AP The Home Front The “War to End All Wars”Armies on both sides in Europe were annihilated and spent.
Naval Assistance• US aided in escorting merchant vessels across the Atlantic, sowed antisubmarine mines in the North Atlantic and aided the British navy in its assault on the U boats—all with dramatic results—from sinking over 900,000 tons of Allied ships at the start down to about 112,00 tons.• Many had hoped that naval assistance alone would be all that was needed—but soon became clear many men would need to be drafted in order to meet the needs of war.
The Draft• A new system called the Selective Service Act run by the military would draft all men between 21 and 30 years of age. A lottery system would select men to come before a draft board to be interviewed. Eventually about 2.8 million Americans were drafted. Approximately 2 million volunteered. These groups became known as the American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
African Americans• Nearly 250,000 were drafted or enlisted and about 50,000 fought overseas. They encountered discrimination and prejudice in the army. They served in racially segregated units. Despite these challenged, many fought with distinctions.
Camp Logan• In 1917 taking advantage of the temperate climate and newly opened Houston Ship Channel, the War department ordered two military installations built in Harris County— Camp Logan and Ellington Field.• Largest Court-martial in the history of the US army.
IQ Test• Developed by the American Psychological Association to measure intelligence. These tests were less accurate in measuring intelligence than in measuring the amount of education people had.
Women• WWI was the first war in which women officially served in the armed forces—noncombat positions—as clerical workers, radio operators, electricians, pharmacists, nurses and photographers.
The War and American Society• Mobilizing an industrial war economy required an unprecedented amount of government involvement in industry, agriculture and a commitment from the people
Mobilizing the Civilians• In order to increase food production while reducing civilian consumption, the Food Administration headed by Herbert Hoover encouraged Americans to save food on their own—using slogans like:• “Food will win the war—Don’t waste it”• Wheatless Mondays, Meatless Tuesdays• Victory Gardens
Paying for the War• War cost money—the gov. raised the money 3 ways• Congress raised income tax rates, corporate taxes and placed an excise tax on luxury goods. The government also borrowed over $20 billion from the American people and by selling Liberty Bonds and Victory Bonds. The US government agreed to pay back the Americans who bought bonds plus interest. Posters encouraged people to buy the bolds as an act of patriotism.
Mobilizing the Workforce• Bernard Baruch director of War Industries Board had enormous power to make decisions.
• The National War Labor Board was established to make sure labor and unions worked together to prevent strikes
Social Results of the War• Women filled industrial jobs vacated by men serving in the military—temporary jobs.
The Great Migration• African Americans in the South migrated North to take jobs in factories producing war materials. Between 300,000 and 500,000 African Americans left to settle in cities like Chicago, New York, Cleveland and Detroit.
Mexicans Head North• Over 100,000 Mexicans migrated North into Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico providing labor for the farms and ranches of the Southwest, as well as, tens of thousands of Mexican Americans headed north to Chicago, St. Louis and other cities to take wartime factory jobs. Many faced hostility and discrimination, and like many immigrants before they settled in their own separate neighborhoods.
Economic Results• Industrial production soared• Manufacturing activity expanded in regions that had not had any—west coast—ship building• Employment increased• Farm prices rose to their highest levels in decades
Spontaneous Patriotism—what does that look like?• Volunteering for the Red Cross• Cheering on the President and the boys overseas• Prayers for the President and soldiers• Buying war bonds• Children saving their money to support the war
• The Government was concerned with anyone who opposed the war effort.• The US government, when trying to balance security and rights during times of crisis, almost always will side with security.• Examples: Alien and Sedition Act during Adams administration, During the Civil War, Lincoln suspends Habeas Corpus, the Patriot Act during Geo. W Bush’s administration.
Committee on Public Information- objective: to rally public support• At first the CPI was committed to printing just the facts• Pro war Literature• War poster• Encouraged reporters to exercise self censorship when reporting on the war
• Their tactics became more crude as the war went on: posters painted the enemy more savagely.• Encouraged people to report any disloyalty toward anyone who disagrees with the government
• The Espionage Act of 1917- created penalties for spying, sabotage or obstruction of the war effect• The Sabotage Act and Sedition Act: made it illegal for any public expression of opposition of the war –it allowed the government to prosecute anyone who criticized the president or the government.• Eugene Debs• Over 1,500 people were arrested for the crime of criticizing the government
Who was being Targeted?• Socialist Party• Industrial Workers of the World• Eugene Debs-senteced to 10 years in prison in 1918; pardoned by President Harding in 1921• Over 1,500 people were arrested for the crime of criticizing the government
Lawlessness and Violence and Spy Groups• Vigilante groups took the law into their own hands and began to form groups to “root out disloyalty”• American Protective League• National Security League• The Boy Spies of America• The American Defense Society
Who was Targeted• Immigrants• Irish Americans• Germans• Jews
Schenck v United States• The Supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the Espionage Act in a case involving a man who had been imprisoned for distributing pamphlets against the draft. In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes concluded that the right to free speech could be limited when it represented a “clear and present danger” to the public safety.