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America in World War 1

Woodrow Wilson

America in World War 1: Woodrow Wilson was the 28th American President who served in office from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. One of the most important events was America in  WW1 and the events at home.

Definition and Summary of the America in World War 1
Summary and definition:
The home front of America in World War I witnessed a systematic mobilization of the entire population and the economy to produce the troops, food supplies, munitions and money needed to win the war. Federal Mobilization Agencies were established including the War Industries Board, the Committee on Public Information, National War Labor Board and Railroad, Food and Fuel Administrations.

Facts on America in WW1 for kids: US Neutrality violated
At the outbreak of WW1 President Wilson adopted a neutral position in an effort to keep America from being drawn into the war that was raging in Europe. His neutral stance kept the US out of the US conflict for 2Ĺ years but the actions of Germany violated US neutrality by attacking international shipping with its unrestricted U-Boat submarine warfare campaign.

Facts on America in WW1:US declares War on April 6, 1917
America declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and the ill-prepared nation was faced with meeting the demands of entry into World War One - the Great War. In April 1917, the American Army numbered only 300,000 including all the National Guard units that could be federalized for national service.

Facts on America in WW1: Government Action
Plans for the US entry into WWI were put into immediate effect:

The military needed to be built up

Industry needed to be organized to increase efficiency and production

Money had to raised to support the war effort and pay for the war

The workforce needed to be mobilized

Food and Fuel had to be conserved

The US government needed to ensure support of its citizens for the war

Legislation to curtail antiwar activities, espionage and enemies at home

Facts about America in World War 1
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on America in World War 1.

The date of the US entry into WW1 was April 6, 1917, two and a half years after the war had begun. The date that World War 1 ended was 11 November 1918.

On May 18, 1917 the United States passed the Selective Service Act with a new conscription system requiring all men between the ages of 21 - 30 to register for the draft. A lottery randomly determined
the order men were called before a local draft board (run by civilians from local communities) in charge of exempting or selecting people for military service.

Just under 3 million Americans were drafted in WW1 and approximately 2 million others volunteered for military service.

African Americans in WW1: 400,000 African Americans were drafted during the war, and over 40,000 African Americans served overseas as combat troops

African Americans in WW1 - the "Great Migration": The number of white workers drafted and the halt of immigration from Europe led to a need for additional labor in factories and industries in the north. Between 300,000 and 500,000 African Americans left the South to settle in Northern cities which became known as the "Great Migration"

The labor shortage caused by WW1 also prompted the US government to encourage Mexicans to work in the United States. Between 1917 - 1920, over 100,000 Mexicans migrated to provide labor for the farmers of the Southwest - For more facts check out Mexican Migration

Women in the US Army: Over 20,000 nurses served in the army during WWI including more than 10,000 overseas

Women in the US Navy: The navy authorized the enlistment of women mainly to meet its clerical requirements but also as torpedo assemblers, radio operators and pharmacists. Over 11,000 women served in the US navy during WWI.

Women also took jobs in factories and industries producing supplies needed for the war effort.

Hollywood joined in the war effort making propaganda movies and shorts and the movie stars encouraged the sale of war bonds.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL), and nearly all labor unions were strong supporters of the war effort.

Other special boards were established to encourage cooperation between the government and big business ensuring efficient use of national resources to further the war effort

In May 1917 the US government passed the Lever Food and Fuel Act. Food Administration was headed by Herbert Hoover in an effort to conserve food and boost agricultural output in the US.

In May 1917 the Committee on Public Information, also known as the CPI or the Creel Committee was established. The Creel Committee began to issue official propaganda. In Washington, D.C. daily 'Official Bulletins' were issued to convince Americans to influence U.S. public opinion regarding American participation in World War I.

The Black Tom explosion on July 30, 1916, in Jersey City, New Jersey, was an act of sabotage by German agents to destroy munitions that were to be supplied to the Allies in World War I.

Rumors about biological sabotage in Russia  (in the form of anthrax and glanders) undertaken on behalf of the Imperial German government reached America and raised the nation's fears of internal attacks

The National Defense Act was passed on June 3, 1916. The Espionage Act of 1917 became effective on June 15, 1917 and designed to punish acts of interference with the foreign relations, US foreign commerce, to punish espionage.

There was a strong wave of anti-German sentiments and German citizens were required to register with the federal government and always carry their registration cards.

In July 1917 the War Industries Board - WIB was created to coordinate the production of war materials

On August 23, 1917 the Federal Fuel Administration, run by Harry Garfield, was created to manage the nationís use of oil and coal. To conserve energy, Harry Garfield introduced daylight savings time and shortened workweeks for factories that did not manufacture war materials.

On December 26, 1917 the U.S. government took temporary control of nation's railroads under the Federal Possession and Control Act in order to increase operating efficiency and modernize equipment.

In March 1918 Congress created the National War Labor Board  to prevent strikes that would disrupt production in war industries.

The cost of the war was paid for by increasing taxes and by selling Liberty Bonds and Victory Bonds

The Sedition Act of 1918 became effective on May 16, 1918 extending the Espionage Act of 1917 to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speeches containing expressions of doubt about America's role in the war or interfered with the sale of government bonds.

The Fourteen Points Speech: President Woodrow Wilson presented a speech to a joint session of the US Congress on January 8, 1918 containing fourteen points he considered were essential elements for a peaceful settlement of WW1

Fighting during World War 1 ceased when an Armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month on November 11, 1918.

US American History
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Outbreak and Causes of World War 1
US Facts about WW1

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