The experiences of North Carolinians in World War I Essay


It is said that the World War 1 also referred to as the Great War came about as a result of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. He was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist on the 28th day of June the year 1914. This man would take over the Hungarian throne and so the nations broke into war in order to revenge. This, anyway, was part of the reason. There were other circumstances that led to the outbreak of the Great War which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

Before the Great War, matters pertaining health, ways of life. Education and being enlightened on matters concerning the other parts of the world had gone up in comparison with the previous generations. Being male or female and ones race, really determined the chances that were there for North Carolinians. More than eighty one percent of North Carolinians lived in the up country before the Great War. The following are areas that the World War 1 affected:

The Black Americans

This war made the black Americans who are also known as the African Americans; resolve to develop a community inside the boundaries put by the white community. This was done as they insisted for their equal rights with the bigger community. They developed and supported black educational institutions as they saw that learning (education) was a major component in progressing. In the twentieth century the, the white community could stand a few black people with some amount of financial strength, being learned and some inclusion in political matters as long as they were not a threat the white dominancy .  World War gave the black Americans a chance to prove their importance as north Carolinians and therefore claim for rights and opportunities.

Educational Institutions

World War 1 highly influenced educational institutions in North Carolina. Many male college students and young teachers became soldiers. Most of them studied military science then went ahead to war. In 1917, 344 students asked for military training.  This was done by signing a petition. “Beat trinity” was replaced by “beat Germany” in football rallies. Lecturers dropped German from the syllabus and put military French instead.

Edward Kilner (President University of North Carolina) and Albert Coates (student) brought about a plan named “The University Purpose in War Education”.  They planned to establish branches which would provide studies in the causes of war, Americans in the war, why the war should be won, etc. they provided tutors and other necessities to make this a success. It is one of the largest leaning institutions today.

Even after there were some changes that occurred during the war, the leaning institutions came back to normal after the war. The memories faded as the years moved along.

Government Agencies

The government interfered with the financial systems and personal lives of the North Carolinas. The congress introduced the War Industries Board (WIB). This was done in July 1917. Its work was to categorize the manufacturers so that those that were most important to the war were prioritized in being given the raw materials. WIB also put in the prices, peoples earnings and production levels. The government also took over new responsibilities during the war which went on into the 1920s. Governor Bickett persuaded the legislature to improve public education by prolonging the school term, giving the teachers a salary increment, having more school houses and upgrading the colleges. This motivates the people in associating themselves with the government. There is the element of by true statesman in the way people were reciprocated and their participation in war was taken as a false way of articulating their concerns.

Charitable Organizations

These organizations went a great deal and really did more than the government could do alone. They helped to maintain the wide- ranging and well harmonized crusade to support the war. The raised money, took care of the wounded both emotionally and physically, sent food stuffs to the battle field etc. The War Camp Community Service was founded in the 1917. It worked with the war department to help boys who were newly from home therefore could be highly influenced into such things as alcohol, sex and other bad behavior (Roberts, 2005).


One of the headaches of government agencies and charitable organizations was to find the huge amounts of money wanted to finance the war. The government did try to finance the war but there were some unintentional consequences. An inflationary spiral was experienced during and after the war. This was due to depending on public borrowing instead of taxation.

Raw Materials

The military used a lot of things such as food stuffs, uniforms, beddings, bandages etc. At the same time all the other citizens had to be given food, kept warm, get medical attention and other necessities. North Carolina was not highly affected by the war like the other states.

Patriotism and Politics

Men such as James H. Pou gave moving and inspirational speeches to the people going to war and those remaining behind. This was all over in the Carolina media which helped a great deal in achieving the desired objectives and raising themselves to the great heights.


Even into the world war, the women were still second class citizens although they were enjoying much more financial freedom and stability than their mothers. During the war, many women became part of groups that helped them voice out their concerns and grievances. They realized that they had to join political groups in order to be heard politically and to take charge of their responsibilities. The chair of the Woman’s Committee of the state Council of Defense was a lady by the name Laura Holmes Reilley. The women took a part of the money for their home budget and bought war bonds. These were appropriate as it made them to be heard and be seen as people who are active in their concerns besides achieving them


The encounters of the World War 1 greatly changed the lives of the North Carolinians. To begin with, they really grieved the death of their loved ones. Many people were affected either directly or indirectly. The health matters were also not spared. Many people lost their lives due to typhoid. The movement of men between Europe and America also encouraged the spread of influenza which ended up as pneumonia. The war gave way to changes that would mould the North Carolinas financial status and the living conditions of the farmers and workers. The war made the prices of many goods shoot up while causing the dollar to loose its worth but things got better after a year as the inflation diminished.


Roberts, P.M. (2005). World War One. New York: ABC-CLIO