The Role of Government in World War I: Increased Power and Positive Effects
The government increased its role in society through the War Labor Board, War Industries Board, and Food Administration. The war had positive effects on African Americans and women. Is it permissible for the government to create unconstitutional laws during a time of war? How did Americans react to the lack of goods despite increased production?
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1. World War I at Home • 1) Identify two ways the Government increased it’s role in society (opposite of Laissez-Faire) • 2) Evaluate if it is permissible for the Government to create unconstitutional laws during a time of war • 3) Explain how WWI positively effected Af/Am and women.
2. Role of the Government- the government takes more power than ever before to help transform the US into a war machine (opposite of Laissez-Faire) Total war- all aspects of a society (economy, citizenry, and industry) are geared to defeat an enemy at war with • War Labor Board- gave the President authority to settle disputes b/t workers and management • War Industries Board- gave President authority to force businesses to manufacture goods for the war, instead of civilians (ie- women’s shoe companies made combat boots) – Do you feel companies were upset at the President’s intrusion into their work? • Food Administration- (Herbert Hoover) convinced Americans to voluntarily save food (Meatless Tue.) – ¼ of US production went to the war but food prices doubled and clothing tripled for civilians • Why was there a lack of goods for Americans if the country produced more? • How do you feel Americans reacted?
3. Propaganda- one sided information designed to get a response (US Government has to convince to support a war in Europe that does not directly effect the sovereignty or safety of the US with American lives) • Committee on Public Information (George Creel) Government agency created to create propaganda against the Germans (designed to make the Germans look like monsters) • What negative effect will this have on certain groups in the US – Many Americans believed much of the propaganda and began targeting innocent German immigrants as enemy spies
4. Enforcing loyalty and Stifling Dissent- Government made unconstitutional laws to prevent people from speaking out against the war (US Selective Service Act- US instituted the draft) America tried to change its Germanic legacies (German music not played (Beethoven, Mozart), Ger. books removed, food (Hamburgers=liberty steaks, Frankfurters= Victory Dogs/Hot Dogs) Espionage Act- forbid speaking out against the war Trading w. Enemy Act- foreign language publications banned Sedition Act- unlawful to publish disloyal articles against Gov., Pres., War Should the government have the right to suppress liberties during war for the safety of the country? Did the Gov. have to go this far? Schenk v US- Court said Gov. had the right to ban freedom of speech
5. Labor Force- workers in short supply ( Why? Who will fill the need for more workers?) • Women- 1 mil. Enter workforce (take men’s jobs) • Blacks- Great Migration- blacks start to leave south and move to northern cities – Tension- blacks used as strike breakers (Scabs) • Mexicans- imm. increased to work as farm laborers – Gov. incentive- open imm from Mexico, Mexican immigrants were exempt from draft if they worked on farms
6. 1918 Flu Pandemic- infected 500 million people world wide, killing 50+ million people (3-5% of the worlds population) majority were young adults, not the young and elderly one of the worst pandemics in the history of the world (killed more people than the Plague in Europe in 1300’s) How do you think WWI could have contributed to the of the flu? • Origin- spread was believed to have been aided by huge troop movements to Europe and spread due to malnourishment of troops in battle • Impact on US- flu was brought home by returning US soldiers, especially deadly as those who were infected could die within hours • 675,000 Americans died from the flu (60,000 died from fighting WWI)