Civil Liberties and Wilsonianism

  • A worldwide flu killed over 20m people

  • Wilson promised to ensure that the labors were free

  • 1919 Steel strike
    • immigrants labors demanded union recognition, higher wages, and 8 hours

    • Steel mill managers had power over workers’ hours, wages, and conditions

    • Workers had 8 hours work day during the war

    • Employers appealed to anti-immigrant sentiments, put propaganda that connected the strike to IWW, communism, and disloyalty

    • The movement collapsed in 1920

  • The Red Scare (Palmer Raid)
    • The gov sent agents to raid radical labor organizations

    • More than 5k people arrested, with the most of them searched without warrants and detained for months without charge

    • Departed immigrant radicals

    • Heavily criticized by the press and Congress

  • The above two events damaged immediate radical labor organization, although set the foundation for future events

  • Wilson failed to fulfill his promise on Fourteen Points

  • Versailles Treaty
    • Established the League of Nations

    • Wilson agreed to demand Germany to compensate the US for est. $33b - $56b

  • Many new European nations considered Wilson a “popular saint” for his self-determination principles

  • Some Asian countries also admired Wilson’s ideal

  • Secretary of States, Robert Lansing, warned the phrase of self-determination would “raise hopes which can never be realized” for the colonies

  • Wilson and the Britain engineered the defeat of Japanese proposal for racial equality

  • An Egyptian leader said American and British liberalness is only for themselves

  • Many Americans feared the membership in the League of Nations to cause the US to involve in foreign affairs

  • The Senate in 1919 and 1920 rejected Versailles Treaty

  • Warren Harding won the election in 1920


  • Power expansion of the government during wartime
    • The War Industry Board (WIB)
      • Where scare resources go

      • Convert industries for wars
        • Set price floor

      • Standardized procedures

    • Food Board
      • Headed by Herbert Hoover, president of 1929

      • Ensure the quantities of production

      • Victory gardens

      • Ration meat

    • Selective Services Act

  • Finance of the government during WWI
    • Liberty Bond
      • Interest bearing

    • Income tax
      • The war revenue act (by 16th amendment)

      • Financed about 1/3 of the war

    • The committee on public information (CPI)
      • Spreading propagandas

      • Lead by George Creel

      • 4 minute men (4 minute speeches)

      • The Fall of A Nation

      • Fit to Fight
        • Designed to discourage soldiers to engage with prostitutes

  • Schenck v. US in 1919
    • Schenck handed out pamphlet against drafts

    • Schenck lost because he caused “clear and present danger” during the war because of the pamphlet