Student Question

Was the government justified in its control expansion of the economy during World War I?

Expert Answers

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During World War I, the government expanded its control over the economy in several ways. The War Industries Board was created to control the production of war materials. The National War Labor Board was created to prevent strikes by mediating potential labor disputes. However, this expanded control of the economy was probably not necessary.

There were several examples that showed that voluntary efforts would have probably been successful. The government encouraged people to grow their own food. Many people planted victory gardens so they wouldn’t have to buy fruits and vegetables. The government encouraged people to reduce the consumption of certain foods. Many people voluntarily didn’t use wheat products on Mondays and gave up having meat on Tuesdays. During World War I, the government didn’t have to require the rationing of food. The government also encouraged people to buy Victory Bonds. The government borrowed about 20 billion by issuing these war bonds.

There were many examples where Americans voluntarily made sacrifices during World War I. It is reasonable to believe the same sacrifices could have been made in our economy. Businesses most likely would have been willing to work cooperatively with the government instead of having government agencies do this for them in some areas of the economy.

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