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WWI - Over Here!


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  • 1. World War I -- America on the Homefront: "The Poster War" Many images courtesy: Ms. Susan Pojer, Horace Greeley HS Chappaqua, NY
  • 2. Today’s Objectives
    • Explain what caused America to enter WWI.
    • Describe how Wilsonian idealism turned the war into an ideological crusade that inspired fervor and overwhelmed dissent.
    • Discuss the mobilization of American for war.
    • Explain the consequences of World War I for labor, women and African Americans.
  • 3. Wilson moves toward war
    • Germany’s unrestricted sub warfare
      • Sinking ALL ships (including US)
      • W asks Congress to arm merchant ships
    • Zimmerman Note
    • Russia Revolution – czar toppled; Allies without “black sheep of Russian despotism”
  • 4. As received decoded Source : National Archives
  • 5.
    • What was Wilson’s approach to bolstering support for the war among the American people? Why did he need to take the approach?
  • 6. Wilsonian Idealism
    • US involvement in foreign war – unprecedented
    • W needed to galvanize country
      • Launches crusade “to make the world safe for democracy”
      • US fighting for international order of democracy, self determination
  • 7. Fourteen Points
    • Jan. 8, 1918 to Congress
    • Goal: keep Russia in, invigorate dissatisfied minorities of enemy governments
      • No secret treaties
      • Freedom of the seas
      • No economic barriers
      • Reduce arms
      • Colonial adjustments
      • “ self-determination”
      • League of Nations – collective security
  • 8. Mobilizing the Country
  • 9. Enlistment
  • 10. World War I American “Anthem”
  • 11. Over there, over there Send the word, send the word over there That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming, The drums rum-tumming everywhere So prepare, say a prayer Send the word, send the word to beware We'll be over, we're coming over, And we won't come back till it's over, over there!
  • 12.  
  • 13. The Spirit of ’76’
  • 14. Over there, over there Send the word, send the word over there That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming, The drums rum-tumming everywhere So prepare, say a prayer Send the word, send the word to beware We'll be over, we're coming over, And we won't come back till it's over, over there!
  • 15. 1917 – Selective Service Act
    • Conscription = controversial
    • No exemptions/substitutes
    • Women, African Americans served (segregated units)
    • Poorly trained bc of urgency
  • 16. The Numbers
    • 24,000,000 men registered for the draft by the end of 1918.
    • 4,800,000 men served in WW1 (2,000,000 saw active combat).
    • 400,000 African-Americans served in segregated units.
    • 15,000 Native-Americans served as scouts, messengers, and snipers in non-segregated units.
  • 17. Expansion of the Federal Government
  • 18.
    • Why was the war effort primarily voluntary? Why was the govt reluctant to pass laws requiring participation?
  • 19. Council of National Defense
    • War Industries Board –Bernard Baruch
    • Food Administration – Herbert Hoover
      • Saving food, victory gardens
    • $ = Liberty loan drives, increased taxes
    • Govt took over railroads
  • 20. Results of This New Organization of the Economy?
    • Unemployment virtually disappeared
    • Expansion of “big government”
    • Excessive govt. regulations in eco.
    • Close cooperation between public and private sectors.
    • Unprecedented opportunities for disadvantaged groups.
  • 21. The Committee on Public Information
    • George Creel - America’s “Propaganda Minister”?
    • Sell the war to Americans, & Wilson’s goals to the world
    • Anti-Germanism; Words = weapons
    • War mobilization – passion & volunteerism, not laws
    • Disillusionment resulted
  • 22. “ Remember Belgium” Beat Back the “Hun”
  • 23. The “Menace of the Seas”
  • 24. Creel Commission Films
  • 25. Attacks on Civil Liberties
  • 26. Anti-Germanism
    • Sauerkraut = liberty cabbage
    • Hamburger = liberty/salisbury steak
    • Frankfurter = hot dogs
    • Dachshunds  = liberty pups
  • 27. Government Excess & Threats to the Civil Liberties of Americans 1. Espionage Act – 1917 - forbade actions that obstructed recruitment or efforts to promote insubordination in the military. - ordered the Postmaster General to remove Leftist materials from the mail. - fines of up to $10,000 and/or up to 20 years in prison.
  • 28. Government Excess & Threats to the Civil Liberties of Americans 2. Sedition Act – 1918 - it was a crime to speak against the purchase of war bonds or willfully utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about this form of US Govt., the US Constitution, or the US armed forces or to willfully urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production of things necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war…with intent of such curtailment to cripple or hinder, the US in the prosecution of the war.
  • 29.
    • "Capitalists of America, we will fight against you, not for you! There is not a power in the world that can make the working class fight if they refuse." - Industrial Worker
  • 30. Government Excess & Threats to the Civil Liberties of Americans 3. Schenck v. US – 1919 - in ordinary times the mailing of the leaflets would have been protected by the 1 st Amendment. - BUT, every act of speech must be judged acc. to the circumstances in which it was spoken. - The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes] - If an act of speech posed a clear and present danger , then Congress had the power to restrain such speech.
  • 31. Government Excess & Threats to the Civil Liberties of Americans 4. Abrams v. US – 1919 - majority ruling --> cited Holmes’ “Clear and present danger” doctrine. - Holmes & Brandeis dissented: The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, denying that a “silly leaflet” published by an “unknown man” constituted such a danger.
  • 32. Anti-Labor “ If Capital & Labor Don’t Pull Together” – Chicago Tribune
  • 33. Workers in Wartime
    • “ Work or fight” (1918)
    • National War Labor Board (Taft)
    • 8 hr work day, higher wages, BUT Govt did NOT protect right to form unions
    • Post-war labor unrest:
      • Coal Miners Strike of 1919
      • Steel Strike of 1919 – African Americans brought in
      • Boston Police Strike of 1919
  • 34. Consequences of Labor Unrest “ While We Rock the Boat” – Washington Times
  • 35. Coal Miners’ Strike - 1919 “ Keeping Warm” – Los Angeles Times
  • 36. Steel Strike - 1919 “ Coming Out of the Smoke” – New York World
  • 37. "I want to congratulate you for doing your bit to make the world safe for democracy . . . and unsafe for hypocrisy .“ – A. Philip Randolph Lt. James Reese Europe, famous jazz band leader, back with the 369th Regiment Suffragists picketing the White House 1917
  • 38. New Social/Economic Opportunities
  • 39. Opportunities for African-Americans in WW1
    • “ Great Migration” 1916 – 1919  70,000 to North
    • War industries work
    • Enlistment in segregated units
    • Sparked “Red Summer” of 1919
      • Riots throughout northern cities
  • 40. "The Gazette" Elaine, Arkansas October 3, 1919
  • 41. “ Rescuing a Negro During the Race Riots in Chicago”, 1919
  • 42. “ If We Must Die” Claude McKay
    • If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs , Making their mock at our accursed lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain ; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen we must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
  • 43. True Sons of Freedom
  • 44. African-Americans on a Troop Ship Headed for France
  • 45. Women: Suffering til Suffrage Recruitment Munitions works
  • 46. The Girls They Left Behind Do Their Bit!
  • 47. Even Grandma Buys Liberty Bonds
  • 48. The Red Cross - Greatest Mother in the World
  • 49. The Red Cross Nurse
  • 50. Women’s Movement Split
    • National Women’s Party – Alice Paul
      • “ Kaiser Wilson” – hunger strikes, demonstrations
    • NAWSA – Carrie Chapman Catt
      • Supported war, women’s involvement
  • 51. A New Strategy
  • 52. Impact of the War on the Women’s Movement
    • Wilson pushes for 19th Amendment
      • Ratified 1920
    • Women’s Bureau (Dept. of Labor)
    • Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act
    On August 18, 1920, following North Carolina's rejection of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Tennessee Legislature voted 49 to 47 in favor of ratifying the Amendment. The vote had been deadlocked 48 to 48, until a young legislator gave in to his mother's urging and voted in favor of women's suffrage. As the 36th state to ratify the Amendment, Tennessee essentially handed the ballot box to American women.
  • 53. Congressman Victor Berger (WI) You got nothing out of the war except the flu and Prohibition.