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The United States: 1900 to World War II Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 March 2017

The United States: 1900 to World War II

When World War I (The Great War) erupted in Europe, the United States tried to maintain neutrality as President Wilson declared so.[1] His stand echoed the sentiments of most Americans, especially since the country had been strong on progressivism, which called for reform at the home front.  Joining the war would have defeated the purposed. However, as the war dragged on, the country was embroiled and soon began mobilizing the United States for a battle, changing the American culture and society in the course.

            The Great War saw Americans from all walks of life, men, women and minorities working for a common cause. As men were deployed overseas, the women overtook their jobs, toiling in factories, driving streetcars, acting as traffic officers.[2] It also laid the foundation for women’s suffrage.  In 1920, an estimated 26 million American women were finally allowed to vote in all US elections.[3]  Seeing the need for more workers, black American men figured in factories, steel mills and coals mines while women found employment in department stores and restaurants.[4] Although there was still discrimination, the Great War served as a pivotal turning point for the minorities since Civil War.

            In the aftermath of the war, country saw an increase in immigration and economic growth. In the same vein, it ushered in an awakening in the country, the Roaring Twenties[5] marked with sports, like baseball, jazz music, automobiles, radios, movies, and literature. The introduction of appliances such as washing machine and vacuum cleaners also saw the change in family life, allowing Americans to enjoy their leisure time.[6] With the increase of family income buoyed on by a two-income household (man and woman), more teenagers stayed in schools rather than work.[7]

            While the Great War cost the lives of many Americans, it made lasting contribution to American culture and society- the love of music, sports, books, innovation in technology (i.e. appliances), equality of rights (women and minorities, although some may contest with the latter) and most especially a new sense of freedom until the Great Depression and World War II plunged   in.


Divine, R. T.H. Green, G. Fredrickson, and R. H. Williams. America The People

and the Dream. Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1991.

[1] Robert Divine, T.H. Green, George Fredrickson, and R. Hal Williams, America The People and the Dream (Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1991), 653.

[2] Ibid, 662.

[3] Ibid, 671.

[4]  Ibid, 662.

[5]  Ibid.

[6]  Ibid, 682.

[7]  Ibid.


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