Impact of US involvement in World War I

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World War I, a military conflict, began as a local European war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in 1914. It was transformed into a general European struggle by declaration of war against Russia, and eventually became a global war involving 32 nations. Twenty- eight of these nations, known as the Allies and the Associated Powers, and including Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the United States, opposed the coalition known as the Central Powers, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria. World War I, was not only a dispute among nations, but also affected thousands of people from all over the world, including African Americans, women, and even business and economic changes occurred. African Americans endured a great amount of racism during the war, especially from the military. Over 260,000 blacks were volunteered or drafted in the war. While the navy assigned blacks only to low-rank positions, the marines excluded them altogether. Blacks were sent to training camps, and to say they were treated horrible is to a high understatement. They experienced distasteful racial abuse, which eventually lead to the killing of seventeen whites. These blacks were sought out as wrong to many whites, and as show, were subjected to brisk trials where some were killed, and some imprisoned for life. Of the 260,000 African Americans that went to war, 50,000 were sent to France. These 50,000 were also given low-rank jobs, such as laborers, mealtime aides, and stevedores. These jobs that were distributed among the blacks, benefited the war effort in a great amount. They would work sometimes in twenty-four-hour shifts unloading ample amounts of supplies from America with impressive productivity. These accomplishments by the blacks, again, aided in the war effort. Women, like the blacks, contributed a great amount to aid in the war. Because many men were involved in the war, women finally had their chance to take on many of the positions of a man. Some women served directly in the military and some served in volunteer agencies at home and in France. For a brief period, from 1917 to 1918, one million women worked in industry. Others not involved in military and industry engaged in jobs such as streetcar conductors and bricklayers. But as the war started to end, women lost their jobs to the returning veterans. Male workers found a new competition for their jobs as women were upholding them during the war. Some men even went on strike to force women off the job, while officials in New York informed twenty women judges that "they had simply been hired as temporary wartime help.

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