soldiers and those from overseas European possessions o German Kaiser abdicated on Nov. 9 th and two days later Germany sued for peace The War at home The progressives’ war o Progressive intellectuals and reformers, joined by prominent labor leaders and native-born socialists, rallied to support Wilson The wartime State o WWI created a national state with unprecedented powers and a sharply increased presence in Americans’ everyday lives o Under the Selective Service Act of May 1917, 24 million men were required to register with the draft
Selective service act was a law passed in 1917 to quickly increase enlistment in the army for the US’ entry into WWI; required men to register with the draft o New federal agencies moved to regulate industry, transportation, labor relations and agriculture o War industries board (board run by financier Bernard Baruch that planned production and allocation of water material, supervised purchasing and fixed prices, 1917-1919) Established standardized specifications for everything from automobile tires to shoe colors o Railroad Administration took control of the nation’s transportation system and the Fuel Agency rationed coal and oil o The War Labor Board pressed for the establishment of a minimum wage, 8-hour workday and the right to form unions o To finance the war, corporate and individual income taxes rose enormously The propaganda War o The Wilson administration decided that patriotism was too important to leave to the private sector o The IWW and most of the Socialist party condemned the declaration of war as “a crime against the people of the US” and called on “the workers of all countries” to refuse to fight o In April 1917, the Wilson administration created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) to explain to Americans and the world, George Creel said, “the cause that compelled America to take arms in defense of its liberties and free institutions” CPI flooded the country with pro-war propaganda o Abroad, the CPI’s appeal meant a peace based on the principle of national self- determination o At home, it meant improving “industrial democracy” o The war was being fought in “the great cause of freedom” said by the CPI The coming of woman suffrage o The enlistment of “democracy” and “freedom” as ideological war weapons inevitably inspired demands for their expansion at home o In 1916, Wilson had cautiously endorsed votes for women o America’s entry into the war threatened to tear the suffrage movement apart o Jeannette Rankin voted against the declaration of war Ended her political career when she opposed the declaration of war against Japan in 1941 o Most leaders of woman suffrage organizations gladly enlisted in the effort Sold war bonds Organized patriotic rallies Went to work in war production jobs
o A new generation of college-educated activists organize in the National Woman’s Party, pressed for the right to vote with militant tactics that many older suffrage
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- Spring '08