Impact of the Second World War on America
Written by: Latrice Jones-Lanclos
World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, which involved most of the world's nations, including all of the great powers: eventually forming two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilized. In a state of "total war," the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was the deadliest conflict in human history, resulting in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities. The beginning of WWII effectively ended The Great Depression in America by putting everyone back to work; 16,000,000 men in the armed forces and many millions of men and women in the various industries that supported the war effort. There was concern that when the war ended there would be another depression because that war-time employment would end. But that didn't happen. The wartime economy brought about full employment and, in doing so, achieved what New Deal programs had been unable to do. In 1940, there were 8 million Americans unemployed. By 1941, however, unemployment was almost unheard of. There were actually labor shortages in some industries. As a result, more and more women entered the workforce. Women took up jobs in industry that had once been reserved for men, and "Rosie the Riveter" became a popular American icon. By 1945, women made up 36% of the nation's total workforce.
In the course of the war, aircraft continued their roles of reconnaissance, fighters, bombers and ground-support from World War I, though each area was advanced considerably. Two important...
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