You are here

Total Troops Furnished by Each State and Territory, World War I, March 8, 1920

Total Troops Furnished by each State and Territory During the War, April 7, 1917 to November 11, 1918.  Including Regular Army, National Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U. S. Guards
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3166-78_B1_F16_Troops_Bargraph
Document Description
Bar graph showing how many troops each state and territory mobilized to fight in World War I, March 8, 1920. 
How many total troops did the US furnish for the war?
Which section of the country accounted for highest percentage of troops? The least?
What factors might account for the disparity?
What does the number suggest about recruiting efforts?
Historical Challenges
Write a report on “all volunteer armies” and their use in modern armed conflicts.
Interdisciplinary Connections
ELA/Media Arts: Analyze the role of recruiting posters and the role of advertising.
Math: Research and calculate the ratio of those who served versus the total population.
Capozzola, Christopher. Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the American Citizen. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Chambers, John W. To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America. Free Press, 1987.

Historical Context
As seen in this graph, the United States mobilized thousands of people to make up the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) of World War I.  As the graph shows, about ten percent – one out of every ten people – of those who served in the U.S. forces came from the state of New York.

When President Woodrow Wilson decided to commit US troops to assist the Allies and declared war on The Central Powers in April 1917, the United States had almost no established army. The fact that a manned and equipped force of over 4 million was soon would be deployed to Europe is a remarkable achievement and speaks to the level of patriotism with which the citizens of the country responded to the call. But it also reflects the level to which the government was able to mobilize such a military.

Relying on a combination of national and local draft boards, nearly one quarter of the male population entered into military service, most of which served overseas with the American Expeditionary Force.

Estimates show as high as twenty-four million men between 18 and 31 registered for the draft with 3 million actually entering into military service. Another 300 to 400 hundred thousand volunteered to serve. A disproportionate number of conscripts seemed to have emerged from the Northeast and eastern most states of the Mid-West. Still, the efficiency and expediency with which the United States went from little to no army to such a large and prepared military cannot be overshadowed.

Essential Question
Why is the collection and presentation of data important to the functioning of a society?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the information presented in the table and explain the differences between the states with large contributions and those with small contributions.