Essay Example: The Impact of World War II on America's Home Front

Published: 2022-08-19
Essay Example: The Impact of World War II on America's Home Front
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  World War 2 United States
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 640 words
6 min read

The Japanese attacks on the United States (the U.S.) naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941, thrust the U.S. into World War II (1939-1945). The involvement of the U.S. in the war resulted in diverse outcomes to the U.S. society, politics, and economy. The government established a food, gas, and clothing rationing program when it joined the war in a bid to have people save resources for the use by the military. As a result, people stated 'victory gardens' to grow their own food. By 1945, these gardens contributed about 40% of all vegetables consumed in the U.S.

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To assist build arms essential to win the war, women got jobs in defense factories as welders, electricians, and riveters. as the army enlisted and shipped majority of men to the battlefields. The employment opportunities women found in defense industries and the conscription of men to war, reduced the soaring unemployment rates the Great Depression had caused. The purchase of government bonds by individuals who wanted to help with the high cost of war also boosted the economy. The newly created jobs and the increased production of goods necessary for war activities (which the government bought), improved the spending power of citizens. Subsequently, the improved supply of money amongst the population kick-started the economy and led to the end of the Great Depression.

There were also many sociocultural outcomes arising from the U.S. involvement in the conflict. These include people's becoming attached to radio reports to listen to war news, the use of popular entertainment as an escapist outlet to relieve war anxieties, and the new-found zeal by Hollywood to produce war-related films (such as the movie Go to War). The purpose of such war-related propaganda was to stress the necessity for the U.S. involvement in the conflict, the significance of Allied victory, and provoke patriotism. Subsequently, there was a surge in the popularity of patriotic music like Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. Culturally, America took a leap toward racial integration and gender mainstreaming. Many African-Americans migrated from the South to take up jobs in factories while women took work in industrial production lines for the first time. However, stripping Japanese Americans citizenship rights and imprisoning them to relocation camps, exemplified racial discrimination and cultural divisions existing in American communities. The involvement of the U.S. in the war also informed the amendment of the Selective Training and Service Act on 20th December 1941. The changes introduced made men 20 - 45 years-old liable for military service, and it required those between 18 - 64 to register. On 13th November 1942, Congress added another provision calling 18 - and 19-year-olds who have registered to service.

The political and administrative scene also considerably transformed when the U.S. entered the war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected for an unprecedented four times to the presidency. That was due to his war experience (having served as the assistant secretary of the Navy during World War I) and the popularity he had gained from his response to the World War II. Eventually, this occurrence would inform the 2nd Amendment (1951) that limits presidential tenure to two terms.

World War II also increased bipartisanship in the U.S. politics. The U.S. political leaders started to cooperate more to adopt policies aimed at fostering the U.S. position in international affairs and national ones to counter the economic effects of Americans returning from the war. In 1944, both chambers of Congress unanimously passed the Serviceman's Readjustment Act (GI Bill) to establish a program to help veterans adjust to civilian life by offering funds for medical needs, purchasing homes, starting businesses, and continuing their education. The political cooperation the war brought to America, also led the U.S.'s Senate to ratify the Charter of the United Nations on the summer of 1945 by a vote of 89 - 2.

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