Impact of WWI on America

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  • America & WWI
    • Economic impact
      • Positive economic impact
        • 1916- value of US trade = $6 billion
        • USA replaced UK as most important creditor nation in the world
          • NYC became international finance capital
        • Armed forces had to be suppled -> employment in industry
          • War Industries Board
            • established priorities for production
            • allocated raw materials to industries
            • encouraged rival companies to work together
        • 1916- 1918- industrial production increased by 39%
        • 1.3 million new people employed in civilian workforce
        • Real wages higher in 1918 than 1914
        • Exports of food to Europe increased by 300%
        • Penetrated some of UK's export markets (especially in Asia)
        • High interest on loans to UK & Italy
        • 1919- overseas investment nearly at $10 billion
        • No war damage
      • Negative economic impact
        • Had to borrow heavily from American people
          • Liberty bonds introduced in May 1917
          • Between 1917-1919 liberty bonds raised $21 billion
        • Great taxation
          • 1917 War Revenue Act -> top tax level was 67%
        • Money owed increased by 658% 1916-1919
        • Post-war recession
        • 1918= solidiers demobilised  -> loss of jobs
    • Political impacts
      • Strengthened powers of Federal Government
        • Railways placed under state control
        • Fuel Administration limits prices
      • 1917 Espionage Act & 1918 Sedition Act limited personal freedom
        • 1500 arrested by 1918 Act
    • Social impact
      • 1917 Lever Act- reduced alcohol content of beer
      • 1918 Prohibition Act- stopped sale & manufacture of alcoholic drinks
      • 1919 Volstead Act- illegal to sell, transport or make alcohol over 0.5%
      • Strengthend xenophobia
      • 1920s Red Scare
      • Push for female franchise

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