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World War I

What Were the Effects of WWI in America?

WWI Timeline
Causes of WWI
American Homefront During WWI
Effects of WWI in America

Casualties of the War

      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.  



Work Cited

Dean, Paul. “Woodrow Wilson’s Administration”.  Trenches on the Web.  5 pages. Online.  Internet.  May 28, 2006.  Available at

“Factory Workers”.  Women in World War One.  2 pages.  Online.  Internet.  May 28, 2006.  Available at

“Women’s Contribution to the War”.  Women in World War One.  2 pages.  Online.  Internet.  May 28, 2006.  Available at

“Results of the First World War”.  World War One.  9 pages.  Online.  Internet.  June 1, 2006.  Available at





Early Gas Masks

AP US History 2006