How did the Wilson administration mobilize the nation for war?

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Wilson's administration had to quickly and efficiently kickstart that war mobilization process once the United States joined World War I in April of 1917. This was a big task, as the federal government had done little to prepare for this prior to the declaration of war.

First of all, Wilson...

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Wilson's administration had to quickly and efficiently kickstart that war mobilization process once the United States joined World War I in April of 1917. This was a big task, as the federal government had done little to prepare for this prior to the declaration of war.

First of all, Wilson established a number of governmental agencies designed to encourage and support private-sector business in the war effort. The federal government even took direct oversight of certain aspects of the economy and industrial output. They also took more control of the railroads and the nation's fuel production.

In May of 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed after heavy but effective lobbying by the Wilson administration. This allowed the military to grow its ranks by establishing a registry of military-aged men who could be called upon for the draft.

To quickly raise money, the government issued war bonds. To promote these war bonds and to get Americans on board with the war effort in general, Wilson created the Committee on Public Information, which controlled propaganda and information concerning the war effort and promoted ideas about a citizen's patriotic duty.

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The Wilson administration mobilized the nation for war by creating a climate favorable for business in order to limit strikes which would affect war material reaching the Allied powers. The Wilson administration also enacted a draft of able-bodied men to serve in the American Expeditionary Forces. The government also got involved in controlling information concerning the war. Wilson recruited George Creel to manage a group of public speakers whose job it was to tell patriotic stories and say the US's role in the war was justified. Wilson passed laws to discourage criticism of the war effort and even allowed the Justice Department to read mail going between the United States and the Central Powers. One could be prosecuted for being critical of the war effort—it was for this that Eugene Debs was jailed. In the speech requesting war, Wilson claimed that this was a war to make the world safe for democracy; it is ironic that so many civil liberties were curtailed at home during the war.

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