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WWII: Effects on American Life. Scope of Mobilization. # of people who registered for the draft = 31 million # of people who served in the armed forces = 15 million. Mobilization for black Americans. Approx. 700,000 black Americans served, in all branches, in segregated units

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Wwii effects on american life
WWII: Effects on American Life

Scope of mobilization
Scope of Mobilization

  • # of people who registered for the draft = 31 million

  • # of people who served in the armed forces = 15 million

Mobilization for black americans
Mobilization for black Americans

  • Approx. 700,000 black Americans served, in all branches, in segregated units

  • NAACP, “A Jim Crow army cannot fight for a free world.”

  • Most assigned to menial duties

Women in the war opportunity
Women in the War: Opportunity

  • Approx 350,000 women enlisted in the armed services

    -140,000 WAC (Women’s Army Corps)

    -100,000 WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service)

    -23,000 members of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve

    -13,000 SPARs (for Semper Paratus [always ready, USCG]

Women in the war discrimination
Women in the War: Discrimination

  • Women were barred from combat

  • Social lives of women soldiers were more strictly regulated than men

  • Most military jobs reflected societal stereotypes – clerical work, communications, and health care

Workers the war effort
Workers & the War Effort

  • When millions of citizens entered military service, a huge hole opened in the American workforce

  • The backlog of depression-era unemployment quickly disappeared & the US faced a critical labor shortage

  • Defense industries employed about 7 million new workers, including women

Women industry rosie the riveter
Women & IndustryRosie the Riveter

  • Gov’t planners “discovered” women while looking for industrial labor

  • Propaganda: “Rosie”

  • Women were given high paying jobs as riveters, welders, and drill-press operators

  • Women made up 36% of the workforce in 1945 (up from 24% prior to the war)

  • However, women were only “filling-in” while the men were away

  • Lower pay

Organized labor
Organized Labor

  • Responded with an initial burst of patriotic unity… “no strike” pledge

  • National War Labor Board: established wages, hours, & working conditions

  • Incomes rose as much as 70% despite wage ceilings

  • However, many unions felt cheated as corporate profits soared in relation to wages

Civil rights
Civil Rights

  • Just as labor sought to benefit from the war, African Americans manifested a new mood of militancy

  • Black leaders pointed out parallels between anti-Semitism in Germany and racial discrimination at home

  • “Double V” campaign: victory over Nazism abroad and victory over racism and inequality at home.

Wwii effects on american life

  • Prior to the war, the fed. gov’t took little action for civil rights

  • A. Philip Randolph (Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) – announced a plan to march on Washington in 1941

    -Executive Order 8802: “there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or gov’t because of race, creed, color, or national origin.”

    -Fair Employment Practices Commission

Economics civil rights

  • Federal defense spending had solved the depression: unemployment disappeared, per capita income more than doubled, despite some dislocations and shortages 70% of Americans reported “no real sacrifices”

  • Office of Price Administration: gas, rubber, meats, butter, sugar…

Demographics civil rights

  • Military: when men entered the services, families often followed them to training bases or points of debarkation

  • Lure of high paying defense jobs

  • 15 million Americans moved during the war, much from rural areas to urban areas

    -result: housing strains, inadequate public transportation, another “Great Migration” and with it increased racial tensions

Effects civil rights

  • Civil Rights movement

  • Feminist Movement

  • Military Industrial Complex

  • Nuclear Age