The Effect Of World War Ii On The American People

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To look at the impact of World War II on the American people, it is important to remember that, like World War I, it was a total war. This means that every American citizen was involved in the war effort. The economy and government structure changes in a total war, as do jobs, gender roles, and racism. There were also financial impacts of the war that affected the American people in the decade to come. A total war requires money. This is accomplished in several ways, most of which affect every American citizen. Corporations stop making their regular products to manufacture goods needed for war. The government provided loans, but generally only the biggest corporations received them. This forced many small businesses to fail because they couldn’t compete. Taxes were raised from two billion dollars/year to thirty-five billion dollars/year. The government’s budget increased from nine billion dollars/year to one hundred billion dollars/year along with a four times increase in government personnel. Half of the goods produced in America during this time were for the war, which created 7 million new jobs. This upswing in the economy brought America out of the Great Depression. Two things occurred during World War II which specifically led to the economic boom in the 1950’s. The government implemented rationing some products such as gasoline, sugar, textiles, and other goods, and Americans were told that it was necessary for the troops. Much of what was being rationed had nothing to do with providing for the troops. Americans were making good money, but with rationing, there were fewer products available to buy. This encouraged people to put their money back in the banks and save, something that had ended at the beginning of the Great Depression. Because banks had people’s money back, they could invest and help support the rising economy.
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