European War Worries Most North Dakotans; Most Against Intervention

The war in Europe has been going on for over a year. The Central Powers (Germany and Austria) and the Allied Powers (England and France) are engaged in bloody trench warfare in western Europe. To the east Russia, an ally of England and France, is in fierce combat against the German armies. Neither side is close to winning the war.

War posters from Europe. Courtesy of the British Museum.

In this country President Woodrow Wilson is advancing a program of preparedness, in case the United States becomes involved in the war.  The preparedness movement has little support in North Dakota. Its representatives in Congress have voted against Wilson’s plan to enlarge the army and navy. Most North Dakotans blame the munitions makers for pushing the preparedness movement.

War posters from Europe. Courtesy of the British Museum.

From all corners of the state come demands that the United States stay neutral in the conflict. Many fear that British propaganda will influence Americans to enter the war on the Allied side. British propaganda posters are making their way to this country.  They depict the Germans, who are referred to as Huns, in the worst possible way. Here in Fryburg, Gerald P. Nye, the editor of the Pioneer, vows that he will not support American intervention until the Kaiser’s German army marches on American soil.

By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Grade Level

4-7, 9-12

Subject Matter

Social Studies

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change