World war one had devastating effects on Europe. The Great War demolished the Austria-Hungary Empire and the Russian Empire.
New states were established out of these former empires including Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia,
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Communism arose in Eastern Europe, and France
and Britain gained many new territories from the defeated nations, as Germany, Austria, and Turkey lost most of their land and resources. However, the effects of the war were also felt across the Atlantic Ocean in America. Due to the war industry in
the USA grew, the women’s movement
progressed, and the government adopted new diplomatic policies. The Great War
affected all areas of life in America,
and continued to have its effect for many years to come.
As a result of the USA joining the war in 1916, industry production
in America boomed. Manufacturers had to keep production up to the pace needed to support the war. In order to produce more material in a short amount of time, new technologies were developed to help manufacturers
meet the needs of the government and people. Also more employment opportunities
opened for women and African-Americans. In the absence of most of the able-bodied
men in American, women became the main population of the factories, and African-Americans migrated to the cities to find jobs
(“Factory Workers” 1). During this time as industry boomed,
so did the economy. More previously unemployed people held jobs, and the finances
of the public, which had been poor since the recession of 1897, improved. However,
as the war ended, and soldiers started to return home, the industry production began to slow, and there was less need for
workers in factories. Many women stopped working, but even so there were not
enough jobs for the men returning home from Europe.
This rising unemployment after a time of industry and economic prosperity, planted the seeds of the coming Great Depression
(“The Results of First World War” 9).
During the boom in industry, many of America’s
men were serving overseas in the war, and therefore unable to uphold their jobs in the factories. In order to fill the vacancies, companies allowed women to work in previously male only jobs. Women began flocking to factories, and working in industries in order to support their families while their
male relatives were away at war (“Women’s Contribution to the War” 1).
This independence of working women carried over into the after effects of the World War I. Previous to the war, many women had embarked on campaigning for universal suffrage, but unfortunately America’s politicians were not ready to give women the
right to vote. However, that attitude changed after the war, because so many
women had shown that their strength and independence was equal to men, and they had helped the war cause in so many ways,
President Wilson urged congress to give women the same rights as men because they deserved it. “We have made partners
of the women in this war; shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnerships
of privilege and right?” (Woodrow Wilson). World War I hugely affected
the politics of America due to the ratification
of the nineteenth amendment.
World War I became a display of new technologies and warfare. The battle
fighting of the nineteenth century was obsolete in the war, instead trench fighting with heavy gunfire and biological weapons
were the warfare of the First World War. This display of ruthless war that ended with so many casualties prompted the United States government and its people a new position concerning war. After the war, Americans felt that they had been too hasty in joining a war in Europe. This sentiment caused a new era of diplomacy that include not becoming involved with
European conflicts. The diplomacy of America
became that unless attacked by a belligerent nation, America
would not enter a war any time soon. This antiwar sentiment lasted until the
1940s when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and the United States
entered into the Second World War. In fact, many believe that in 1941 President
Roosevelt knew about the Pearl Harbor attack, but could not act offensively due to the fierce
antiwar sentiment of the late 1910s that lasted for twenty years. Clearly, the
new diplomacy of not engaging in European affairs and antiwar sentiment was an effect of World War I.
World War one had huge effects on America including highly productive industry that preceded the Great Depression,
jobs given to woman, which helped pass the nineteenth amendment, and a new kind of diplomacy and antiwar sentiment that affected
America’s entrance into World War II. Not only did the American public
feel these effects, but also the loss of so many men in the war affected all of America
and the all of the world. Although, America
suffered some bad effects of the war, certainly it was nothing compared to Europe, where
nations were divided and reformed, and entire countries scourged by warfare. Certainly,
World War I was devastating to America
as well as the entire world.
Dean, Paul. “Woodrow Wilson’s Administration”. Trenches on the Web. 5 pages. Online. Internet. May 28, 2006.
Available at www.worldwar1.com/biowil.html.
“Factory Workers”. Women
in World War One. 2 pages. Online. Internet. May 28, 2006. Available at http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/women_in_world_war_one.html.
to the War”. Women in World War One.
2 pages. Online. Internet. May 28, 2006. Available at http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/women_in_world_war_one.html.
“Results of the First
World War”. World War One. 9
pages. Online. Internet. June 1, 2006. Available at http://www.thecorner.org/hist/wwi/results.html.