailles established nine new nations including Poland, Czechslovakia, and Yugoslavia and shifted the boundaries of other nations. The treaty barred Germany from maintaining an army. It also required Germany to return the region of Alsace-Lorraine to France and to pay reparations, or war damages, amounting to $33 billion to Allies.
The Treaty's Weaknesses
This treatment of Germany weakened the ability of the Treaty of Versailles to provide a lasting peace in Europe. Several basic flaws in the treaty sowed the seeds of postway internation problems that eventually would lead to the Second World War. Germany was humiliated by the Allies making Germany take full blame for the war and to pay reparations which they couldn't afford. Russia wanted to gain back its territorial losses.
Opposition to the Treaty
When Wilson returned to the U.S. he faced strong opposition to the treaty. Some people, including Herbert Hoover, believed it was too harsh. Others thought that the treaty was a sell out to imperialism because it simply exchanged one set of colonial rulers for another.
Debate over the League of Nations
Few opponents believed that the League of nations threatened the US Foreign policy of isolationism. Henry Cabot Lodge, were suspicious of the provision for joint economic and military action against aggression, even though it was voluntary. They wanted the constitutional right of congress to declare war included in the treaty.