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The Homefront

The Homefront

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The Homefront

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  1. The Homefront

  2. Economic Gains • Industrial output increases. • Increase in the availability of jobs. • Improvements in farming. • World War II brings the U.S. out of the Great Depression.

  3. War Production Board • Problem: gov’t agencies argued over supplies, contracts, whose orders had highest priority. • Set priorities, production goals • Controlled distribution of raw materials and supplies • Office of War Mobilization set up to settle conflicts with WPB and military.

  4. Selective Training and Service • First peacetime draft • G.I. – “Government Issue” clothing • Aptitude tests, then basic training • Very rushed, many soldiers felt unprepared.

  5. Wage and Price Controls • FDR worried about inflation • High demand for workers and raw materials • Wages and prices began to rise • Office of Economic Stabilization • Regulated wages, prices of farm products • Office of Price Administration • Regulated all other prices • War Labor Board • Served as a mediator in wage disputes (instead of striking)

  6. Rationing • Fixed allotments of goods that were essential for the military. • Meat, rubber, gasoline • Each household received a ration book with coupons to buy certain items. • Driving restricted, speed limit set at 35 mph

  7. Victory Gardens • Victory gardens – produce more food for war effort

  8. Scrap drives • Americans collected spare rubber, tin, aluminum, steel. • Donated pots, pans, tires, broken car parts, etc. • Fat-collecting stations • Exchange grease for extra ration coupons • Very successful!

  9. Paying for the war • Federal gov’t spent more than $300 billion during WWII. • Taxes raised • Issued war bonds • Americans lent money to the government • Individuals, banks, insurance companies, etc. bought bonds. • http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5406.htm

  10. Women in the Military • Many women joined the armed forces. • Army enlisted women for the first time, but in non-combat positions. • Administrative and clerical jobs • Release more men for combat • Nurses

  11. Women in the Defense Plants • Wartime labor shortage  factories begin to recruit women (even married women) to do industrial jobs. • Traditionally reserved for men. • “Rosie the Riveter” • Image became a symbol of women working to support the war effort. • Most left the factories when the war ended • But, American attitudes toward women in the workplace had changed. • http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5359.htm

  12. A Segregated Army • U.S. military completely segregated. • Training • Barracks • Latrines • Mess halls • Recreational facilities • Black units led by white officers. • Most leaders wanted to keep African-Americans out of combat.

  13. “Double V” • African-Americans should join war to see victory abroad AND at home • FDR orders military to recruit African-Americans.

  14. Tuskegee Airmen • 99th Pursuit Squadron – Tuskegee, AL • Sent to Mediterranean in April 1943

  15. African-Americans at Work • Most factories resisted hiring African-Americans. • A. Philip Randolph • Told FDR he was going to organize a march on Washington for equal rights in jobs and military. • Executive Order 8802 • No discrimination of workers in defense industries or government. • Fair Employment Practices Commission

  16. The Bracero Program • Labor shortage in Southwest. • Bracero Program • Gov’t arranged for Mexican farmworkers to help in the harvest. • Built and maintained railroads

  17. Great Migration • African-Americans leaving South for North to find jobs. • Faced discrimination in cities  violence. • Riots – Detroit • Started with girls • Spread throughout entire city.

  18. Zoot Suit Riots • Southern California • Racism against Mexican-Americans. • Fear of juvenile crime • Zoot Suit – baggy, pleated pants, big jacket. • Angered many Americans – seemed unpatriotic • Should be saving fabric for war. • After rumors of attacks by Zoot suiters, 2,500 soldiers and sailors attacked neighborhoods • Police did not intervene, violence continued.