“All War Arrangements are but Schools in Patience”: The North Carolina Council of Defense and the Associational State, 1917-1919

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2022

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Abstract

This dissertation explores the creation, structure, activities, and impact of the North Carolina Council of Defense during the First World War. Its story, while particular to a single state and its people, also illuminates and explains the dynamic and compelling regional and national events that drove a massive wartime mobilization. The North Carolina Council of Defense is also an entry point into understanding the decisions and pathways seen in the American mobilization, helping to illuminate how and why the mobilization occurred in the ways that it did. Perhaps most importantly, the story of this state Council provides insight into the nature of American governance during wartime. Positioned between the national government and the people of North Carolina, the Council mediated the activities of public, private, and individual efforts in support of mobilization activities. Because of this intermediary positioning, it was instrumental in expanding state capacity and capability for military and resource mobilization, and therefore supporting an increase in the nation’s ability to mobilize for the war. However, the Council’s intermediary role also allowed those managing the state mobilization to prevent any significant challenge to the state’s white supremacist and patriarchal socio-political system, despite the dynamic changes wrought by the need to mobilize the nation for war.

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Finney, Nathan K. (2022). “All War Arrangements are but Schools in Patience”: The North Carolina Council of Defense and the Associational State, 1917-1919. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25249.

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