Baker, Newton D.
A lawyer and reform Democratic mayor of Cleveland, Baker had a reputation as a pacifist as well as an efficient administrator when Wilson appointed him to succeed Lindley Garrison in March 1916 on the eve of the U.S. Punitive Expedition into Mexico. Unlike Garrison, who had been won over by the generals and the Republican‐based Preparedness movement, Baker always remained loyal to Wilson. In the War Department he was a conciliator and kept congenial connections between his office, the General Staff, and the army's bureau chiefs as long as possible. Even during the war production and transportation crisis in the winter of 1917–18 he refused to act hastily; it was April 1918 before authority was adequately concentrated in the General Staff and the War Industries Board. Baker also refused to resolve command issues between the War Department and the AEF. In the struggle between Gen. John J. Pershing and Chief of Staff Peyton C. March for the control of military policy, Baker did not decide in March's favor until the war was nearly over. The secretary believed that most problems were resolved if left alone. After the war, he remained an outspoken Wilsonian internationalist and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1924.
[See also World War I: Domestic Course.]
Frederick Palmer , Newton D. Baker: America at War, 2 vols., 1933.
Daniel R. Beaver , Newton D. Baker and the American War Effort 1917–1918, 1966.
Daniel R. Beaver
"Baker, Newton D.." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/baker-newton-d
"Baker, Newton D.." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved September 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/baker-newton-d