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The Homefront

The Homefront. 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. War Production Board.

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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.

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