U.S. Mobilization for World War I (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The United States establishes the War Industries Board to manage economic resources for the war effort.
Summary of Event
The War Industries Board (WIB) was organized on July 8, 1917, to coordinate and control the industrial resources of the United States in its World War I effort against Germany. Establishment of the WIB was the climax of several frustrating months of efforts to mobilize agencies of production and distribution following the nation’s entry into the war in April.
Federal coordination of industry had begun in 1915, when Congress authorized the creation of a Committee on Industrial Preparedness to study the supply requirements of the Army and Navy. The committee’s work was narrow in scope—its primary accomplishment was the preparation of an inventory of plants able to manufacture munitions. As the war emergency in the United States became more acute, the government extended its power over the nation’s industrial life. By the National Defense Act of June, 1916, Congress authorized the president to place orders for war matériel with any source of supply and to commandeer plants when it was in the national interest to do so. Two months later, Congress approved a Military Appropriations Act providing for a Council of National Defense consisting of the secretaries of war, the Navy, the interior, agriculture, commerce, and labor, and an advisory commission comprising...
(The entire section is 1565 words.)
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