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Unit - The Violent Release: World War I and Beyond (1914-1920)-- Mr. Reidy
Explore the World War One
American Home Front
Virtual Field Trip
Home Front
How did the United States
ready its military, economy,
and people for war?
Explain at least one effort
from the five homefront
contributions: volunteer
work, civil defense,
conservation efforts,
economic initiatives,
patriotic support.
• Compare and contrast the
reasons why some Americans
did not support the war.
• How did the war provide
new opportunities for
women, African Americans,
and Mexican Americans?
Discover the American Home Front
During World War One!
America Mobilizes
for War
Home Front
Click on a picture to experience
your field trip!
Opposition and
War Changes
American Society
America Mobilizes for War
– War affects many things, but its greatest impact is on
the lives of ordinary people. People fight, sacrifice,
and sometimes die in war. People work to produce
the food that soldiers eat and the guns that soldiers
fire. War touches the lives of millions of individuals.
• Building an Army
• Constructing a War Economy
• Shaping Public Opinion
America Mobilizes for War:
Building an Army
Where was the
American Army “built?”
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When the United States
entered World War I, the United
States Army was only a fraction of
the size of European armies.
To build the army, President
Wilson encouraged Americans to
volunteer for service and pushed
Congress to pass the Selective
Service Act, or known as the draft
for young men for military service
in Europe.
More than 24 million
Americans registered for the draft
and about 2.8 million were actually
drafted, along with about 2 million
America Mobilizes for War:
Constructing a War Economy
Where was the
War economy “built?”
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While the selective service
commission raised an army, President
Wilson worked to shift the national
economy from peacetime to wartime
First, the Council of National
Defense, which was formed in 1916,
created an array of new federal
administration agencies to oversee
different phases of the war effort – such
as food production, coal and petroleum
distribution, and railway use.
The government, and the War
Industries Board determined what crops
farmers grew, what products industries
produced, and how supplies moved
around on the nation’s trains.
War Industries Board
America Mobilizes for War:
Shaping Public Opinion
Government efforts would
have been fruitless if the American
people did not believe in supporting
the war. Most Americans did not
understand the reaons for the war in
1914, and many questioned why the
United States became involved in
It was the job of the
Committee on Public Information
(CPI) to educate the public about
the causes and nature of the war.
The CPI had to convince
Americans that the war effort was a
just cause.
How was the American
opinion shaped?
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CPI poster
Home Front Contributions
– Swept up by patriotic fervor, most Americans
participated in efforts to strengthen their countries
cause. Americans knew that victory depended on a
strong home front.
Volunteer Work
Conservation Efforts
Economic Initiatives
Patriotic Support
Home Front Contributions:
Volunteer Work
Where did Americans
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Americans made
bandages, knit socks,
collected books and enrolled
in Red Cross, Victory Corps
and Civilian Defense
organizations to support the
troops abroad.
Home Front Contributions:
Conservation Efforts
How did conserving food on the
home front help the war effort?
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After the United States entered the
war in April 1917, President Woodrow
Wilson appointed Hoover head of the
American Food Administration.
Hoover believed "food will win the
war." He established set days to
encourage people to avoid eating
particular foods in order to save them for
soldiers' rations. Hoover instituted
wheatless Mondays and Wednesdays,
meatless Tuesdays, and porkless
Thursdays and Saturdays.
Hoover also asked Americans to
conserve food as a patriotic gesture.
Home Front Contributions:
Economic Initiatives
Explain the economic efforts on
the American home front.
War bonds and stamps were
sold to provide war funds, women
went to work in factories and the
War Production Board promoted
increased industry efforts.
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Home Front Contributions:
Patriotic Support
How was America patriotic?
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War songs, movies, rallies,
victory concerts, v-mail, buttons,
medals, memorials and monuments
encouraged patriotic efforts at home.
Opposition and its Consequences
– The Committee on Public Information’s (CPI) work was important
because Americans did not always peacefully agree with one another
about the war. Some people treated German Americans with prejudice,
while others were pacifists who opposed war. To quite dissent, or
differing opinions, the government acted in ways that sometimes violated
individual liberties.
Resistance to the Draft
Women work for Peace
The Government Cracks Down on Dissent
Prejudice Against German Americans
Opposition and its Consequences:
Resistance to the Draft
The draft created controversy.
Some men refused to cooperate
with the Selective Service Act
because the act was seen as an
illegal intrusion of the federal
government into their private lives.
Some were often court-martialed
and imprisoned.
Another group resisted the
draft by becoming conscientious
objectors, people whose moral or
religious beliefs forbid them to fight
in wars.
Why did some resist the draft?
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Opposition and its Consequences:
Women Work for Peace
How did some women mobilize themselves
prior and during WWI?
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Some American women also
opposed the war. Before the war, a
number of leading American feminists,
including reformer Jane Addams,
formed the Women’s Peace Party and,
with pacifist women from other
countries, the Women’s International
League for Peace and Freedom.
Jeannette Rankin, the first
woman to serve in the U.S. House of
Representatives, voted against the
declaration of war. When America
joined the war, groups like the National
American Woman Suffrage Association
supported America’s war objectives.
Opposition and its Consequences:
The Government cracks down on dissent
Why did the American Government
crack down on dissent?
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Some felt that the work of the
Committee of Public Information
(CPI) violated free expression and
democracy. Authorities tended to treat
harshly individuals who worked
against the goal of winning the war.
In June 1917, Congress passed
the Espionage Act, allowing postal
authorities to ban treasonable print
materials from the mail. In 1918,
Congress limited freedom of speech
even further with the Sedition Act.
The act made it unlawful to use any
negative language towards the
American government. In Schenck v.
United States, the Supreme Court
supported the constitutionality of the
Sedition Act, claiming that war leads
suppression of personal freedoms and
individual rights.
Opposition and its Consequences:
Prejudice Against German Americans
Why were some Americans prejudice
towards German Americans?
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Some German Americans were
treated harshly during the war.
Americans regarded Germany – with
its arrogant Kaiser, ruthless generals,
and spike-helmeted solders – as the
primary foe among Central Powers.
Popular movies, such as The Kaiser,
the Beast of Berlin, as well as some
CPI posters and speeches intensified
the feeling of portraying Germany as
a cruel enemy.
Anything with a German
meaning, like food, was renamed or
discontinued. Some German
Americans were harassed, others
were beaten, and a few were killed for
no other reason than they were born
in Germany or spoke with a German
The War Changes American Society
– The war not only changed the economic and
political lives of Americans, but it also brought
substantial social changes.
• Women Embrace New Opportunities
• African Americans follow Opportunity North
• Mexican Americans Move North
The War Changes American Society:
Women Embrace New Opportunities
Before the war, some
American women campaigned for
women’s suffrage. They won the
vote in several western states and
still hoped to gain the franchise
As men entered the armed
forces, many women moved into the
workforce for the first time. Women
proved that they could succeed in
any type of job.
Many feared that the war
would draw attention away from
their efforts. In fact, the war gave
women new chances and won them
the right to vote in 1919. Congress
passed the 19th Amendment.
How did American women embrace
new opportunities?
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The War Changes American Society:
African Americans follow Opportunity North
Thousands of African
Americans enlisted or were drafted
into the army and participated in
Europe, where they were
segregated on the battlefields.
Desiring a better living back
home, the Great Migration was a
movement of African Americans
from the rural South to the
industrial North.
African Americans were
pushed from the South by Jim Crow
segregation laws, racial violence,
low-paying jobs, decline of cotton
crop. African Americans were
pulled to the North by economic
prosperity, job openings, and aid.
What influenced African Americans
to travel north?
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The War Changes American Society:
Mexican Americans Move North
Some of the same reasons
that led African Americans to move
north caused Mexicans to cross the
border into the United States. Many
Mexicans also faced violence and
desperate poverty, and they also
wanted better lives for themselves
and their children.
Most Mexicans immigrated to
the American West. Increased
demands for food and a decrease in
American farm workers created jobs
that Mexican migrants filled.
What influenced Mexican Americans
to travel north?
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