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WW II and its Effect on America

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Effect of WW II on American families, employers, and Social groups
World War II started when Germany invaded Poland. The United States, under the
Monroe Doctrine, had promised to stay out of European conflicts (Bryne, p. 19-43). President
Franklin Roosevelt had promised Americans that the country would not be involved in the war.
However, Britain was facing devastating losses from the war, and it needed help from the United
States. Britain's prime minister, Winston Churchill, wrote to Roosevelt requesting help in terms
of supplies. Roosevelt mobilized mass production to help the Allies under the Lend-Lease Act.
American companies shifted production from consumer goods to the production of planes, guns,
tanks, and military equipment. The production increased at an unprecedented rate creating jobs
for numerous people who were hard-hit by the Great Depression. When Japan bombed Pearl
Harbor in 1941, the focus shifted from helping Allies to active involvement (Lynch, p. 157-159).
Americans realized the urgency when the Axis brought war to the American soil. Numerous
individuals volunteered to join the armed forces. This situation created a labor shortage at home,
where production needed to continue to create war supplies. Under the President's
encouragement, women took over the production role. Posters, newspapers, and television shows
served to push Americans to contribute towards war efforts. Women served in various industries,
and others joined the military as nurses and those active in combat.
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World War II transformed the American family by creating jobs for women, separation of
families, and the rise of the baby boomers. When men left for war, women had to take up the role
of production. Some of these women had never worked outside the home. They took up various
positions that were initially male-dominated. Production continued exponentially, and the Allies
had enough supplies to win. Other women worked at the front line fighting because some
soldiers had died. They fought alongside men, which led to the formation of the Women's
Auxiliary Forces (Anon). The majority of the nurses were also women. These groups created
income for their families and demonstrated women's ability. The second effect of the war on the
family was negative since numerous families lost their loved ones. Young women lost their
husbands, and older ones lost sons. This situation created fear, grief, and stress. After the war,
there was a rise in marriages and childbearing which contributed to a surge in population.
Furthermore, through the G.I Bill, the government created opportunities for prosperity for
numerous veterans, leading to the development of suburbs.
Socially, WW II united Americans for one purpose; to protect their land and defeat the
enemy. The bombing of Pearl Harbor created patriotism among Americans. Propaganda kindled
this fire of unity and the war effort. Minority groups such as immigrants, women, and African
Americans contributed to the war similarly to Anglo-Saxons. People put aside their differences
and fought as one unit. Women of all races received the opportunity to serve in the war at
various positions. The labor shortage in the Agricultural sector prompted the President to create
the Bracero program, which provided numerous opportunities for Mexicans to temporarily move
into the country to serve in the sector (Anon). This program allowed the population to have
enough food at home and abroad. People united to donate things they did not use to the war.
Rationing of gasoline also took place where people observed speed limit and vehicle tyre use to
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contribute to winning the war. Families planted vegetable gardens to replenish the food supply in
the country and ensure that soldiers did not face a shortage of anything. The government used the
media to encourage people to fund the war through war bonds. Numerous people turned up to
buy bonds. This manner of contribution continued and lifted the country to become a superpower
after the war.
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Works Cited
Anon. “World War II Impact on U.S. Economy and Society | Texas Gateway.”
Texasgateway.org, 2019, www.texasgateway.org/resource/world-war-ii-impact-useconomy-and-society.
Bryne, Alex. The Monroe Doctrine and United States National Security in the Early Twentieth
Century. Springer Nature, 2020.
Lynch, Michael E. "Beyond Pearl Harbor: A Pacific History." Parameters 50.4 (2020): 157-159.