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The American Home Front During World War 1

Essay by review  •  February 20, 2011  •  Essay  •  789 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,073 Views

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(Just as a side note, I had pictures of the posters in the original paper but couldn't transfer them to here. The first link in the bibliography has tons of WW1 propaganda posters you can use.)

World War I changed America greatly. It had an obvious effect on the way we handle business on the home front. Propaganda, rationing, and political views all played a part on American citizens in World War I.

"Propaganda was a huge tool used to sway citizens toward a particular political view. "The U.S.A. entered World War One in April 1917, but lost no time in producing many more propaganda posters than any other single nation. These encompassed recruitment to the various armed services, plus - frequently - the raising of war finance via the hugely successful liberty bond issues." (firstworldwar.com)

This poster is an example of propaganda used to try and convince Americans to help the cause by using resources wisely.

Here is a poster showing American children that they have it good. It put things into perspective. Even though they may have thought their lives were in shambles, they were really luxurious compared to the people in Europe who's homes were destroyed and who had little food.

War bonds, or liberty bonds, were sold during the war. People would pay a certain amount of money for them, with the promise of the bonds being worth more money down the road. The American government used bonds to help pay for the costs of the war. The government also was in need of people willing to go into the armed forces. They recruited heavily to make sure they had enough troops to win the war with minimum loss of life.

Rationing was a large part of the war effort. Families would be limited in how much sugar, flour, gasoline, rubber, butter, and other things that they could buy. If they went over their limit and needed more, they were out of luck. Everything was needed for the war. Gasoline to run the machinery, rubber for the tank treads and tires, metal for the armory, and sugar and flour for food for the soldiers. Often people would hold rallies where everyone would bring in unused metal scraps, rubber, and other things they don't need to be used for the war. People also planted liberty gardens, so they wouldn't need to buy everything from the store.

Political views played a great part in shaping America during World War I. Previously, every war was because of a great and direct threat to American existence. In the case of World War I, we went to war to preserve democracy. Germany certainly wouldn't have wiped us off the map. America also tried to maintain neutrality, electing Woodrow Wilson on the slogan "He kept us out of war." (fff.org)

The American people were easily manipulated into anti-German and pro-war beliefs. More "American-like" names were given to certain things. Hamburgers became Salisbury steaks because Hamburg was located in Germany. Sauerkraut became liberty cabbage, because sauerkraut was a German name. Beethoven's

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