Essay on Ronald Schaffer's America in the Great War

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Ronald Schaffer's America in the Great War gives new insights into World War I. The book gave historical accounts about the war that other books negated to included. The thesis that Schaffer tries to prove that the Great War was the start of the American welfare state and the beginning of "big" government. America in the Great War was structured in chronological order of the war, from America's mobilization to the actual fighting. What the book did not include is a detail account of the fighting. This was the biggest draw back in a otherwise well thought book. The book begins with the mobilization of the United State's industry and man power. The first two chapters dealt with how the Federal Government shaped the…show more content…
The Federal Government paid the industries based on their cost to produce the products. This type of payment encouraged the industries to pay their workers very highly, knowing the government would pay them higher. The war provided the excuse for the government to take control of industry. A good example of this control is in the railroad industry. Before the war, the railroad industry enjoyed limited government control. As a result different companies had different rail lines and different prices. When America joined the Great War, the Federal Government took complete control of the railroads. The government standardized the industry by setting the size of track , the size of trains and the price paid for shipping. The government also controlled what cargo went where and at what time. The next two chapters are about social reformers and the black experience during the war. The United States before the war was on a progressive movement, the Great War reinforced the movement. American leaders were concerned that things like alcohol and prostitution would affect there fighting ability. As a result bars and whore houses were closed around U.S. bases. There was great concern when the soldiers were shipped to Europe. People feared that foreign attitudes towards liquor and brothels would affect American soldiers. Measures were taken to limit American interaction with liquor and women. Brothels and saloons were

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