Though isolationist in principle through and to the end of World War I, the United States was not immune to the war’s influence. There was an economic influence, as the nations at war, once regular trading partners, invested more and more of their money in munitions.
By 1916, the Allies were running short of money and depended on the U.S. for loans, a point that did not escape the attention of British economist John Maynard Keynes. According to David Fromkin, Keynes, “speaking for the British Treasury, warned the Cabinet that by the end of the year, ‘the American executive and the American public will be in a position to dictate to this country.’ ”
How does the youngest in the family react when the older siblings are fighting? Throwing his or her own fit in an effort to further disrupt the chaos? Or, maybe, taking a deep breath, searching her own identity, discovering his own good beliefs, the youngster becomes herself, a self-reliant, self-reflective individual, independent but receptive to his place in the family.
Chautauqua Institution and its platform for 1916 showed some such actualization, acting as a superego of these United States. “Americanization Week” began on Monday, July 17, and consisted of four lectures by Dr. E.A. Steiner, one by Mr. W.W. Husband and one by the Rev. James J. Coale. The week ended with a “Question Box,” in which Chautauquans submitted questions for all three speakers on the topic of the week.