The First World War (WWI), the Great War that ended all wars initiated by the Allied and Associated Powers based on the opposition to the Central Powers of Austria-Hungry, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire was the most destructive and by the most costly to the nations involved. What is more, the underlying causes that led to the event had no significance when the war was over. The War started in 1914 and ended in 1918. The period of four years had wrecked havoc in the lives of those participated in combat as well as those at home, leaving history scarred for generations to come? For many nations, WWI proved to be an event that changed personalities, lifestyles, societies, cultures as well as economic and politics. Though America's participation had been late yet its people faced similar fates as those of Britain, France, Germany and Canada etc. (Bourne 1997). For many historians America's participation had been motivated by the Progressive Era rather than sentiments for nationalism.
[...] By the late summer of 1914, when World War I began in Europe, the last major element of Wilson's "New Freedom" program, antitrust legislation, was nearing passage in Congress. Until that was complete, administration leaders had little interest in events outside the United States." Clearly, Wilson's decision to participate in the War was not born out of national interest but rather to strive to meet up with the domestic troubles that he could not handle earlier. The announcement of participation and the creation of interests was a ploy to detract the attention of the American people from the domestic woes to foes. [...]
[...] Social One of the most important aspects that emerged from the participation of the War had been the changing American society. Before the War, America was still relatively old fashioned as it followed the old tradition of the colonial society with majority of the workers comprising of African Americans or women and children. Most women at the end of the 19th century experienced the suffrage movement which induced them to re-think their position in society. With the men at war however, the scenario changed drastically as women were forced to work at factories along with children. [...]
[...] Conclusion From the above discussion it is clear that from the time of Wilson's re- election to the end of World War I American underwent a series of transformation that neither the government nor its people expected. American society changed drastically its view and perception of the world inside as well as outside the continent. They became aware of America's power as an alternative nation to Britain's financial powers. American became a formidable and Allies party that European valued even after the War. [...]
[...] The way in which glittering honors bump down upon the wrong heads in the army, and palms and crosses blossom on the wrong breasts, has, as he says, thrown his compass off a few points." (Cathers 2005) Even today with each subsequent war that followed WWI, the American people has become more critical of governments that induce war. People have become disillusioned of the authority's ability to protect their interests. But more importantly, people discovered that they could no longer trust the government for making the right political, social and economical decision. [...]
[...] During the War labor unions were formed, and legislations were forced into consideration of high wages, improved workplace conditions as well as ensure that employees were not discriminated against on the basis of sex, age and race. The formation of the AFL (American Federation of Labor) not only was proof of this era but it also showed that the unions developed legal status in the productive American society. According to Deborah A. Ballam (1995) the formation and upholding of the AFL was the result of the volunteer efforts of Samuel Gompers, the first president of the organization. [...]
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