nated by the prospect of adventure and heroism. . . . Here was our one great chance for excitement and risk. We could not afford to pass it up. ” —quoted in Doughboy War The Home Front World War I recruiting poster May 1918 Sedition Act passed September 1918 Eugene Debs imprisoned 1919 Schenck v. United States ✦ 1918 ✦ 1919 ✦ 1917 Main Idea To successfully fight the war, the United States had to mobilize the entire nation. Key Terms and Names conscription, War Industries Board, Bernard Baruch, victory garden, Liberty Bond, Victory Bond, Committee on Public Information, espionage Reading Strategy Taking Notes As you read about how the United States mobilized for war, use the major headings of the section to cre- ate an outline similar to the one below. Reading Objectives • Analyze how the United States raised an army and won support for World War I. • Explain how the economy was con- trolled to support the war. Section Theme Government and Democracy To fight the war, the federal government created new agencies to mobilize the economy, draft soldiers, and build public support. The Home Front I. Building Up the Military A. B. C. II. A. B.
Many progressives believed that conscription — forced military service—was a violation of demo- cratic and republican principles. Realizing a draft was necessary, however, Congress, with Wilson’s support, created a new system called selective serv- ice. Instead of having the military run the draft, the Selective Service Act of 1917 required all men between 21 and 30 to register for the draft. A lottery randomly determined the order they were called before a local draft board in charge of selecting or exempting people from military service. The thousands of local boards were the heart of the system. The members of the draft boards were civil- ians from local communities. Progressives believed local people, understanding community needs, would know which men to draft. Eventually about 2.8 million Americans were drafted. Volunteers for War Not all American soldiers were drafted. Approximately 2 million men volun- teered for military service. Some had heard stories of German atrocities and wanted to fight back. Others believed democracy was at stake. Many believed they had a duty to respond to their nation’s call. They had grown up listening to stories of the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. They saw this war as a great adventure and wanted to fight for their country’s cause. To soldiers such as Justin Klingenberger, “War consisted of following the flag over a shell-torn field, with fixed bayonet . . . pushing the Hun back from trench to trench. . . .” Although the horrors of the war soon became clear to the American troops, their morale remained high, helping to ensure an Allied victory. African Americans in the War Of the nearly 400,000 African Americans who were drafted, about 42,000 served overseas as combat troops. African American soldiers encountered discrimination and prejudice in the army. They served in racially segregated units almost always under white officers.
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- Fall '16
- Robert Hassell
- World War I