In WWI, what role did the "home front" play in creating unity?What challenges were there to traditional ideas about gender or family at this time?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shortly after the United States entered the war, a Committee on Public Information was formed, to promote the war effort. The former "progressive" movement became an entrenched "Americanism." Anything German was associated with disloyalty. Orchestras refused to play works by Beethoven and Bach, among others, because they were German.  Sauerkraut became "liberty cabbage," Dachshunds became "liberty pups." Even German Measles were renamed "liberty measles." Germans were often referred to as "the Huns," and often portrayed as such on posters promoting the sale of war bonds. One such poster showed a German soldier with bloody dagger drawn coming ashore in an ocean littered with the bodies of dead infants.  Women and Blacks were recruited for the work force as part of their patriotic duty. Oddly, after the war, it was considered a woman's patriotic duty to give up her wartime job so that the returning soldiers could find work. 

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Using calls to patriotism, natural allegiance to America and extensive propaganda with George Creel and the Committee for Public Information, the Home Front population was made an active part of World War I almost from the beginning.  They found unity in the factories, between women, men, immigrants and African-Americans who made the necessary war material.  They found unity in the rationing and inconveniences they shared as a nation and a people, as well as with the large number of families who had one or more sons, brothers, uncles or fathers serving the military and the country in some capacity overseas.
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The Home Front was used in both world wars to get people involved in supporting our soldiers and the government in general. The draft was considered patriotic, and soldiers were heroes. All the propaganda was focused on making people feel like they were doing their part for the war at home.