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Essay, Research Paper

Social Change in the United States

During World War II

As the possibility of a 2nd World War arose people began to organize sentiments on the United States? function in Europe. The general population disagreed on whether or non to acquire involved in the struggle with Germany. Some people believed in interventionism, the theory that the United States should make everything it could to back up Britain without declaring war on Germany. Along with William Allen White they formed the Committee to Defend America by Helping the Allies. Others supported the thought of isolationism, which said that the United States should support itself foremost. The protagonists of isolationism formed the Committee to Defend America First which was supported chiefly by pacificists and socialists and good as Democrats and republicans. The bulk of Americans were against the engagement of the United States. Congress acted on this general sentiment by ordaining neutrality Torahs and allowing small money for the ground forces and naval forces. Because of its hapless support, in 1939, the United States Army was little and ranked merely 39th in the universe. Much of its heavy weapon was still drawn by Equus caballuss ( Harris, 17 ) .

After Japan? s surprise onslaught on Pearl Harbor the sentiment of the American people drastically changed. Isolationism was eliminated virtually nightlong. Most Americans thought they were contending for President Roosevelt? s four freedoms:

We look frontward to a universe founded upon four indispensable homo freedoms.

The first is freedom of address and look & # 8230 ; everyplace in the universe.

The 2nd is freedom of every individual to idolize God in his ain manner & # 8230 ; everyplace in the universe.

The 3rd is freedom from want & # 8230 ; everyplace in the universe.

The 4th is freedom from fright & # 8230 ; everyplace in the universe.

& # 8211 ; President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress, January 6,1941 ( National Archives and Records Administration )

Once the United States joined the war it was instantly realized that the armed forces needed to be built up before it could be effectual. Flocks of American work forces, outraged from the Pearl Harbor incident, voluntarily signed up for the ground forces and navy. Those Americans who couldn? T join the armed forces helped the war attempt by volunteering to turn their ain veggies in make-shift gardens. In 1941 the Secretary of Agriculture officially suggested the usage of these? triumph gardens? . The? triumph gardens? were planted anyplace they could be, in such topographic points as vacant tonss and gaols. The gardens shortly accounted for 40 % of the states veggies ( Nash, 525 ) .

To maintain Americans informed during the war the authorities created the Office of War Information. The Office of War Information encouraged the newspapers, wireless, and films to assist explicate the current events and authorities policies. The media, nevertheless, needed no encouragement and film shapers were shortly scrambling to copyright films like: Bombing of Honolulu, Yellow Peril, and V for Victory. Comic strips were besides being based on war. New characters like G.I. Joe and Dan Winslow of the Navy emerged at this clip. Songs, advertizements from magazines and newspapers, hoardings, and wireless shows besides picked up the war clip tendency.

The economic alterations that took topographic point during and because of the war were about all positive. The state? s GNP ( gross national merchandise ) , the entire dollar sum of all the goods and services produced in one twelvemonth, increased from $ 90.5 billion in 1939 to $ 211.9 billion in 1945 ( Nash 527 ) . Because the war created a demand for supplies and new merchandises every bit good as military forces, a batch of new occupations became available. This inundation of gaps raised rewards and lowered the unemployment rate. As the net incomes of Americans increased so did the cost of life and by 1942 a individual exhausted 15 % more on life disbursals than 1939 degrees. Because of the dramatic addition in rewards and rising prices the National War Labor Board ( NWLB ) was set up to command them. The NWLB allowed a pay addition of 15 % in 1942 over 1941 degrees. In April 1943, faced with continued rising prices, the authorities issued a? keep the line? order. Restrictions, nevertheless, applied to hourly rewards, non to hebdomadal net incomes. By working overtime, workers could still gain a good trade more money. Consequently, while pay rates rose by a comparatively modest 24 % during the war hebdomadal net incomes rose by a enormous 70 % ( Nash, 528 ) . Because their rewards were being limited workers besides wanted the monetary values of goods to be limited, which led to the creative activity of the capitalized Office of Price Administration ( OPA ) in 1942.

To maintain the cost of assorted nutrients down and to conserve stuffs used by the military the OPA began rationing certain points.

? There were certain nutrients that were hard to come by, like sugar. We used ruddy dime sized items and rationing brochures to buy rationed points. Gasoline rationing was really difficult on people who needed to acquire to work so people auto pooled. Womans? s hosiery was really difficult to acquire. I could acquire hose because I was in the armed forces? ( Bartholme ) .

Recycling was besides encouraged at this clip to supply the military with the stuffs it needed. Neighborhood kids frequently joined nines that collected reclaimable bit metal from Sn tins and other beginnings.

? We saved our used fat from cooked meats and turned it back into to the

meat traders ( used to do bombs ) . We besides saved scrap metal that was

melted down and used once more? ( Jagta ) .

? World War II cost the United States ten times more than World War I did. From 1941 to 1945, the authorities? s runing budget was $ 321 billion, about twice every bit much as its entire disbursement in the predating 100 old ages. Taxes met about 40 % of the war costs ; the authorities borrowed the remainder? ( Nash, 528 ) . Most of the money was borrowed from Americans in the signifier of war bonds. Before the war Americans were non required to pay federal income revenue enhancement and merely 26 million revenue enhancement returns were filed in 1941. In 1942 Congress passed a measure necessitating most Americans to pay the revenue enhancement as support for the war. Payroll tax write-offs were st

arted in 1943 on a monthly footing.

Because so many work forces volunteered or were drafted into the service at that place was a terrible deficit of labourers. To assist make full this losing spread adult females from all over the state were hired for occupations antecedently held by work forces. ( Zeinert, 77 ) The authorities started to promote this new tendency by doing advertizements like? Rosie the Riveter? , that showed adult females as strong and able workers. Womans were employed to make all sorts of occupations runing from mill to military work.

? I was in the Navy working in communications. I decoded messages and had an in deepness background cheque done on me before I could function. I was stationed in Washington D.C. during the war? ( Bartholme ) .

Labor brotherhoods pledged that every bit long as the war continued their workers would non strike for better conditions or higher wage. Adolescents aided in the war attempt by fall ining organisations such as Junior Red Cross, The Victory Corps, and the Victory Farm voluntaries ( Zeinert, 79 ) .

As the war moved into full swing and more and more supplies were needed industry adjusted to provide the stuff demands. Auto mills were turned into armored combat vehicle and plane makers. Shoe makers began to hammer little cannons. A burial vault builder converted to doing 100 lb bombs. Besides, a soft drink company began to lade shells with explosives. These are merely a few illustrations of the many mill transitions that took topographic point during this clip.

As migrating workers became common topographic point they needed a topographic point to remain. Some stayed in big industrial metropoliss but many went to little towns. Because of the enormous and sudden addition in their population antecedently little towns across America became known as? Boomtowns? . ? New reachings looking for work in these topographic points found lodging scarce, medical installations inadequate, healthful conditions awful, schools overcrowded and twenty-four hours attention centres about non-existent ” ( Nash, 536 ) .

In 1943 many race public violences broke out as a consequence of ill treated Afro-american soldiers. These public violences started at at least 9 army preparation cantonments in that twelvemonth entirely. The worst public violence erupted in Detroit where 6,000 African-Americans and countless Whites rioted for over a twenty-four hours ensuing in the decease of 25 African americans and 9 Whites and the hurt of 700 people. Despite the eruption of force African americans started to have more rights and were employed on a regular basis during the war. Populating conditions of minorities improved through the attempts of many freshly formed organisations. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( NAACP ) , was the largest organisation of its sort and fought for the equal intervention for African-Americans. The Congress of Racial Equality ( CORE ) was founded in 1942 and mobilized mass opposition to favoritism and employed Acts of the Apostless of non-violent civil noncompliance such as sit-ins at film theatres and eating houses. The March on Washington Movement ( MOWM ) was organized by A. Philip Randolph to convey attending to the hapless intervention of African-Americans in the armed forces. It? s motto was? We loyal American citizens demand the right to work and contend for our state? . The Fair Employment Practices Committee ( FEPC ) was created by Roosevelt? s Executive Order 8802 to better employment criterions.

Mexicans were besides the mark of racial favoritism and force in 1943. New chances for agricultural occupations in the sou’-west brought 1000s of Mexicans to the United States illicitly. At the same clip Mexican-Americans were traveling to larger metropoliss looking for occupations. They were discriminated against and hated much as the African-Americans were which caused many Latino American adolescents to seek flight from the loads of life. They started have oning zoot suits, which were suits with jackets that came down to the finger tips and loose-fitting bloomerss with high turnups. The zoot suits showed their independency and put them apart from the remainder of the population.

World War II had small impact on the civil autonomies or rights guaranteed to all citizens with the exclusion of the Japanese. The Japanese did non demo any marks of disloyalty but in the spring of 1942 more than 100 1000 of them were moved to relocation cantonments because they looked like the enemy. There were 10 lasting resettlement centres located largely in the West where conditions were anything but pleasant. They were forced to digest 130 degree temperature alterations, deficiency of nutrient and shelter and separation from loved 1s.

? They were bundled up in a amusing array of World War I surplus uniforms.

issued by the War Relocation Authority. They had loose-fitting bloomerss, hanging jackets, wrap around legings, helmets, goggles & # 8212 ; the whole plants. They looked like a clump of refugees from another universe ( Stanley, 42 ) ? .

There was ne’er any warranted cause for this intervention of the Japanese. It was based entirely on the baseless fright of white Americans.

World War II created both a positive and negative societal alteration for the United States. While conveying out the worst in Americans by know aparting against inkinesss, Mexicans and Nipponese the war helped the economic system and increased employment and

productiveness. The war leap started America after its long depression by giving mills something to bring forth and consumers money to purchase goods with.

Bartholme, Betty. Telephone interview. 17 Dec. 1998.

Harris, Mark Jonathan. The Homefront: America During World War II. New York:

G. P. Putnam? s Sons, 1984.

Jagta, Mary. Telephone interview. 17 Dec. 1998.

Nash, Gary B.. American Odyssey: The United States in the Twentieth Century. Capital of ohio: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1997.

National Archives and Records Administration. & lt ; webmaster @ nara.gov & gt ; ? Powers of Persuation. ? December 17, 1998. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www.nara.gov/exhall/powers/freedoms.html & gt ; ( October 24, 1997 )

Stanley, Jerry. I am an American: A True Story of Nipponese Internment. New York:

Crown Publishers, Inc. , 1994.

Zeinert, Karen. Those Incredible Womans of World War II. Brookfield: Millbrook Press,

1994.

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