World War I and American Society

Essay by jay2403University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2014

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"World War I and American Society"

World War I called by some to be the first modern war had many far-reaching effects on the American way of life that we know today. In the beginning the US maintained it stance of isolationism. As time went on it became apparent that war not only was an option but a necessity. World War I had many impacts in American society, economics and politics. Whether or not these effects were positive is still a matter of perspective. Socially the effects on American society following the war were worrisome to say the least. As a direct result of America's policy of neutrality, a "larger than life" reason had to be given as to why America should allow their young men to risk their lives in a faraway land. Germans prior to the war were demonized in the newspapers at that time. Though the US did go to war and the propaganda did just what was expected, ultimately it worked too well.

During the war anti-German propaganda was useful in getting men to volunteer. Anti-Germany posters peppered the city. Germans were portrayed as apes carrying off helpless ladies. Germans were also portrayed as rapists of young women. The result of this propaganda not only caused a distrust of Germans that were fighting against the US overseas but a hatred for Germany living here as well. German books were burned, German music was banned and even German studying in college was banned. The unlucky Germans that were present in the US we're forced to buy liberty bonds to prove their loyalty to the country. Overall the entire country saw an increase in intolerance for all races. Germans, blacks and immigrants in general were hated in many aspects of society. I believe the General negative...