Mobilization • America was mobilized as never before. • Factories turning out munitions and materials at a rate to boggle the mind. • Rationing and shortages were common
Benefits of being American • Americans enjoyed immunity from foreign attack (minus Pearl Harbor). • Americans did have to make a great sacrifice • America experienced various sacrifice based on their gender and race.
Women in the workplace • They were filling male roles not sewing buttons or baking, but they were riveting, operating a drill press and welding air planes! • Pay wages: Males 54$ per week, women 32$ per week • Married women more likely to remain at home. • Planted victory gardens, led recycling efforts
The household economy during WWII • Inflation was up 30% • Wages grew 2x as much as inflation for males • What could you buy? Amenities were out of the question?Consumer goods? • Consumption up 12%, more people buying those items that were not rationed, such as entertainment.
Conditions for African Americans • Double V Campaign—America forced with Holocaust to confront its own racial identity • Roosevelt declared that African Americans were In the war “not only to defend America but…to establish a universal freedom under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of race, or creed”. • Victory over: enemies at home and abroad.
Discrimination in Defense Production • A. Phillip Randoph, promised a march of 100,000 on Washington if FDR didn’t end discrimination in defense industries. • Roosevelt responded with Executive Order 8802-authorized a committee on Fair Employment. Discrimination in “skilled” trades continued. • Progress was slow as 9/10 of African Americans were below the poverty line. They paid 39% of what white workers were paid.
Feelings boil over • Race riots in 1943 strike 47 cities with 242 separate incidents. • A virtual race war broke out in Chicago and Detroit. Detroit saw 34 deaths in 2 days
Success? • Success during the period was small. • People focused on war • NAACP • Foundation of Congress of Racial Equality • The lines being drawn for a future struggle in this area.