World at War

Topics: World War II, World War I, United States Pages: 5 (1581 words) Published: May 27, 2013
The Gobal War
This paper will identify major historical turning points during War World II and through the 1970’s while analyzing the impact the war had on America’s current society, economy, politics and culture. I will also discuss why America in the late 1930’s wanted to stay out of the European conflict that became WWII, which is one of the greatest debates of all time. We examine the important role that women played in winning the war and what outcomes came from their hard work that impacted women today. Many civil rights movements developed during this time also, and we discuss many breakthroughs that moved African Americans forward because of the war. I will describe ways in which the Vietnam War brought political awareness to a new generation of young Americans and to conclude I talk about President’s Johnson’s “Great Society” agenda that are still in place today that we benefit from if it had not been for the war. All these things are what make WWII known for the Greatest War of all time even after World War I. Identify at least two (2) major historical turning points in the period under discussion.

The war prompted a tremendous mobilization of American resources, at a level unseen since the Civil War. Long-quiet industries were revitalized, the agricultural sector started to grow again, and the American economy ramped up from that of the low production of the Great Depression years to the most powerful economy in the world. The economy showed the most remarkable improvement. World War II initiated the most significant federal management of the economy in American History. When the war began, President Roosevelt implemented the War Production Board (WPB) to steer the economy into manufacturing weapons rather than consumer goods. Under WPB contracts, Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors shifted from making cars to producing tanks and airplanes. Firestone, Goodyear, and B.F Goodrich ceased production of civilian car tires and made tires for jeeps, trucks, and airplanes. Farmers produced crops in record amounts as well. The expansion of the economy increased the size of the labor force. On one hand, 12 million Americans joined the armed forces, subtracting them from the domestic labor pool. On the other hand, formerly depressed industries were now replete with contracts, hiring men and women at unprecedented levels. This need for workers was a boon to unions. Union membership grew from 9 million in 1940 to nearly 15 million in 1945.

From 1947 to 1960, the gross national product doubled. Wages went up, inflation stayed low, and leisure activities became accessible to more and more Americans. So did comforts like electricity, air conditioning and indoor plumbing. The changed occurred because Americans were spending more due to higher wages, veteran’s benefits, and demand that had been restrained during wartime. Things like dishwashers, washing machines, and televisions rapidly moved from luxuries to necessities. Another turning point was women roles had changed dramatically during the war, which I will go into much detail later. The military experience was also a eye opening for farm boys, city dwellers, musicians, college students, artists, skill technicians etc., serving together not to mention the mixing of racial and ethnic groups and men of different geographic areas brought new perspectives to the men who served in WWII, that led to several Civil Rights changes after the war had ended. Analyze the impact of the two or more major historical turning points selected on America’s current society, economy, politics, and culture.

Out of the expanded economy, two products transformed American life more than any other: Television and the automobile. In the 1950’s, the technology behind the television was perfected, and it immediately became immensely popular. By the end of the decade, television was perfected, and it immediately became immensely popular. The automobile was also transformed American life, and the...
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