What was the condition of civilians during World War I?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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During World War I, civilians in the United States had to make significant adjustments. Because of the war, life was different in several ways. Women needed to begin working in factories. African-Americans moved from the South to the North also to work in the factories. This required sacrifice and change for all involved. Women had to take care of all the family needs as well as work in the factories or businesses. African-Americans left a region where they had familiarity and family. While conditions weren’t bad, it did require change.

Americans had to make sacrifices for the soldiers. People were encouraged to grow their own vegetables by planting victory gardens. People were encouraged not to eat bread and meat on certain days. Mondays were designated as wheatless Mondays, and Tuesdays were designated as meatless Tuesdays. While rationing didn’t occur, people definitely were encouraged to conserve food. People were also encouraged to use some of their money to buy war bonds. These bonds would help pay for some of the costs associated with the war. Some freedoms were curtailed during the war. For example, the Sedition Act made it illegal to publicly oppose the war.

During World War I conditions weren’t bad for civilians in the United States. However, they did have to make significant adjustments.

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