In the nineteen months during which the United States was fighting the war, a wave of social and political change swept across the country. As American soldiers went "over there," the nation "over here" went through a dramatic transformation that touched most of the population of 100 million. A major force promoting and shaping this transformation was the Progressive current that had been evident in the United States since the turn of the century. Progressives believed that society could be reformed: it was possible to attack vices deliberately and systematically; it was possible as well to promote social and economic justice. Using the techniques of the social sciences and the power of enlightened government. Progressives believed that they could identify, address, and solve many of the problems of a rapidly growing industrial society. Thus, the war effort offered an opportunity to attack alcoholism and prostitution through government action. Recently arrived immigrants could be brought into the mainstream of American life and taught middle-class values through systematic Americanization campaigns, including encouragement to support the war effort.