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Blogpost 7 (10/6)

After reading “War is the Heath of the State”, one can see that it is clear that the United States government did not care about its own people but rather the economy. Although the US claimed that they would stay neutral at first, president Willson declared war when the Germans said that they would attack the ships that brought supplies to their enemies. Zinn discusses that this was just an excuse to get America to be involved in the war. The purpose is obvious; Zinn mentioned that “Hofstadter wrote of “economic necessities” behind Wilson’s war policy”, and explains that the country was going through a period of hard times when business was depressed, unemployments was a big issue, farm prices were low..etc and allying with other countries like England helped the economy. Thus, one can see that the purpose of this war was to benefit the economy and for the government to serve itself while putting its people at risk, as the socialist party said that the declaration of the war was “a crime against the people of the United States”.

The purpose of the war was capitalistic, as the rich elites had influenced the decision of the US to join the war. Socialism at that time had made a remarkable gain and became instantly popular as it advocated against war with its views criticizing the government for placing the economy before the people. Zinn mentioned that a newspaper wrote, “probably no party ever gained more rapidly in strength than the Socialist party just at the present time”. Besides, the government has restricted citizens from presenting their opinion if it goes against the war, taking away their right to freedom of speech. “The Espionage Act was used to imprison Americans who spoke or wrote against the war”. Again, we see how the American capitalist government has put the life of poor people at risk only for speaking against the first world war in order to benefit itself and the economy; this further proves that the American society would not survive without classism.

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3 Comments

  1. Carly Cohen Carly Cohen

    I totally agree that the getting involved in the war had economic benefits and that is most definitely one of the main reasons President Wilson declared war. The people of America should have been taken into consideration much more in this decision.

  2. Alexandra Oloughlin Alexandra Oloughlin

    You reiterated an important point that the chapter made about the true motive behind the war, and home it seemed to be economical. War also causes nationalism and motivates a group of people. While studying leadership, we have looked into the qualities of a good leader verse an ethical leader. Do you think the decision to risk lives and safety to better economic conditions was a decision that was ultimately good but not ethical, vise versa, or both unethical and unnecessary?

  3. Julia Leonardi Julia Leonardi

    I totally agree with Zinn. I think socialism gets such a bad rep in America. I get that the US is terrified of communism and socialism falls close to it, but sometimes I feel like it’s an irrational fear. Socialism has worked and can work; we are just too afraid and groomed by this fear to even try.

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