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Life in the U.S. After World War I

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Essay title: Life in the U.S. After World War I

Life in the U.S. After World War I

World War I which was known as a war that ended all the other wars and as the Great War finally came to an end in 1918 changing life in many countries especially in the United States of America either in a negative or positive way. World War I was a war fought from the years 1914 to 1918 in Europe between members of the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente. The triple entente was formed of people from Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the United States. The triple alliance on the other hand consisted of members of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria. The Great War brought many changes throughout the whole world. One of the countries that was reshaped after the Great War was the United States. Life in the United States after World War I was no longer the same.

World War I changed the way other countries viewed and interacted with the United States. It was a key period because it marked the nation’s debut on the world stage as a major power. One of the negative changes right after WWI were mostly negative for African Americans, immigrants, and other minorities who had social or political ideas different from the ones in America. One incident that took place in Chicago on June 1919 was when a young African American named Eugene Williams decided to go swimming by a beach along Lake Michigan. By mistake, Williams crossed over the invisible line, which was an area that was reserved for whites only. When the whites saw Williams they stoned him and eventually drowned him. Since the police refused to make any arrest both races soon started to fight against each other causing 38 deaths. This incident soon became known as “Red Summer.” African Americans felt that they needed to be treated better because they also fought in the war. In a book titled Crisis a man wrote, “A land that lynches them, disfranchises them, encourages ignorance, steals from them, insults them, but they do return. We return. We return from fighting. We return from fighting. Make way for Democracy! We saved it in France, and by the Great Jehovah, we will save it in the United States of America, or know the reason why.” (W.E.B. Du Bois). They tried to fight back but it was useless. The whites always outnumbered them. The whites believed that the incident that was known as Red Summer was a lesson for the blacks so that they would know that nothing had changed.

During the period after World War I, United States was facing an economic slowdown. All of the businesses that manufactured and sold war supplies were suddenly out of business because since the war was no longer going on there were no more customers. The companies soon started to lay off workers. The first people to get lay off were African Americans, other minorities, and women. Women were given a chance to do many different kinds of jobs that they were not able to do before the war. During WWI, women worked as streetcar conductors, labored in munitions plants, toiled on farms, and delivered the mail. Women were even hired by police departments. The women were gaining independence and helped foster the emerging feminist movement. An African American woman said, “I’ll never work in nobody’s kitchen but my own any more.” She went from working in a domestic job to working in a factory. On January 10, 1918, the new change in women finally helped gained the right to vote but as soon as the war was over the good jobs that they had gained for the first time in their lives were take away from them. There were also battles between business management and labor unions. One event on September in the year 1919 the workers of U.S. Steel went on a strike because they wanted to work only eight hours a day and they also felt that they needed a better pay. The U.S. Steel company hired strikebreakers to harass and beat up the workers who were striking. There was violence going on that led to the death of 18 strikers. The workers who also helped fight in the Great War felt that they deserved to be treated better so the labor unions try to win better condition for workers. The violence between the two groups continued for many years. Those were the negative effects of the

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