Americans Respond Perspectives on the Global War, 1914-1917

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Neutrality did not mean non-involvement. American communities engaged intellectually, politically, and financially with the wars' multiple fronts throughout 1914 to 1917. This essay discusses the responses of Progressive reformers to the plight of Belgian civilians, African American interest in Africa, and Jewish-American aid to Russian Jewish refugees. The recent historiographic trend emphasizing the war's global dimensions has provided macro-level analyses of strategy, migrations, finances, trade, and empires throughout the world. Considering World War I as a global war, however, offers more than a way to analyze American financing, trade, and diplomacy. It creates a framework for recapturing the smaller, diverse, often locally-based experiences of American communities during the period 1914 to 1917.


This article was originally published in Geschichte und Gesellschaft, volume 40, issue 2, in 2014.

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