America Mobilizes for War

Thien Nguyen & William DePriest Hour 4

Summary of America Mobilizes for War

War affects not only soldiers, but citizens as well and war touches the lives of million individuals. The people at home who did not go to war worked at home instead and the had the job to make the food, make the guns and ammo, and the also shape the information that others receive about the war for soldiers.

Building an Army

Due to the lack of soldiers, President Wilson encouraged Americans to volunteer for service and push congress to pass the Selective Service Act. The Selective Service Act is an act that requires the young men of America to go to Europe and serve, this act was passed on May 1917. The day (June 5, 1917) this act was put into place 9.6 million Americans enrolled into the army. Secretary of war Newton D. Baker pulled the number 258, which chose the first draftees. 2.8 Million were drafted into the armed forces. The war had 4.8 million soldiers overall and over 4 million of those soldiers were sent to help the Allies in France.

Constructing a War Economy

The Council of National Defense was created in August 1916, it was created to help regulate food production, coal and petroleum distribution, and railway uses. This meant that the government determined what crops farmers grew, what products industries produced, and how supplies moved around on the nation's train. The War Industries Board (WIB) became the new of National Defense, headed by Bernard Baruch (an influential wall street investment broker). The WIB regulated all industries engaged in the war. Free enterprise was overshadowed by the need of war materials. It was better to cooperate than compete in order to defeat the Central Powers and because of that the people of America had patriotic gestures which influence American to conserve food. So then President Hoover instituted wheatless Mondays and Wednesdays, meatless Tuesdays, and porkless Thursdays and Saturdays.

Shaping Public Opinion

President Hoover's efforts would have been worthless if the American people didn't believe in the war, but around that time the people did not really know what the war was about. So then the Committee on Public Information(CPI) was created to help educate the people of America. The CPI had to convince Americans that the war effort was a just cause. President Wilson appointed George Creel as the director of the CPI(A former journalist and a passionate admirer of American institution), Creel campaign with "sell America". The CPI gave out 75 million pamphlets and 6,000 press release, they also got an army of 75,000 speakers who help educate the Americans. The CPI dramatized the needs of America and its allies within posters, they also stressed the cruelty and wickedness of the enemy (Germany). This caused all kinds of aggravated resentment toward German Americans. Using these methods the CPI earned support for American war effort.