America: United in Change

1005 Words4 Pages
When other nations jumped into WWI in 1914, America adopted a policy of neutrality. News of the horrors of the war convinced Americans that they had taken the right approach. Many could not believe that a civilized society could resort to such atrocities. Germany’s use of U-boats in unrestricted submarine warfare finally pushed the U.S. to declare war. President Wilson urged for peace based upon the idea of a League of Nations, where many nations would act as one to preserve the peace of all. Although WWI pitted country against country, it also galvanized America, ushering in an era of massive change. Wilson dictated that “Peace had to be a peace of reconciliation, a peace without victory, for a victor’s peace would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only upon quicksand” (Trueman). Peace came in 1918, although it was not a peace without victory, and a colossal shift in the way of life followed soon after (Trueman). Beginning in the 1830’s, temperance movements began pushing for abstinence from alcohol. The wartime Prohibition Act was passed in 1918 in order to save grain for the war effort. A year later, the 18th amendment was ratified and went into effect on the federal level. This outlaw of alcohol gave rise to an organized network of crime, including gangsters like Al Capone and speakeasies (Kelly). The Prohibition was meant to keep people away from the negative effects of drinking (Esler, Ellis
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