11.3 The War at Home

11.3 The War at Home
How did the war change American
society at home?
Congress Gives Power to Wilson
• The U.S. needed the help of industry to
fight the war; the economy had to change
from making consumer goods to making
weapons and war supplies
• Congress gave direct control over much of
the economy to President Wilson
• He had the power to fix prices and
regulate war-related industries
• Wilson created the War Industries Board (WIB),
an agency run by Bernard M. Baruch, which
helped boost industrial production by 20 percent
• Other federal agencies regulated the economy
for the war effort, controlling railroads, coal,
gasoline, and heating oil
• Many workers joined unions due to losing
money from inflation; because of this, Wilson
established the National War Labor Board to
help improve working conditions and settle
disputes between management and labor
Selling the War
• The government needed to raise money for the
war, and did so by increasing several kinds of
taxes and selling war bonds; volunteers,
celebrities, and newspapers all promoted the
bonds for free
• To popularize the war, the government created
the Committee on Public Information (CPI), the
nation’s first propaganda agency, headed by
George Creel, a former muckraking journalist
• He used artists and advertising people to create
thousands of posters, paintings, and cartoons to
promote the war
Attacks on Civil Liberties Increase
• The war brought out many anti-immigrant
feelings, especially against Germans; Americans
with German sounding names lost jobs,
orchestras refused to play German music, and
some towns with German names changed them
• Congress passed the Espionage and Sedition
Acts to punish people who did not support the
war effort in any way
• These laws violated the First Amendment, and
led to 6000 arrests and 1500 convictions for
antiwar activities, especially against socialists
and union leaders
The War Encourages Social
• The war sped up the Great Migration, which was
the movement of thousands of African
Americans from the South to cities of the North;
they wanted to escape racial discrimination and
find jobs in Northern industries
• American women did jobs that had previously
been done only by men; their activities made
them more visible and soon after the war,
women were finally granted the right to vote