On April 6th, 1917, the US Congress declared war on Germany , in accord with the impassioned entreaties of President Wilson, first of great LIBERAL Heroes, barely five months after winning re-election, mainly on the slogan “He kept us out of war.”
Without doubt the most significant impact of participation in WWI was upon the domestic scene. The Versailles treaty, the League of Nations, the Briand-Kellogg Pact and the various other involvements in world affairs in the subsequent two decades aside, it was by far the centralizing and bureaucratizing of the US in 1917-19 which represents the residuary and long term substance. The most remarkable aspect of this matter was the gathering of the national economy under six great administrative boards, an experiment in economic totalitarianism, which was not lost on the politically percipient, to be revived in various forms and in other contexts ever since.
The saga of Hog Island did not have its origins in a dramatic or spectacular event of any kind. It began with an unobtrusive dispatch from Washington on August 31, 1917, to the effect that “contracts for the construction of three great Government-owned ship fabricating plants were awarded by the Emergency Fleet Corporation to the American International Corp., The Submarine Boat Corp., the Merchant Shipbuilding Comp.; orders were issued to exert every effort to rush the work.