The End Of World War I

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As the end of World War I started to draw near, President Woodrow Wilson wanted nothing more than to return to normalcy. The progressives during the time had had high hopes that the war would bring democracy and world peace for all, but it didn’t. These hopes failed because of an underlying resistance to enlist in the Army and due to the fact that patriotism had evolved into hyper-patriotism. This hyper-patriotism forced anyone who wasn’t one hundred percent American to be subject to abuse and be accused of being a radical. In May of 1918 the Sedition Act was passed which allowed Americans to attack fellow Americans, mostly immigrants, Socialists and Wobblies, if they weren’t one hundred percent for America in the fight against the war. Even though times were hard immediately after the war, everyone was so happy to be done with the war that a new world order began to emerge. This new world order came about in 1919 and was built upon self and national determination, free trade, disarmament and world unity over government. The roaring twenties had been born and the downside of it’s legacy of consumer culture resulted in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Many historians refer to the 1920s as the “New Era” because there were new arguments over culture, politics, individual self expression and religion. In the 1920s, life was defined by rapid change and new technology much like life is now. Before the 1920s the average household didn’t own a radio let alone an automobile because they couldn’t afford it. But during the 1920s a new phenomenon started to take root, the phenomenon of credit and layaway. People were able to buy things that they couldn’t afford to buy in cash at that exact time by paying for it with credit or on a layaw... ... middle of paper ... ...t Roosevelt had established to help the sick industries was failing horribly. In Pennsylvania, after being fired, miners stole coal from their worksites and sold it for cheaper following the mindset of Paul Mattick who said that the people should, “take from where there is, without regard to established property principles or social philosophies, and to start to produce for themselves”. All in all even though the twenties seemed great and redefined freedom for women, workers and consumers everything was not great and the crash and Great Depression could’ve been prevented had the American people had a little more caution towards the complete submersion into consumer culture.. John L. Lewis sums up my point precisely when he writes, “we are victims of our own national short-sightedness by failure in the halcyon days of prosperity to intelligently plan for the future”.

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