The American home front during World War II is recalled warmly in popular memory and cultural myth as a time of unprecedented national unity, years in which Americans stuck together in common cause. World War II brought many new ideas and changes to American life. Even though World War II brought no physical destruction to the United States mainland, it did affect American society. Every aspect of American life was altered by U.S. involvement in the war including demographics, the labor force, economics and cultural trends.
During the Great Depression, the American birth rate had fallen to an all-time low due to delayed marriages and parenthood. In the 1940's, there was a population growth of 19 million, which doubled the rise of …show more content…
The climate and scenery appealed to many servicemen that had been stationed in the West, and after the war many relocated there permanently with their families.
During the 1940's wartime production required more factory workers. With the majority of males being enlisted into the military and the work force depleted, minorities and women found many opportunities during the war. "For most, involvement became an adventure, a way that every citizen could feel he or she was making an important contribution to the war effort"(Duis, 20). While most women were married, they worked to keep themselves busy while the males were off at war. "Prior to the war only about one fourth of women worked outside of the home" (Bard, 173). "By 1945, women made up 36% of the nation's total workforce" (Schultz). After the war, women were advised to leave work and continue their more traditional role of wife and mother. African Americans improved their economical standing by accepting war industry positions and through their migration from the south; some became professionals and skilled workers, yet still facing harsh discrimination. There was a high commitment of immigrant workers to the war effort that participated heavily in war bond and scrap metal collection drives. Like African Americans, these immigrants were also subjected to racial prejudice. But overall, "America enjoyed full employment and a higher standard of living"
World War II opened a new chapter in the lives of Depression-weary Americans. The United States of America had an unusual importance in the war, it had been spared the physical destruction that had taken place throughout the world. Americans on the home front did not see the fighting and brutality as other countries experienced it. However, the events and changes on the home front due to the World War transformed America. One of the greatest conversions was that of the American woman. Women around the country were transformed from the average house wife into a person with a voice and most importantly a purpose.
The wartime jobs produced lasting careers and life-style changes for women. Some of the jobs they did were telephone operators, factory workers, seamstresses, and physicians. Most of the women that were hired for these jobs were young and unmarried because they had fewer obligations to attend. This meant, they could work long hours with little pay since they did not have a family to provide for. It was
There is a fine line between what American society looked like during World War II and contemporary America. The dilemma is that society has gone from patriotism and a fight for liberty to “everyone walking around with a chip on his or her shoulder” (Carr 2). This two distinct differences on America culture and society is manifested in, Howie Carr’s “Take $2000 and Call Me in the Morning” and Ronald Reagan’s speech, “The Boys of Point du Hoc”.
After World War II, the American psyche became permanently stained with new ideas. During this time period, the American government actively sought to change the way the American people thought. The support of the American public was crucial to the success of the war effort. Many ideas introduced during this point of time consisted of new roles of certain people groups in American society. Women and minority groups would prove themselves in the workplace, millions of citizens would be discriminated against, and social barriers would be broken and assembled. Even though World War II took place in Europe and the Pacific, it made lasting social changes that can still be seen in America.
The U.S industry, as well as the government expanded during wartime needs. Women made all of this possible (Partners in Winning the War). Women were needed to fill in the traditional male jobs during the war. These jobs provided unprecedented opportunities for women to move into occupations, previously thought of as exclusively for men. However, with these new opportunities, American women began to change the stereotypes of gender roles. They took over the majority of factory and office jobs, previously occupied by men. Five million women entered the workplace during 1940-1945, the gap in the labor force created by departing soldiers. It is seen that a huge percentage of American women have begun to take over these positions, slowly changing the industrial world in the United States (Khan Academy).
World War II changed the lives of many Americans overnight. Men, women, children, everyone was impacted by it in one way or another. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese, the United States made the decision to enter World War II and fight back. World War II gave those who were discriminated against better opportunities. World War II impacted many Americans especially Latinos, African Americans, and women. Even though they were all discriminated against equally before World War II, during World War II Latinos and African Americans had a more positive experience than women.
From the earliest times, war has existed as a painful reality. Stories are passed down from generation to generation about brave men fighting epic battles in ancient civilizations. Occasionally a different type of legend emerges: the homefront hero. In Ancient Greece and Rome, elderly statesmen prevented famine and raised supplies for their distant armies in wartime. From then on through history, those left behind, from the leaders of countries tested in resolve and commitment by wars to the ordinary citizens who rise above their routines to serve their countries, are powerful forces behind victories. World War II was no exception. While the soldiers abroad were undoubtedly true heroes of the war, the parents, siblings, and children they left behind also assisted in the war effort. No one remained truly unaffected by the war. Without the labors of women, the efforts of schoolchildren, and the institution of rationing, World War II could not have been won.
World War II is an event that has marked history like no other. Originating from a European struggle, war broke out in 1939 and continued for six years. From the years 1939 through 1945 more than half the earth's surface was battling in war. American society was greatly affected. People of every age, race and class were deeply affected. Women's place in society took a leap forward like it never had before. As an effect of the second world war women's traditional roles in society were drastically altered.
On December 7, 1941, the United States Of America decided to enter World War Two. On that same day, the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor which was the main reason the U.S. join the war. The day directly after that the U.S. join the Allied Powers which consisted of Britain, France, USSR, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, and Yugoslavia. With the U.S. at war, they needed a way to motivate people so that they weren’t like Germany in World War One. Although during World War Two, the citizens of The U.S. were so impacted by the thought of war, so they helped soldiers and their government.
Since gaining independence in the American Revolution and navigating through the difficulties of forming a new republic, the United States has continuously undergone major changes to its economic, political, and social situations, each change evolving from an obstacle faced by the nation. Some of the greatest and most impactful changes have occurred due to war, as the United States was forced to adapt and modify itself to meet the demands of conflict. After years of remaining isolated from the world stage, the United States was forced to face the conflict that was spreading across the globe in the late 1940s, eventually leading to the United States joining World War II. American participation in this war brought drastic changes to the home front of the United States, lifting it out of its economic depression and providing new opportunities for different groups. In addition, World War II brought about a sense of patriotism and unity as citizens began helping in an array of ways, including, rationing and buying war bonds. In stark contrast to this, the Vietnam War did not have the same positive effects on the United States. Rather than unity, there was distrust in the government after many military and political failures, and the United States faced economic downturn rather upturn. In addition, many Americans did not understand why the United States was fighting in the war, leading to lessened support for the war and active protests. Though there were many negative effects,
Although unfortunate for women, employers were able to pay lower wages and dismiss them if a man applied for the position. They also received minimal support from unions caused by concern that women would replace men in the workforce because they could be paid less. Despite being unfairly treated in the workforce, women had experienced an extent of freedom in society that would forever change how they were viewed. While men fought, women were also left with the emotional burden of waiting for their loved ones to return home, although many did not. This meant some women were left to raise and feed children as a single parent, whilst still supporting themselves. Those women’s husbands who did return, did not have it easier in any way. Predominance of men had injuries meaning women had to take care of them, whilst other men suffered depression, nightmares and trouble relating to previous civilian lives. Occasionally, this resulted in breakdown of marriage and family. In this regard, the war did not create a bright future for
For the United States the event of WWII was most likely the single largest factor in determining the nation’s financial, political, and social prowess in the 20th century. Where most have knowledge of the war itself, few understand the sheer reach it had and the massive effects it produced globally. At home, it ended the great depression and strengthened our government’s ability to manage the economy. Leading up to the war virtually all industry in the country was majorly crippled if not dead, a problem that may not have ever been fixed were it not for increased demands via the defense industries.
After World War II, America saw a very large and sudden increase in population. The large population growth was a result of the victory of WWII. The soldiers who returned from war and those who didn't leave to fight, were now able to afford and support a family. Only about 6 or 7 years after the great depression and the economy was greatly improving, giving opportunity for families who delayed having children to finally have a family. People finally had the opportunity to live a full family life.
Women, particularly married women joined the workforce in numbers never before seen “Between 1940 and 1945, the female percentage of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, and by 1945 nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home” (Staff). These people who stayed at home and helped the war production most certainly did their best. By the end of the war they had more than doubled the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is a modern measurement of the health of an economy ("U.S. GDP by Year"). Their hard work had truly made us “the arsenal of democracy” ("Franklin D. Roosevelt: Fireside Chat.").