Assess the social impact of the Second World War on women and ethnic minorities in the United States.

Topics: World War II, United States, Attack on Pearl Harbor Pages: 3 (1043 words) Published: September 28, 2014
The Second World War had a profound effect on white men who lived in the United States during the 1940s. Many volunteered for overseas military service, and many more joined the army in the nation's first peacetime draft, which occurred in 1941 as a precursor to the United States's future involvement in the war. World War II also, however, had a profound impact on the lives of women and ethnic minorities in the United States. Because white men were the primary candidates of the draft, women and minorities were able to fill job openings that were created when over 1 million Americans went to fight the war. This was not true of Japanese-Americans, however, who were treated with high levels of discrimination and were detained on account of their ancestral background, on the grounds that they were perceived as a threat to national security in the United States. Thus, while the average domestic American woman and ethnic minority benefited from the Second World War, Japanese-Americans were often targets of racial profiling and bigotry, suffering greatly during the war. Until the United States became involved in World War II, women were primarily confined to domestic duties. With the Great Depression affecting the lives of all American families prior to the war, there were not enough jobs for women and men to fill, and thus men received priority when jobs were being filled. Once many men left the United States to fight the war, however, women were able to fill jobs that were now vacant. Women were soon found commonly in industrial positions, as searchlight workers, and nurses in the military. One important political figure during World War II was Rosie the Riveter, who was portrayed as a buff-looking woman who represented female factory workers during this time period. This was an important figure for the United States because it convinced women to apply for jobs that were previously considered “man’s work”, in order to secure a paycheck and support the nation’s wartime...
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