Guided Reading Activity Answers. Supporting the war Effort – World War I. The United States Army .
Surprisingly, there were only about 125,000 men in the United States Army in the early stages of World War I. The United States had always feared a standing army, and kept the army at low numbers. The US Navy, in charge of our new expansionist foreign policy in the Pacific and abroad, was much stronger. Now, the army had to expand, and quickly!
Others performed clerical work or telephone and Telegraph jobsOver 30,000 Women Joined the Armed Forces during World War I
“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”
“There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense, for war is the slaughter of human beings, temporarily regarded as enemies, on as large a scale as possible.”
“I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war. I vote no.”Jeannette Rankin: on voting against US entry into World War I
Over 380,000 African-American men supported the United States in its war effort overseas, “Over There.” Blacks served in officially segregated units, not unlike the Buffalo Soldiers had in the Indian Wars and during the Spanish American war. They faced discrimination and were delegated to the lowest positions in the Army. When they arrived in France, African-American soldiers were the only group which was asked to fight under foreign commanders – in their case, under French leadership.
The Croix de Guerre – the war cross – is the highest honor which can be bestowed upon a French Soldier in time of war. Several African-American soldiers won the medal, and African American soldiers fought bravely at the Battles of Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and in the Argonne Forest. Many gave their lives for a nation – the United States - which did not treat them as equals and denied them their civil rights.
The Food Administration was led by Herbert Hoover, an engineer who was moved by compassion for the Belgians to begin a food drive which ended up helping to save many Europeans from starvation. In the United States, he soon began finding ways to collect more food for the troops:
became standard days of the week. He also encouraged Americans to plant “Victory Gardens” in order to grow their own food – and save more for the Allied troops!
African Americans migrate northDuring World War I, Women and african Americans were hired to fill factory jobs.
The sedition act of 1918
This law, passed as the United States entered into World War I, made it a crime to interfere in any way with the recruitment of soldiers into the United States Army or to act in such a way as to undermine American war efforts or support any of the Central Powers. Both Pacifists and radical thinkers were arrested under the law during WW I.
The Sedition Act was an amendment and addition to the Espionage Act which forbid disloyal or anti-government speeches delivered during the war. The law undermined the first amendment’s free speech provisions; it was repealed in 1920. More pacifists were arrested under this provision than enemy sympathizers.The espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918
Many union organizers and labor activists opposed the war, arguing that working men were forced to fight and kill one another for the benefit of rulers, bankers, and businessmen. Frank Little, picture to the right, was lynched in Butte, Montana while organizing anti-war protests which discouraged men to sign up for the draft. Little was a member of the I.W.W., or the “Wobblies.”The arrest of Eugene V. Debs, 1918
“Let me emphasize the fact—and it cannot be repeated too often—that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. “Yours not to reason why; Yours but to do and die.” That is their motto and we object on the part of the awakening workers of this nation. If war is right let it be declared by the people. You who have your lives to lose, you certainly above all others have the right to decide the momentous issue of war or peace. “
- Eugene V. Debs, June 16, 1918, Canton, Ohio
“It is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right to free speech in a country fighting to make democracy safe in the world.”
Some German-Americans were persecuted during the war, as well, particularly those who would not support the Liberty Loan drives or those who spoke the German language in public places. Teaching German in schools was sometimes forbidden, and common German foods, like frankfurters or sauerkraut, took on more American names, like “Liberty Sausages” and “Liberty Cabbage.” Dachshunds, like the one above, became “Liberty Hounds!”