Suggested writing time: 45 minutes
The following question requires you to write a coherent essay incorporating your interpretation of the documents and your knowledge of the period specified in the question. To earn a high score you are required to cite key pieces of evidence from the documents and draw on your knowledge of the period.
It is often claimed that the major American wars of the last 150 years have resulted in the most important social and political gains of minorities and women. Evaluate this statement with regard to the experience of minorities and women during World War II. Use evidence from the documents and your knowledge of the period from 1941 to 1945 to compose your answer.
Brigadier General B. 0. Davis to General Peterson, 9 November 1943 (Brigadier Davis had just completed an inspection of military bases in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and
“I was deeply impressed with the high morale and attitudes of the colored officers and soldiers stationed in the states visited in the past two months. They were so different from those of the colored officers and soldiers located in the Southern states. While there has been an improvement in general conditions, there is still great dissatisfaction and discouragement on the part of the colored people and the soldiers. They feel that, regardless of how much they strive to meet War Department requirements, there is no change in the attitude of the War
Department. The colored officers and soldiers feel that they are denied the protection and rewards that ordinarily result from good behavior and proper performance of duty…..
The Press news items and reports of investigations show that there has been little change in the attitudes of civilian communities in Southern states. The colored man in uniform receives nothing but hostility from community officials.... The colored man in uniform is expected by