Impact on Women and African-Americans Essay
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These changes included more rights and jobs to many different men and women in America that would help change America into what it is today. At the time of World War I, Many whites were recruited in the military and sent to Europe. The result was a demand for workers in all types of jobs. Many African-Americans facing a plight in the south because of drought, loss of jobs, and racial discrimination immigrated to northern cities like New York, St.Louis, and Chicago.
Between 1910 and 1930, over hundreds of thousands of African Americans moved.
In northern cities African Americans could work at steel mills, munitions plants, stockyards, and the new automobile assembly line opened by Henry Ford specifically for African Americans. The African Americans that had moved to the city lived in poor slums, also known as ghettos. The African Americans usually lived in one-room kitchenettes. Many African-Americans took the opportunity to start new business such as hairdressing.
With many African Americans succeeding in “areas of finance that whites considered too risky” .
The whites discriminated against African Americans because African-Americans competed with whites for jobs because they work for less and are sometimes used as strikebreakers, or people who would be hired when workers in a union went on strike. Instead of Migrating to the north many Africans joined the effort to help the war. There were 2 sides that had different opinions about the war. On one side was W. E. B. Du Bois who believed that “African-American support for the war would lend strength to calls for racial justice.
On the other side there was William Monroe Trotter, who believed that African-Americans should not support the American government who was racist towards the African-American community. Eventually 367,710 African-Americans were drafted into the war and were separated into black only regiments. Before the war many women worked as housewives and only worked in the textile industry. During the war, many men who went off to war got replaced by women in their workplace. Women now worked as sellers, elevator operator, chauffeurs, street car conductor, railroad worker, and even farm workers.
Many women started working as telephone receptionists and telegraph workers, because many jobs believed that women were more apt than men to do that kind of work. The government also had the need for women to get government jobs. Government jobs open at the time were clerks, stenographers, and telegraphers. Because of World War I, many women were in demand in the job market and soon women enrolled in courses of higher education. Women started learning more about mathematics because women were dominating over the many industries at the time. Newspapers even started articles designed for women.
With higher education some women even advanced in the medical field and law field to become doctors, lawyers, and bankers. When women started working in factories, they faced hardships in working conditions. There were dangerous fumes and explosive dangers. There was always the risk of accidental explosions. It was even harder for mothers because there were not any child care policies offered by many companies. Women soon began making unions, such as the National Women’s Trade Union League, where women met and found ways to help raise women wage and have better work conditions.
Some women were among the soldiers in the battlefields. Many women who worked on the frontlines were nurses, and the usual requirements were 16 years of age and plain looking. Women who were nurses learned basic medical procedures and helped wounded soldiers with treatment and sometimes helped bath and organized time off for soldiers. Women also cooked in the frontlines as well as driving ambulances. The women effort in war also spread to the weapons industry. Many women worked with ammunition while men were gone. Women that worked with ammunition had to face dangerous working conditions in factories with explosives.
Women worked well with machines and were soon renowned for their skills in operating and being fast learners. Women worked on spreading peace. Many women volunteered in the Red Cross and their facilities. The women in the Red Cross aided the war efforts by working as nurses, by rolling bandages, knitted, socks and worked hospitals for the military. Women also pushed for peace movements. A famous woman, Jane Addams was one of the founders of the Women’s Peace Party and was still actively participating even after the United States entered into the war.
The impact of women on the war finally led to the 1919 pass of the Nineteenth amendment that was made to help the women’s suffrage cause, it said that states could not deny any citizen the right to vote because of their sex. In the 1920s most immigrants came from southern and Eastern Europe. Most of these immigrants did not speak any English and were therefore discriminated against. Anti-immigrant feelings arose because many of the Americans believed these new immigrants would not be loyal to their country.
Soon organizations like the Committee of Public information (CPI) emerged. The CPI set up Loyalty leagues in other countries to promote more care for America among immigrants. We see that WWI helped open the doors for many opportunities to people of all sex and race. Women gained new rights and were more respected in the economy. African-Americans found more jobs, and immigrants learned about the Americas and its greatness even before arriving in America.