Did Ww2 Act as a Catalyst for Change with Regard to Race Relations and Civil Rights in the United States?

Topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt, African American, World War II Pages: 3 (993 words) Published: November 3, 2008
The word ‘catalyst’ usually refers to something that speed’s up a reaction, or speeds up change. World War two was one of the most important events the world has ever seen, America was involved in this. At the time of World War two people who weren’t white Americans living there were always treated with disrespect. I think that World War two did act as a catalyst for change with regard to race relations and civil rights in the United States because people who weren’t white Americans served their country even though they weren’t always appreciated, The War meant more black people got jobs (according to figures around seven million) and I believe the civil rights movement came around more quickly because of the War. After the outbreak of World War 2, Philip Randolph (A leading black American union leader) tried to make the military a fairer place for black people to work in. This was left unanswered and was the most likely cause for the Executive Order 8802 which helped with job discrimination in war mobilisation. Owing to this order million’s more black people then found jobs, about a million of these getting jobs in the military. Even though there was still segregation in some of the military sections (for example they had all-black units for black soldiers and Marine Corps) this was an improvement to before the War when it was very difficult for Black people to get a job in the army except for labouring and service tasks. 1940 was a turning point for black Americans; Black leaders met with the Secretary of the Navy and the Assistant Secretary of War to present program for the mobilization of black people in America, this included demands for flight training, the admission of black women into Red Cross and military nursing units, and desegregation of the armed forces. President Roosevelt issued a statement that argued against the latter demand on the basis that it would impact national defence. Although he promised to ensure that the services enlisted blacks in...
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