World War I and the Twenties – The Great Transformation and the Great Illusions

World War I

1.    What was and is still haunting us today
- The Maps – before and after
- The nations of empire and the nationalist movements

2.    What was and continues
- Age of racism
- Anti-black and Latino patterns but movement by both
- Women and the push for suffrage and participation
- Wilson traits

3.    Rules of war and the traits
- At sea, submarine war and convoys
- On land, varieties of new technology from tanks to flame throwers to poison gas
- Mining of the seas and land and war against civilians

- Liberty bonds, liberty cabbage, and 4-minute men

- Massive growth of big government at federal level

4.    Selective war events and the ending of the war
- Allied Powers (initially Great Britain, France, Russia)
- Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire)
- US Involvement
Key war events and the peace



The Great Transformation and the Great Illusions
The consequences are greater because the changes are interconnected.

1.    Results of the World War I (unnumbered at that time)
- Rejection of the view of war from the Spanish-American War
- Distrust of government, especially large government

2.    General economic changes (and illusions)
- Consumerism increases
  - Buying on credit
  - Buying as a virtue
- Decline in farmers’ income and power
- Decline in unionism
- High profits for employers and businesses
- Pay for workers higher but not proportional to their productivity

3.    Changes in mass production, mass marketing, mass advertising, and common, vicarious experiences
- Automobiles
   - Henry Ford as initial example but GM and others follow
   - Federal standards for states to follow for highways
- Movies (silent in the 1910s and “talkies” in 1929)
- Phonographs
- Radio (ABC, NBC, CBS) and “soap” operas as example

4.    Changes in society
- Enthusiasm for urban and rejection of rural
- Movement to the cities
- The flapper
- Harlem Renaissance
- The new symbols of Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud
- New laws prohibiting immigration

For a comparison, click on
this comparison of the end of the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and the Jazz Age. (Not required, but it may help some of you to see the transformation.)

5.    Government and the Economy and Great Illusions
Key events and the future

·       Reparations/debt cycle

·       Veterans

·       Farmers

·       Tax policy and the Revenue Acts