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Impact of Second World War on American and British Society

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Impact of Second World War on American and British Society

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The Second World War proved to be the most devastating war of its time, witnessing a level of carnage previously inconceivable. However, for the vast number of Americans, most of who were on the home front, the war provided a very different experience, their only insight to it being through the “newsreel images that flickered across America’s theatre scenes.” According to statistics, of the 50 million people that died during the war, only 1 per cent of them were American. In America, the war “galvanized American patriotism and unity”, “propelling the nation out of the morass of the Great Depression” by igniting a beam of prosperity. People relocated across the country in search of new jobs that the war created, prospects of employment for African- Americans and women also opened up and as a result of this progress, America rapidly acquired its status as the worlds only superpower. After Pearl Harbor, “ like a giant awaking from sleep” , America came to life; industrial growth contributed to its military strength, which was said to be able to defeat any fully armed western European or Asian country. During the Great Depression, America’s “mighty economy machine” collapsed, rendering millions jobless and therefore shattering the faith in the capitalist system. Despite an attempt as resolving the crisis through New Deal plans and other agencies, by 1939, overall unemployment stood at close to 8.9 million. However, America seemed to bounce back rapidly once they entered the war; U.S gross national product increased to 60 per cent, living costs rose 30 per cent, total earnings went up by 50 per cent and by the year 1945 America was in possession of half of the worlds shipping, and nearly all of its manufacturing capacity. What was essential to financial recovery was public expenditure, for instance between 1939 and 1940, the Congress paid double of what it had on the New Deal in the span of eight years on the military. Regardless of this success, according to...

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