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Powerful Americans During Wwi Essay

1221 words - 5 pages

I.The United States was a neutral nation when World War I started in 1914. According to American tradition, it was none of the United States' business to be involved with wars of other nations. But the mood soon changed when the United States felt that Germany was violating international law with unrestricted submarine warfare. Within the United States, acts of German sabotage and the use of poison gas in warfare helped change American opinions of Germany. Americans now feared that if Germany were to win the war, democracy would no longer be safe. President Woodrow Wilson's biggest desire was of course for peace during the war to end wars. He was inaugurated for his second term on April 2, ...view middle of the document...

Another powerful man like Baruch was Herbert Hoover, who headed the Lever Food and Fuel Control Act. This particular act set the price of farm products and formed a cooperation to buy all US and Cuban sugar. It also encouraged increased population to key areas in order to maintain a large supply of food to export to the Allies. To avoid problems such as rationing, voluntary food conservation for the war effort was encouraged with observances such as "Meatless Tuesdays" and "Wheatless Wednesdays". Food exports rose about six tons, and for his efforts, Hoover gained much public recognition and admiration.One of the major problems at home during the war was moving equipment and supplies on the less-than-modern rail system that ran throughout the United States. In an effort to modernize and nationalize the system, The US Railroad Administration was created in December of 1917. Essentially, the railroads became the property of the government that then spent the necessary money to repair and modernize the system. Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo, as Director-General of Railroads ran the trains as a single unit, pooling all of the railroad equipment, centralizing purchasing, standardizing accounting practices and raising wages and rates. This then allowed for the modernization of the railways and aided in the movement of soldiers, supplies, and other war materials.In April of 1918, an agency was created to foster the use of maximum manpower at home without the usual antagonism and periodic strikes that characterized the usual relationship between business and organized labor. This agency was known as the War Labor Board, co-chaired in part by William Howard Taft. It desired to preserve the gains of the labor movement and served as the mediator for industrial disputes which occurring during the war. It also provided for automatic arbitration of labor disputes to avoid strikes, slow-down, and lockouts during the war. Over 1,200 cases were considered and many strikes were prevented. Because of these efforts, the American Federation of Labor supported administration policies, seeing an opportunity to consolidate its gains and win new political influence by loyally supporting the war effort.Some powerful men were not as fortunate as others during the war. This was especially true for Eugene Debs, who was sentenced to ten years in prison after...

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