Chapter 23

War and Society, 1914-1920

© 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved.

Europe’s Descent into War
• • • • • First World War (1914-1918) Archduke Franz Ferdinand Triple Alliance Triple Entente All sides expect quick victory, all are disappointed • Bloody trench warfare stalemate on Western front
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

American Neutrality
• Wilson—neither threatened vital American interest • Edward M. House and Robert Lansing
– Wilson’s pro-British advisors

• William Jennings Bryan
– Against pro-British tilt

• Germany had no advocates in government • British blockade of Germany
– Violates American neutrality, Wilson protests
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Submarine Warfare
• Unterseeboot (U-boat) • Lusitania (May 1915)
– 1198 killed, 128 Americans – Germans had warned the passenger was a target

• Bryan resigns when Wilson refuses to criticize both British blockade and U-boats • Sussex pledge (1916) • 1916 preparedness measures
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

The Peace Movement
• • • • Women’s Peace Party Carrie Chapman Catt Jane Addams Midwestern Progressives
– Robert LaFollete, George Norris

• American Union Against Militarism • German and Irish Americans
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Wilson’s Vision: “Peace without Victory”
• “He kept us out of war” campaign slogan • League of Nations • Wilson’s crucial elements of lasting peace:
– – – – Freedom of the seas Disarmament Democratic self-government Security against aggression

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

German Escalation
• Russia’s imminent collapse • Germany concentrates on Britain and France
– Renew U-boat war

• "Zimmerman telegram“ • American declaration of war: “make the world safe for democracy”
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

American Intervention
• Russian revolution (1917)
– Vladimir Lenin and Bolshevik Party

• Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918)
– Publication of secret Allied treaties

• German 1918 offensive • American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
– John J. Pershing

• Allied 1918 offensive • Armistice 11-11-1918
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Mobilizing for “Total” War
• Compared to Europe, the U.S. was spared most of the war’s ravages • War’s effect on American society
– Biggest campaign for U.S. since Civil War – Wilson asked for total commitment from U.S. citizens
• Conscription • In army, agriculture, transportation, industry
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Organizing Industry
• Food Administration
– Herbert Hoover

• U.S. Railroad Administration
– William G. McAdoo

• U.S. economy did well in war overall • War Industries Board
– Bernard Baruch
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Organizing Civilian Labor
• Labor shortage • “Great Migration” • Labor movement
– Union membership – Industrial democracy

• National War Labor Board (NWLB)
– Taft and Gompers
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Occupations with Largest Increase in Women, 1910-1920
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Total Membership of American Trade Unions, 1900-1920
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Organizing Military Labor
• Selective Service Act (1917) • African-Americans segregated and barred from combat • IQ tests “prove” superiority of white AngloSaxons
– Also prove half of all men are mental age 13 or less

• Alvin York • 369th regiment

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Paying the Bills
• Raise income tax rates
– Wealthiest hit hard, 67% top income tax rate – Corporations pay “excess profits tax”

• "Liberty Bonds"

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

The First World War and the Federal Budget

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Arousing Patriotic Ardor
• Committee on Public Information (CPI)
– George Creel

• Expand democracy at home
– Labor and industrial democracy – Women’s suffrage

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Wartime Repression
• CRI anti-German propaganda • Liberty cabbage and liberty sandwiches
– (Sour kraut and hamburgers)

• • • • • •

Immigration Restriction Act (1917) German Americans: object of hatred Eighteenth Amendment: Prohibition, 1919 Espionage, Sabotage and Sedition Acts IWW American Protective League

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

The Failure of the International Peace
• Germany’s surrender, 1918 • Wilson goes to Versailles Conference • All combatants publicly accept Wilson’s Fourteen Points basis for negotiation
– – – – Free trade and freedom of the seas Dispute resolution through mediation Self-determination for nations League of Nations

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles
• Allies not committed to 14 Points
– God gave us 10 commandments & we broke them, Wilson gave us 14 points. We shall see”
• Georges Clemenceau, France

– Vittorio Orlando, Italy walks out

• Treaty of Versailles (1919)
– No free trade – Partial self-determination – Germany “war guilt” clause
• lost land and paid reparations

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

The League of Nations
• Wilson felt creation of League as most important point • Would redeem failings of Versailles Conference • Article X
– Endowed the League with power to punish aggressor nations via economic isolation and military retaliation
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Wilson versus Lodge: The Fight over Ratification
• • • • • • • Republicans win Senate majority in 1918 “Irreconcilables" Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts Constitutional question of Article X Desire of some to humiliate Wilson Pueblo, Colorado Treaty defeated

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

The Treaty’s Final Defeat
• Wilson would not accept alterations of the Treaty • Lodge version of the Treaty was put to vote again – and was defeated • United States never ratified the Treaty of Versailles
– Legacy of Treaty’s defeat

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

The Postwar Period: A Society in Convulsion
• Continued struggles between workers and employers • Soldiers trying to reclaim livelihood vs. women, blacks, Hispanics who had been recruited to fill in • Returning black veterans • Federal government moved to decentralize power that had occurred during the War
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Labor-Capital Conflict
• Boston Police strike (1919)
– Calvin Coolidge

• Steel strike (1919)

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Radicals and the Red Scare
• Radicalism sentiment on the rise in postWWI labor movement • “Red Scare” • Russian Revolution splits U.S. Socialists • "Palmer raids“ • Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Racial Conflict and the Rise of Black Nationalism
• “New Negro” • Frustrated ad disappointed AfricanAmericans veterans • Race riots • Universal Negro Improvement Association
– Marcus Garvey
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

Conclusion
• Effects of war on the U.S. social fabric
– Industrial workers, immigrants and radicals – Fear, intolerance, and repression resulted in extreme class, ethnic, and racial tensions

• Collapse of the Progressive Movement • Wilson’s dashed dreams for a new and democratic world order
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved