What Happened on May 18th – The Selective Service Act

IF I ONLY HAD A TIME MACHINE

The United States formally entered the First World War on April 2, 1917 and six weeks later on May 18, 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the Selective Service Act.

The Selective Service Act, or Selective Draft Act, enacted on May 18, 1917, authorized the federal government to raise a national army. The Selective Service Act, or Selective Draft Act, enacted on May 18, 1917, authorized the federal government to raise a national army.

In his war message to Congress, President Woodrow Wilson pledged all the nation’s material resources to help the allies (France, Britain, Russia and Italy) defeat the Central Powers.  The Allies needed fresh troops to relieve their exhausted men but when the United States entered the war, Wilson had no means to provide what was needed.

During 1916, Wilson made effort in war preparedness but at the time of Congress’s war declaration, there were only 100,000 troops and they were not trained or equipped for the war in Europe.  Wilson pushed congress for military conscription which they passed on May 18, 1917.  The Act called for all…

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2 thoughts on “What Happened on May 18th – The Selective Service Act

  1. Pingback: Banned Books That Shaped America: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee | Waldina

  2. They may have arrived late, but they made a real difference to the outcome of the war, and it must have been a blow to the German side when they realised that the USA was coming to the fight too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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