From Progressivism to Prosperity: World War I and American Society

By Neil A. Wynn | Go to book overview

death benefits through what had become "the largest life insurance company in the world" and which was administered through the Veterans' Bureau, created in 1921. 114

Perhaps not surprisingly the War Risk Insurance plan was drawn up by people with a reform background— Judge Mack of Cook County Juvenile Court and Julia Lathrop of the Children's Bureau, for instance. Moreover, the passage of the act encouraged demands for the extension of social insurance generally. While workmen's compensation laws continued to be enacted at state level, various schemes for health insurance were also under consideration during, and at the end of, the war. However, such proposals were opposed by private insurance companies and the American Medical Association, which described such ideas as "made in Germany" or, after 1918, "made in Russia." 115 Insurance schemes were also victims of the general reaction of 1919 and the conservatism that followed. Rather than government intervention in this area, it was the industrialists who offered protection schemes, or alternatively the individual worker took care of his own—or did without. For most Americans, the best form of insurance was still seen as regular work with a decent wage. For both returning servicemen and war workers it remained to be seen whether they would be able to achieve that goal; for organized labor it remained to be seen if it would maintain its wartime gains; for the often congested centers of war production it remained to be seen whether their problems would be solved or disappear in the postwar era.


Notes

Unions, Government, and Labor Relations
1.
Gordon S. Watkins, Labor Problems and Labor Administration in the United States During the World War ( Urbana, Ill., 1919), 18.
2.
Melvyn Dubofsky, Industrialism and the American Worker, 1865-1920 ( Arlington Heights, Ill., 1975), 114.
3.
Ibid., 108.
4.
"The Right Hand to Labor," 18 November 1916, in Albert Bushnell Hart , ed., Selected Addresses and Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson ( New York, 1918) 166.
5.
Arthur S. Link and William B. Catton, American Epoch: A History of the United States Since the 1890s ( New York, 1963), Vol 1., 72; David A. Shannon, The Progressive Era ( Chicago, 1974), 107-8.
6.
See chapter 1, p. 6 and Howard Berkowitz and Kirk McQuaid, Creating the Welfare State: The Political Economy of Twentieth Century Reform ( New York, 1950), 20.
7.
U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Earnings of Factory Workers 1899 to 1927: An Analysis of Payroll Statistics ( Washington,D.C., 1929), 45

-124-

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From Progressivism to Prosperity: World War I and American Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • From Progressivism to Prosperity *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Note on Sources xi
  • Introduction War, Reform, and Social Change— the First World War in American History xiii
  • Notes xx
  • From Progressivism to Prosperity *
  • 1: The Progressive Era American Society, 1900-1914 1
  • Notes 23
  • 2: From Peace to War 1914-1917 26
  • Notes 38
  • 3: Mobilizing the Population for War Propaganda and Civil Liberties 41
  • Notes 61
  • 4: Organizing for War Government, Business, and the Economy 65
  • Notes 82
  • 5: Labor and the War 86
  • Notes 124
  • 6: War, Women, and the Family 133
  • Notes 163
  • 7: Black Americans and the First World War 170
  • Notes 191
  • 8: The Aftermath of War Reconstruction, Red Scare, and the 1920s 196
  • Notes 221
  • Epilogue from Progressivism to Prosperity: the First World War in Perspective 226
  • Notes 236
  • Bibliography 239
  • Index 257
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