Chart the ways in which the bloodiest battle in American history, and the ensuing peace, forever changed a president and a nation. In the fall of 1918, the deadly flu swept through cities ...
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Chart the ways in which the bloodiest battle in American history, and the ensuing peace, forever changed a president and a nation. In the fall of 1918, the deadly flu swept through cities at home and at the front. When the tide of war turned, the Germans wanted a cease-fire on Wilson's terms. On November 11, 1918, the war was over, but for Wilson, the last fight remained. He negotiated the terms of the peace treaty and won the world over to his League of Nations, but felled by a stroke, he failed to convince the Senate to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, with tragic consequences. While Wilson had heralded the triumph of American values abroad, many were worried about democracy at home; with citizens persecuted, "aliens" interned, and cities torn apart by race riots. The Great War changed the country forever. African Americans who had fought in the war found ways to continue to push for change. Women's suffrage gained converts, including Wilson. And America stepped onto the world stage.
I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier
"I Think We've Got Another (And Wilson Is His Name) Washington"
Performed by The Peerless Quartet
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement With Sony Music Licensing See more »
Let's face it. When we deal with humans, the script is way too complicated to put a story line on. This third installment of "The Great War" puts a really human face on things. The Americans were able to go to a Europe that had been battered and subdued and bring about victory. In some ways, the psychological effects of the sheer numbers had as much to do with the Armistice as did the warriors themselves. When the embattled "Hun" saw what could have been, they threw themselves upon the mercy of Woodrow Wilson. After great celebration, even in Germany, it was thought that a new world order would arise. As is usually the case with politics, there were great losers. The Germans themselves were decimated by Clemenceau and Llloyd-George at Versailles. There were also those who had were imprisoned for disloyalty and sedition here in our country, sometimes for mere idle comments made to the wrong person or for having a German name. So when the elections came, the Republicans ran the table because Wilson was seen as villainous to many. Racism still predominated despite the heroics of the African-Americans and other minorities, including Native Americans. Women still had few rights. So there was still a lot of growing to do. Of course, right around the corner was a huge economic failure in the wake of this new life for our country. A couple features in this episode that were striking. One is the story of the Lost Battalion. The story of Eddie Rickenbacker (with his German name) and the emergence of the Air Force. Also, the great flu epidemic. This was glossed over a bit but had immense implications. This is a fascinating series, as are so many of the "American Experience" offerings.
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