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Edited by

University of Wisconsin


Princeton University

Indiana University

"I have found that the particular thing
you have to surrender to is facts"





First Edition.

Issued in January, 1918.


Throughout the United States to-day thousands of Americans in civil life are doing their part to win the war. They come from all professions and from every trade. From the office, from the school, from the editorial room, and from the platform they are sending out their message of truth and democracy. Their desire for service is complete; their chance to find easily the facts they need is limited. It is to provide them with a body of information, simply arranged and clearly stated, that this War Cyclopedia has been prepared.

Other handbooks have been and will be made by other agencies; all will serve their end, for this war is not to be won by an established doctrine nor by an official theory, but by an enlightened opinion based upon the truth. The facts of history and life are the only arsenal to which Americans need resort in order to defend their cause. The deeper their study, the firmer becomes their conviction. The War Cyclopedia represents an effort to arrange in simple form the facts most needed. Persons have been left out except so far as biographical notes are absolutely indispensable; a knowledge of American public men in particular has been taken for granted. The map (at the end of the book) makes clear the German plans and conquests. The Chronology (see p. 311) includes only outstanding events, but even a selected list of dates should prove helpful.

The preparation of this handbook has been supervised by Guy Stanton Ford, director of the Division of Civic and Educational Cooperation of the Committee on Public Information. The editing has been done by Frederic L. Paxson, Edward S. Corwin, and Samuel B. Harding, with the assistance of Katharine J. Gallagher, Ellis P. Oberholtzer, Bernadotte E. Schmitt, and Mason W. Tyler. The editors have drawn freely upon the time and the patriotic good will of a large number of special writers from all parts of the country. This book has been prepared under pressure and within a brief time, and if errors of detail appear notification of those to Mr. Ford, with a view to correction in subsequent printings, will be appreciated.

The declaration of war against Austria-Hungary fixes the limit of the Cyclopedia in its present form.





The following persons have contributed to the making of the War Cyclopedia: Frank M. Anderson, James F. Baldwin, Charles A. Beard, Carl Becker, Beverley W. Bond, William K. Boyd, Philip M. Brown, Neil Carothers, William S. Carpenter, Edward S. Corwin, Arthur Lyon Cross, W. F. Dodd, John A. Fairlie, Sidney B. Fay, Carl Russell Fish, Emerson D. Fite, F. Stuart Fitzpatrick, Howard Florance, Katharine J. Gallagher, Samuel B. Harding, Samuel N. Harper, Gerard C. Henderson, J. Franklin Jameson, Edward H. Krehbiel, August C. Krey, Laurence M. Larson, Waldo G. Leland, Samuel McCune Lindsay, William E. Lingelbach, Dana C. Munro, Wallace Notestein, Ellis P. Oberholtzer, J. I. Osborne, Frederic L. Paxson, Bernadotte E. Schmitt, George C. Sellery, Charles Seymour, Augustus H. Shearer, A. M. Simons, St. George L. Sioussat, J. Russell Smith, Elmer E. Stoll, David F. Swenson, Mason W. Tyler, Robert M. Wenley, Francis G. Wickware, George Grafton Wilson, Arthur N. Young, Otto M. Young.




Acts of Congress. The authority for national defense rests upon acts of Congress, and especially upon the national defense act of June 3, 1916, which provided for an increase in the Regular Army and its reorganization on efficient lines as to General Staff and reserves, suggested by the experience of Europe. Following the declaration of war on April 6, 1917, Congress passed and the President approved: (1) The deficiency appropriation bill, carrying an extraordinary item "for the national security and defense to be expended at the discretion of the President." The sum was $100,000,000. (2) The bond act authorizing loans not to exceed $7,000,000,000 in bonds and certificates, under whose provisions the sale of the Liberty Loans was concluded. (3) Authority was given the President to take over enemy vessels found in the ports or waters of the United States. (4) The selective service act became a law on May 18. Under its provisions the Regular Army was expanded to its maximum strength, arrangements were made for bringing the National Guard into Federal service, for registering all men between the ages of 21 and 30 inclusive, and for training the first divisions of the National Army. (5) The war appropriation act of June 15 carried total credits of $3,281,094,541.60, and there had already been made on March 2, 1917, a special naval appropriation of $535,000,000. (6) The espionage act conferred upon the President the power of placing an embargo on exports. (7) $640,000,000 were appropriated for the construction and establishment of an aircraft arm of the military service. (8) The priority act, giving the President power to direct freight transportation to meet the necessities of national defense, was passed on August 6. (9) The food and fuel control bill for guarding the economic interests of Government and people under stress of war conditions was approved on August 10. (10) A second bond act authorizing $13,538,945,460 in bonds and certificates. (11) A great war revenue bill. (12) An act to regulate trading with the enemy. (13) A law for soldiers' and sailors' insurance.


"To speak of it as an epoch-making session is a commonplace," said the New York Nation (Sept. 20, 1917); its work forms a mass of legislation which for bulk and comprehensiveness, for the great issues involved and the enormous figures dealt with, for its drastic innovations and its effects on the multifarious phases of national life stands without a rival." "I presume to say that no other parliamentary body in so short a time


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