World War 1 was nothing
like previous wars. This war was something that the U.S was not prepared for,
even though at the time, they were the most industrialized country. This new
war brought an increase in technology, along with an increase in men willing to
fight. Propaganda agencies formed, such as the Creel Committee, to almost
‘sell’ the idea of war to Americans. Although some people were skeptic, a
new-found sense of nationalism swept through the country.
During industrialization, the U.S opened the boarders and
encouraged people to come to the country to work in their factories. This was
great because businesses were thriving and immigrants were able to find a new
sense of home in America. However, when the U.S declared war, many citizens
began to panic because of their family members would maybe soon be in danger.
Because of this, Wilson assured all American citizens that no matter where they
came from, no matter where your family is, if you are in the United States, you
are an American and that all American’s need to come together and support our
country and our troops.
When it came to supporting U.S troops, Wilson encouraged
Americans to ration their food, and to not purchase or eat anything that could
be sent over to those fighting. Besides increasing taxes, another thing that
helped was war bonds. With war bonds, Americans could purchase them, and the
money goes toward paying for the war, and once the war is over they receive
their money and interest it may have collected.
One big thing that sprang from war was the 19th
amendment. This amendment of course, gave women the right to vote. Key leaders
behind the women’s suffrage movement urged Wilson to show is support, for the
war needed the support of women. Silent protest outside of the white house
began, and other radical protest started as well. Women were eventually jailed
for “disturbing the peace”. Once in jail, these women faced terrible and harsh
conditions. Eventually, however, the women were released and Wilson got behind
and support their movement. Because of this, women finally could vote and took
it upon themselves to help the troops in any way they could.
Wilson’s plan of war, his 14 Point speech, is what will
define World War 1. In his speech, he lays out reasons as to what the United
States hopes to accomplish in the war. He says things such as, no more secret
treaties, freedom of the seas, free trade, arms reduction, a formation of the
League of Nations, and a lot of self-determination reasons. The speech shakes
the nation and really lets them know that this war is something serious.
Once the United States declared war, they became allies with
Britain, France, and Russia. The U.S had fought many wars in the past, but to
say they were unprepared would be an understatement. Upon the first six to
eight months of war, they lost 113,000 men to combat and disease. In the novel,
All Quiet On The Western Front, the central idea is that war hurts innocent
people, and kills so many in the process. The novel tells the story from the
German point of view, so it really puts war into a new perspective.
World War 1, in some ways, shaped the United States. It was
their first taste of a real war and opened Americans eyes in many ways. The war
brought us a sense of comradeship and patriotism. World War 1 showed Americans
sorrow and loss, and what it really means to be an American. Because of this
war, American Citizens for generations to come will understand that it is the
land of the free, because of the brave.