The Law Library of Congress would like to take the opportunity to remember the sacrifices of our brave veterans who proudly served the cause of freedom over a century ago in World War I.
The Law Library invites you to explore the history of World War I with a collection of declarations of war from around the world, including some from empires that no longer exist. The Law Library’s collections contain these materials because we collect legal materials, not just from the United States, but from around the world, in order to fulfill our mission to serve Congress.
In addition to exploring the international impact of the war, you can also explore the war’s domestic impact, from the sinking of the Lusitania, to the effect the United States’ entry into the War had on civil liberties in the United States. Today, we commemorate Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day, remembering the day, one-hundred years ago, when the guns fell silent on the Western Front at 11am on November 11th, 1918.
You can also delve into a wealth of materials related to World War I through the Library of Congress World War I exhibit.
World War I brought great changes to American society. American volunteers served in the armed forces of warring nations prior to 1917. For the first time women served in the nation’s armed forces, although in a limited role. Women also worked in jobs outside their traditional spheres in teaching and domestic labor. African American soldiers served in segregated units, some of which played crucial roles in the campaign of 1918. The federal government was given new powers to regulate the nation’s economy, including in the areas of transportation and communications, agriculture and industrial production. President Wilson played a critical part in formulating Allied War aims. After the signing of the Armistice there was extensive debate on the future position of the country in the world affairs.