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The Home Front

The Home Front

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The Home Front

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  1. The Home Front mobilizing a nation.

  2. This was America’s first major modern war after being isolationists for so long. We were not ready for a major war, so Wilson created organizations to organize the economy, workforce, and the military. “Mobilize not an army, but a nation.”

  3. Building the Military When the U.S. first went to war in April of 1917, it had about 300,000 soldiers. The government decided that conscription was the only way to quickly build army. About 2 million men volunteered The Selective Service Act of 1917 required all males between 21 and 30 to sign up for the draft. 2.8 million were drafted

  4. Draftees Lining Up

  5. On July 9, 1917, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were sentenced to two-year prison terms for violating the Selective Service Act of 1917.

  6. Propaganda for Enlistment

  7. U.S. Citizens Involved • 400,000 African Americans served in the war effort. • 11,000 women served in the armed forces. Their jobs included: 1. Nurses 4. Pharmacists 2. Radio operators5. Chemists 3. Electricians 6. Torpedo builders

  8. Think about what this meant: Black soldiers are being asked to fight for global democracy when they aren’t even allowed many basic liberties in the US.

  9. 369th Infantry Regiment • US had black soldiers, but didn’t generally let them fight (cooks, cleaners, etc) • The 369th was based out of Brooklyn, and was “given” to the French, and send to the trenches immediately • 191 days in trenches…1,500 causalities • Nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters” and the “Black Rattlers” for the fighting • French awarded them the Croix de Guerre (“war cross”) for their bravery in battle

  10. Women in the War…Remember they still can’t vote

  11. Funding The War The War Industries Board (WIB) was created to supervise the construction of war materials like tanks, guns, etc. The Food Administration (FA) was responsible for increasing production but reducing public consumption. People were placed on food stamps so you wouldn’t over spend. The FA also wanted you to observe wheatless Mondays, meatless Tuesdays, and porkless Thursdays. The FA encouraged people to plant “victory gardens” to grow their own crops which would make more available for the troops.

  12. Funding The War The Fuel Administration encouraged people to save on oil, gas, and coal. They also introduced daylight savings time and shortened workweeks for non war factories. Also wanted you to practice heatless Mondays. Congress raised taxes and sold Liberty Bonds to help fund the war. These bonds were loans people would make to the government and they would be paid back with interest.

  13. Women enter a “man’s” workforce

  14. The Great Migration Begins

  15. Congress Takes Action Committee on Public Information (CPI)- This was formed to “sell” the war to the people (American propaganda). They made movies, posters, and hired movie stars, artists, and authors to speak to the public. • “4 minute men” were trained to travel to different cities and give speeches to churches, schools, etc

  16. Congress Takes Action…See ya later civil liberties • The Espionage Act of 1917- • punish those people who gave secrets away to aid the enemy. • punished anyone who interfere with the draft or the war. • Does not allow "communication of national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it." • provided penalties of 20 years imprisonment and fines up to $10,000 for those convicted of interfering with military recruitment.

  17. Congress Takes Action • The Sedition Act of 1918- • illegal to express opposition to the war. • Illegal to critize the President or Congress about the war. • An amendment to the espionage act and was to be only valid in times of war • "the nation's most extreme antispeech legislation” • one historian reports that "some fifteen hundred prosecutions were carried out under the Espionage and Sedition Acts, resulting in more than a thousand convictions." • Whereas the espionage act was against action, this legislated words.

  18. Is this happening again with Wikileaks and US Patriot Act?