The Homefront Supporting the War Effort
Creating War Economy • War Revenue Act (1917) – raised taxes to increase revenue to spend on the war • Taxes as high as 77% for some • Increased revenue by nearly 400% • Government also borrowed money • Debt goes from $1.2 Billion (1916) to $25.5 Billion (1919) • Liberty Bonds – government borrowed money from the American people
Creating War Economy • Boards created by Woodrow Wilson to regulate industrial and agricultural production • War Industries Board – headed by Bernard Baruch • No raw materials could be used by industry unless approved by Board • Increased production by 20% • Military got first choice, then whatever was leftover could be purchased by civilians
Creating War Economy • Food and fuel was needed for military use • Passed Lever Food and Fuel Control Act – gave government power to set prices and establish production controls for food and fuel • Food Administration – headed by Herbert Hoover • Increase crop production • Conserve food supply • Started Victory Gardens – home grown vegetables • Meatless Mondays/Wheatless Wednesdays – Civilians would eat less of these products
Prohibition Gets Pushed • Because it was made with crops the government wanted it banned • People wanted Beer banned because it was linked to Germany • Results: • 18th Amendment Passed – banned manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol • Volstead Act – gave government power to enforce prohibition
Fuel Regulation • Fuel Administration – headed by Harry Garfield son of former president James Garfield • Efforts: • Introduced daylight savings time • Created “gasless Sundays” and “heatless Mondays”
Effects of these Efforts • U.S. Military was quickly supplied for war effort • Also gave much needed supplies to allies Britain and France • Boosted American Economy • Became turning point of the war – as these supplies helped tip the balance in the favor of the Americans
Worker Mobilization • Workers saw an increase in pay, but it was cancelled out because of increase in cost of goods • Production was forced to be done more quickly • Led to dangerous working conditions • Led to long hours • Unions made a comeback – led to more strikes • National War Labor Board (1918) – set up by government to judge disputes between workers and management, sought to improve working conditions, established 8 hour workday, made industry recognize unions, and promoted equal pay for women
Women and the War • Women took over jobs that were traditionally for the men to do– replaced men as they went to fight the war • Worked in factories, on railroads, and on shipping docks • Continued to work traditional jobs of teaching and nursing • Branched out into selling bonds and digging victory gardens • 1 million women entered workforce – upon end of war most of all women gave up their jobs • Either by choice or forced to give them up • Women’s role led to more of push for their right to vote
Influenza Hits Home • 1918 – 1919 – Flu epidemic strikes United States • Spanish Influenza – started on the Western Front of the war and was responsible for nearly half of all American casualties of the war • March 11, 1918 – first reported case was in from military man in Kansas • Epidemic spread rapidly • Public gatherings were ended • Schools were shut down • By end of epidemic – more than 675,000 Americans were dead
Gaining/Winning Popular Support • Committee of Public Information created in 1917 • Headed by George Creel • Responsible for creating propaganda for the war • Posters, newspaper stories, speeches, fliers were put together to drum up support for war • Hired Actors to push the cause • Saw creation of Uncle Sam Posters • Results: • Led to Anti-German push – no German language taught, no German music, no German sounding names • German acts terrorism started taking place in America • Led to German Americans being discriminated against
Anti-War Movement Limitted • Espionage Act (1917) – punished people for aiding enemy or refusing military duty • Sedition Act (1918) – made it illegal for anyone to speak, print, write, or publish any disloyal or abusive language to America • Results: • Led to many being jailed – including famous Americans • Led to fight for First Amendment rights of free speech • Schneck v. United States – explained the limits to free speech
Questions • What were all the reforms pushed to prepare the economy for the War? What did each do? • Why was prohibition pushed during World War I? What was passed because of this push? • What was done to regulate fuel? • What impact did this regulation have on the war effort?
Questions • Why was the National War Labor Board created? What did it push for? • What role did women play during the war? What impact did this have on women in public eye? • What was the Spanish Influenza and what impact did it have on Americans at home and in Europe? • What was the role of the Committee of Public Information? What impact did it have in America? • What acts were passed limiting anti-war sentiment? • What was the impact of Schneck v. United States?