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World War I, at home and in the trenches

The years 1914-1918 were a time of unusual tension in Wisconsin, as the nations in Europe with which the state's residents identified squared off against one another in a bloody conflict. The sizable German American population, as well as the politically dominant Progressive and Socialist parties, generally opposed American entry into the war in Europe. Wisconsin's most famous politician, Senator Robert La Follette, risked both his reputation and influence first in opposing American entry into the war, and then in opposing ratification of the settlement drafted at the 1919 Peace Conference. Several groups did manage to use the international crisis... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: Wisconsin develops solutions to wartime shortages  Wisconsin develops solutions to wartime shortages
Link to article: Two Wisconsin soldiers write home from the front  Two Wisconsin soldiers write home from the front
Link to article: The Spanish flu sweeps across Wisconsin in 1918  The Spanish flu sweeps across Wisconsin in 1918
Link to article: The State Board of Health seeks to contain influenza, 1918  The State Board of Health seeks to contain influenza, 1918
Link to article: La Follette publicly opposes U.S. entry into the war, 1917  La Follette publicly opposes U.S. entry into the war, 1917
Link to article: The Wisconsin Food Administration responds to national food shortages in 1918  The Wisconsin Food Administration responds to national food shortages in 1918
Link to article: A German American professor is tarred and feathered, 1918  A German American professor is tarred and feathered, 1918
Link to article: The U.S. Army seeks volunteers in Milwaukee, 1917  The U.S. Army seeks volunteers in Milwaukee, 1917
Link to article: A high school biology class organizes a war garden competition, 1917  A high school biology class organizes a war garden competition, 1917
Link to article: The aims and plans of the Wisconsin Federation of Women Wage Earners  The aims and plans of the Wisconsin Federation of Women Wage Earners
Link to article: Health suggestions to help contain the spread of influenza in 1918  Health suggestions to help contain the spread of influenza in 1918
Link to article: The end of war marked by a parade in Sturgeon Bay, 1918  The end of war marked by a parade in Sturgeon Bay, 1918
Link to article: A sketch of the life of Meta Berger  A sketch of the life of Meta Berger
Link to article: Wisconsin's Telephone Brigade solicits support for the United War Work Campaign, 1918  Wisconsin's Telephone Brigade solicits support for the United War Work Campaign, 1918
Link to article: Patriotic songs to welcome home the troops  Patriotic songs to welcome home the troops
Link to article: Wisconsin's National Guard encourages men to enlist  Wisconsin's National Guard encourages men to enlist
Link to article: Suffrage publications from the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association  Suffrage publications from the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association
Link to artifacts: Influenza Quarantine sign  Influenza Quarantine sign
Link to book: Homefront propaganda efforts, 1917-1919  Homefront propaganda efforts, 1917-1919
Link to book: Julia Grace Wales suggests an influential proposal to end the war, 1915  Julia Grace Wales suggests an influential proposal to end the war, 1915
Link to book: Wisconsin's contributions to the war, 1919  Wisconsin's contributions to the war, 1919
Link to book: Supporting the war one meal at a time, 1917  Supporting the war one meal at a time, 1917
Link to book: Descriptions of Wisconsin disasters and catastrophes, 1848-1948  Descriptions of Wisconsin disasters and catastrophes, 1848-1948
Link to book: The Wisconsin men and women who lost their lives during the war  The Wisconsin men and women who lost their lives during the war
Link to book: The Wisconsin Loyalty Legion nurtures patriotism, 1917-18  The Wisconsin Loyalty Legion nurtures patriotism, 1917-18
Link to book: Bringing peace through backyard gardens, 1919  Bringing peace through backyard gardens, 1919
Link to images: Milwaukee's former mayor speaks out against WWI  Milwaukee's former mayor speaks out against WWI
Link to images: Life magazine portrays La Follette as a traitor in 1917  Life magazine portrays La Follette as a traitor in 1917
Link to manuscript: The Board of Health reports on the flu  The Board of Health reports on the flu

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to article: President Wilson makes his plea for war gardens, 1917  President Wilson makes his plea for war gardens, 1917
Link to book: Wisconsin Blue Books  Wisconsin Blue Books
Link to book: Women's contributions to the war effort on the home front  Women's contributions to the war effort on the home front
Link to collections: Online exhibit from the Wis. Veterans Museum  Online exhibit from the Wis. Veterans Museum
Link to collections: The history and effects of the flu in Oshkosh  The history and effects of the flu in Oshkosh
Link to images: Panoramic view of Wis. National Guard ambulance unit, 1917  Panoramic view of Wis. National Guard ambulance unit, 1917
Link to images: Soldiers from Chilton, Sept. 20, 1919  Soldiers from Chilton, Sept. 20, 1919

Related Links

Discover classroom resources available from our Office of School Services
Search our catalogs for materials on this topic that aren't yet available online.
Borrow books about this topic through our interlibrary loan service
Borrow manuscripts about this topic through our Area Research Center network.
Visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
Search for memorials of Wisconsin veterans
Read more about women's experiences in our book, Women's Wisconsin

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