The Home Front 19.2
Objectives • Analyze how the American government mobilized the public to support the war effort. • Describe opposition to the war • Outline significant social changes that occurred during the war.
Key Parts • America Mobilizes for War • Opposition and Its Consequences • The War Changes American Society
Introduction • Read section 19.2 • Answer critical thinking questions 4&5.
America Mobilizes for War • War impacts the lives of everyone who lives in the countries involved. • It takes people to produce the food that soldiers eat, the guns they fire, and the uniforms they wear. • It takes men to fill the slots as soldiers and go off to war. • President Wilson pushed for volunteer service.
Cont. • Wilson passed the Selective Service Act in May of 1917 authorizing the draft of young men for military service in Europe. • On the first day of it enactment more than 9.6 million Americans registered for the draft and were assigned a number. • Over the course of the war 2.8 million men were drafted. In total the number of men in uniform was 4.8 million.
Cont.. • Once this occurred Wilson worked to shift the national economy into wartime production. • The War Industries Board (WIB), headed by Bernard Baruch was formed to regulate industries and agriculture to supply the war effort. • The Committee on Public Information (CPI) was formed to educated Americans on the War and why we were involved and to grow nationalism.
Cont… • The CPI distributed 75 million pamphlets and 6,000 press releases and assembled 75,000 speakers who gave speeches on America’s war aims and the nature of the enemy as well as the needs of the Nation. • George Creel was the director of CPI, he was a writer so he knew the importance of dramatizing the situation to the public.
Opposition and Its Consequences • The draft created controversy, some Americans believed it was an illegal intrusion of the federal government. • Some men refused to cooperate with the Selective Service process (they were imprisoned or court marshaled) • 12% of men dodged the draft by various means.
Cont. • Another group resisted the draft by becoming conscientious objectors, people whose moral or religious beliefs forbid them to fight in wars. • The United States was not open for debate on the War. • In June 1917 Congress passed the Espionage Act, allowing postal authorities to ban treasonable or seditious newspapers, magazines, or printed materials from the mail. (anything opposing the War)
Cont.. • Anyone found obstructing the war effort could be punished with up to a $10,000 fine and 20 years of imprisonment. • German Americans during this time did face some discrimination. • The United States also quit teaching German in public schools and quit playing Beethoven and Brahms in music.
The War Changes American Society • The war changed the economic, political, and social changes to the life of Americans. • New opportunities opened up for women, African Americans, and Mexican Americans. • As the men went off to war, someone was needed to fill their jobs. • Women filled jobs that were vacated by men, and also began taking jobs with the Red Cross, or the American Women’s Hospital Service.
Cont. • The help that women provided during the war is what convinced congress to pass the nineteenth amendment. • Giving women the right to vote. • African Americans were allowed to enlist in the military. Roughly 367,000 African Americans served in the military. • Mexican Americans found jobs working on ranches and large farms that were producing goods for the war effort.