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Consequences of War

Consequences of War

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Consequences of War

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  1. Consequences of War

  2. Committee on Public Information • Government agency responsible for coordinating pro-war propaganda • Distributed pamphlets, arranged public speakers, recorded songs, and made short patriotic films • Government assumed new role of manipulating public opinion, controlling what information about the war the public had access to

  3. Espionage Act of 1917 • Prohibited any attempt to interfere with military operations, support America's enemies during wartime, to promote insubordination in the military, or interfere with military recruitment

  4. Sedition Act of 1918 • Limited freedom of speech by making it illegal to publicly express any opposition to the war • Government could (and did) prosecute anyone who criticized the government

  5. Schenck v. US (1919) • Charles Schenck, a socialist, had been sending pamphlets to men urging them not to report if drafted • Schenck was convicted of violating the Espionage Act • Supreme Court upheld Schenck’s conviction and ruled that an individual’s freedom of speech can be limited by the government when it presents a “clear and present danger,” such as during times of war

  6. Eugene V. Debs • 1855 – 1926 • 5-time Socialist candidate for US President • Gave an anti-war speech in 1918 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for violating the Sedition Act (only served 3 years) • Appealed to the Supreme Court; the result of Debs v. US was the same as Schenck v. US

  7. National War Labor Board • Federal agency which acted to mediate and quickly settle labor disputes to avoid disrupting the war effort • Pressured industry to keep workers happy with increased wages, shorter workdays, and respect for unions

  8. Population Shifts • European immigration halted during the war • This created employment opportunities for minorities • Many blacks left the South for factory jobs in the North (The Great Migration) • Many Mexicans entered the US to fill the labor shortage on farms in the Southwest and in factories in the North

  9. Post-war Inflation • As regular factory production resumed, demand for consumer goods skyrocketed, driving up prices • Inflation in 1919 alone was over 15% • Rising cost-of-living led to increased wage demands by labor

  10. Seattle General Strike • Shipbuilders in Seattle went on strike for better wages, inspiring other workers in Seattle to follow suit • 60,000 workers went on strike, but gained little before returning to work • Still, the size of the strike and its effect on the city were alarming

  11. Boston Police Strike • 1919: 75% of police went on strike for higher pay, leading to rioting and looting due to lawlessness • Gov. Calvin Coolidge sent in the National Guard to restore order • When policemen tried to return to work, they were fired and replaced with new hires, with Coolidge’s approval

  12. The Steel Strike • 350,000 steel workers went on strike • US Steel blamed the strike on foreign immigrants, painted the strikers as un-American • Hired African-Americans and Mexican immigrants to replace the workers and keep the steel mills running • Despite several violent clashes, the striking workers gained nothing

  13. The Red Scare of 1919-20 • Labor unrest led to fears that Communists were trying to create a revolt in the US similar to the one in Russia • April 1919: dozens of bombs were sent through the US Mail to important government officials and business leaders, further encouraging the belief that communists were plotting against the US

  14. The Palmer Raids • Federal agents raided the headquarters of various radical organizations, trying to identify the terror bombers • No evidence was ever found, but hundreds of immigrants were deported due to suspicion • Agents entered homes without search warrants, jailed individuals without charges, and refused lawyers – all violations of basic civil rights

  15. A. Mitchell Palmer • 1872 – 1936 • US Attorney General • Became an assassination target of anarchists, survived two bomb attacks • Organized a new branch of the Justice Department – the General Intelligence Unit (GIU) – to investigate “radical” organizations

  16. J. Edgar Hoover • 1895 – 1972 • Hand picked by Palmer to head the GIU, remained in charge until his death in 1972 (the GIU became the FBI in 1935) • Well known for using extralegal methods

  17. Sacco & Vanzetti • Ferdinando Nicola Sacco (1891–1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888–1927) • Italian immigrants • 1920: Convicted of armed robbery and murder in a highly controversial trial, many believed they were blamed simply due to the fact that they were immigrants and associated with anarchists • Executed in 1927, despite a confession to the crime by another individual

  18. Urban Race Riots • Violent racism erupted in Northern cities as WWI veterans returned to work only to find themselves competing with blacks and Mexican immigrants for jobs • Worst was in Chicago where a two-week long riot killed 38 and injured hundreds

  19. The Ku Klux Klan • The KKK was reborn in 1915 as a much more formally structured organization • Preached on the purification of America, practiced racism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Communism, nativism, and antisemitism • Strongest in Midwestern cities like Detroit & Chicago • May have reached membership of 15 million

  20. Anti-German Sentiments • Sauerkraut became “liberty cabbage,” hamburger became “Salisbury steak” • Schools stopped teaching German • Orchestras refused to play works by German-born conductors like Beethoven

  21. American Protective League • Private citizens’ group founded in 1917 (with the approval of the DOJ) to monitor German-Americans for signs of anti-war sentiments and to report draft dodgers • Officially disbanded in 1919, but local branches continued to operate in conjunction with other racist groups such as the KKK

  22. 18th Amendment • The push to ban alcohol in the US was also motivated by discrimination • Vodka was a Russian drink, while beer was a German drink – both groups who were out of favor in the United States

  23. A “Return to Normalcy” • Election of 1920 was won by Republican Warren G. Harding • Harding campaigned on a return to simpler times • Americans had tired of the reforms of Progressivism, the unrest of war and labor disputes

  24. Washington Naval Conference • 1922: Meeting in Washington DC between the US, Great Britain, Japan, and other nations with interests in the Pacific • Purpose of the conference was to defuse potential future conflicts in the Pacific • All parties agreed to limit the sizes of their navies, restrict certain types of armaments, and to not fortify islands in the Pacific • This agreement made it easier for Japan to expand its empire

  25. Dawes Plan • 1924: When Germany could not meet its reparation debts from the Treaty of Versailles, the US loaned Germany the money to refinance its debt • US wanted to avoid the possibility of a new conflict in Europe