The Great Depression, which had an effect on economies on a global scale, was on of the catalysts to the start of World War II. With many countries struggling, Hitler managed to rise to power partially from his claims of the ability to change Germany into a great military and economic power. Across the ocean though, America was still mired down in the economic slump. President Roosevelt had enacted his New Deal economics and America seemed to be fighting back out of the depression, but it couldn't quite seem to get out. Despite the depression, when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, America was reasonably prepared for war thanks to programs and agencies set forth by the New Deal. The New Deal showed a larger and more active government in social and economic issues.
When the war spread through Europe and Asia, it became clear to the American government that they needed to prepare themselves to strengthen allies and prepare for war. Conversion became one of the biggest issues in the early 40's. The government sought to convert industries over to war production, but many company executives fought the conversion for fear of losing consumer market shares to their competitors who weren't converting. Conversion was advocated by many public officials and labor leaders. The auto industry was converted over to aircraft production by 1942, and became making significant contributions to the war by the next year. The merchant shipbuilding industry was quickly and efficiently converted thanks to a New Deal agency that had been established to revive the shipbuilding industry. The U.S. Maritime Commission (USMC) was created to ensure the American shipyards could meet wartime demands. Shipyards were able to expand across the country thanks to their government funding. 71 ships had been produced in a six year span between 1930 and 1936. In the two years from 1938 to 1940 shipyards produced 106 ships, and that many were almost produced in 1941 alone. This amazing growth was...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document