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The Home Front Mobilizing the War World War II transformed the role of thenational government The government built housing for warworkers and forced civilian industries toretool for war production
The Home Front Business and War FDR offered incentives to business to spurproduction○ Low interest loans○ Tax concessions○ Contracts with guaranteed profits Americans produced an astonishing amountof wartime goods and utilized science andtechnology
The Home Front Business and War The West Coast emerged as a focus ofmilitary-industrial production○ Nearly 2 million Americans moved toCalifornia for jobs in defense-relatedindustries The South remained very poor despite theinflux of manufacturing
The Home Front Labor in Wartime Organized labor entered a three-sidedarrangement with government and businessthat allowed union membership to soar tounprecedented levels Unions became firmly established in manysectors of the economy during World War II
The Four Freedoms To FDR, the FourFreedomsexpressed deeplyheld Americanvalues worthy ofbeing spreadworldwide
The Four Freedoms Freedom of Speech Gold standard for the Constitution(democracy) Freedom of Religion Gold standard for the critique of theHolocaust Even though most Americans andpoliticians at the time considered it afarce and could not believe humanswould treat each other so poorly
The Four Freedoms Freedom from Want The gold standard for economic policies for the restof the 20th century Elimination of barriers to international trade○ Protecting the standard of living from falling after the war Freedom from Fear The gradual disarmament of the entire world Help prevent tyranny (Italy, Germany) fromhappening again “human security” paradigm the gradual shift from the collective to theindividual, Rockwell’s painting shows this very well
Right to work. Right to fair pay. Right to adequate food. Right to security. Right to live in a society of free enterprise. Right to come and go. Right to speak or be silent. Right to equality before the law. Right to rest. Right to an education.
Right to work, if you are white. Right to fair pay, if you are male. Right to adequate food, if you register for and comply with foodrationing programs. Right to security, if you were not drafted. Right to live in a society of free enterprise, if one excludes thegovernment’s price and wage ceilings and orders that haltedproduction on all the common items one needs to live. Right to come and go, if the person does not need newshoes, more gasoline, decent tires, a new car, or a new bicycle. Right to speak or be silent, as long as one speaks positivelyabout the war, and is silent about the legitimacy of rationingclaims. Right to equality before the law, if it is “Separate but Equal” beforethe law. Right to rest, but only on Christmas Day. And a right to an education, if the cotton is not in bloom and readyto be picked by child laborers.
Women at War Women in 1944 made up over 1/3 of thecivilian labor force New opportunities opened up for marriedwomen and mothers Women’s work during the war was viewedby men and the government as temporary The advertisers’ “world of tomorrow” restedon a vision of family-centered prosperity
The American Dilemma Patriotic Assimilation World War II created a vast meltingpot, especially for European immigrants andtheir children○ Roosevelt promoted pluralism as the onlysource of harmony in a diverse society Government and private agencies eagerlypromoted group equality as the definition ofAmericanism and a counterpoint to Nazism
The American Dilemma Patriotic Assimilation By the war’s end, racism and nativism hadbeen stripped of its intellectual respectability○ However, intolerance hardly disappeared fromAmerican life
The American Dilemma Asian-Americans in Wartime Asian-Americans’ war experience was filledwith paradox Chinese exclusion was abolished Japanese were viewed by American as adetested foe The American government viewed everyperson of Japanese ethnicity as a potentialspy
The American Dilemma Japanese-American Internment The military persuaded FDR to issueExecutive Order 9066 Internment revealed how easily war canundermine basic freedoms○ Hardly anyone spoke out against internment○ The courts refused to intervene The government marketed war bonds to theinternees and drafted them into the army
Blacks and the War The wartime message of freedom ushered amajor transformation in the status of blacks The war spurred a movement of blackpopulation from the rural South to the cities ofthe North and West Detroit race riot During the war, over 1 million blacks served inthe armed forces Black soldiers sometimes had to give up theirseats on railroad cars to accommodate Naziprisoners of war
Birth of the Civil RightsMovement The war years witnessed the birth of themodern civil rights movement March on Washington Black labor leader A. Philip Randolph calledfor the march in July 1941 Executive Order 8802 Prohibited government contractors fromengaging in employment discriminationbased on race, color, or national origin
Birth of the Civil RightsMovement The Double V The double-V meant that victory over Germany andJapan must be accompanied by victory oversegregation at home What the Negro Wants During the war, a broad political coalition on the leftcalled for an end to racial inequality in America○ The status of blacks becomes an issue at the forefrontof enlightened liberalism CIO unions made significant efforts to organize blackworkers and win access to skilled positions The South reacts by attempting to preservewhite supremacy
The End of the War The Atomic Bomb One of the most momentous decisions everconfronted by an American president fell toHarry Truman The bomb was a practical realization of thetheory of relativity The Manhattan Project developed an atomicbomb
The End of the War The Dawn of the Atomic Age On 6 August 1945, an American bomberdropped an atomic bomb that detonated overHiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan Because of the enormous cost in civilianlives, the use of the bomb remains controversial○ Allied military forces reasoned the use of thebomb saved roughly half a million Allied soldiers’lives The dropping of the atomic bombs was thelogical culmination of the war World War II hadbeen fought○ A total threat requires a total response