Chapter 20 Sec. 1
Mobilizing for War
The War dramatically changed American
society—the country was different-WWII
strengthened the Federal Gov.-more gov.
interventions-it ended the Great Depression.
“The industrial output of the US during the war
astounded the rest of the world. American
workers were twice as productive as German
workers and five times more productive than
American Industry Gets the Job Done
• 600,000 Jeeps
• 88,000 tanks
• 7000 ships—liberty ships (welded not
riveted)Cheap, easy to build and hard to sink
• 20 million rifles
• 40 billion bullets
• 43 million men drafted
• As well as mines, helmets, cooking utensils,
airplanes and scores of other military equipment
Government Interventions-gov. would
fix wages, rents, prices, and
• The War Production
• Office of Price
• Office of War
• West would become
the shipping and
• Unions grew from 9 million in 1940 to 15
million in 1945
• Women—1/3 of the workforce were married
women in their 30’s—seen as temporary
• Executive Order #8802- no
discrimination in the employment of workers
in defense industries or government because
Did People Care?
• Unemployment dropped from 14% in 1940 to
2% in 1943
• “ We Can Do It” attitude- everyone was called
You’re in the Army Now
• Over 40 million men were drafted. First given
physical exams and injections against smallpox
and typhoid. They were issued uniforms, boots,
and whatever equipment was available. The
clothing bore the label GI meaning Government
Issue. Which is why American soldiers were called
GIs. Then they were giving aptitude tests and
shipped off to 8 weeks of basic training.
A Segregated Army
• The idea of fighting a war against racism
wasn’t lost in African Americans.
• The beginnings of the Civil Rights movement
• Double V Campaign—a victory over Hitler’s
racism aboard and a victory over racism at
• African Americans had separated barracks,
latrines, mess halls, and recreational facilities.
• Tuskegee Airman
Women in the Army
• Women’s Army Corps, nurses, administrative
and clerical jobs
• 2nd Lt. Elmira Dalrymple
“They walk like free men”
• The struggle against the Nazi’s helped reshape
the way U.S. thought of themselves.
• Because Nazi’s were racists, Americans were
thinking of themselves as tolerant, equal,
• Now did Americans suddenly embrace
equality for all??
• Jews—only about 21,000 immigrated at this
• USS St. Louis
Japanese American Relocation
• Executive Order # 9066
• Because of fear and racism all persons of
Japanese ancestry were ordered to evacuate
to internment camps.
• Korematsu V. U.S.—Supreme Court ruled
relocation was constitutionally permissible
Zoot Suit Riots
• Racism also reared its ugly head in other
places as well as with other nationalities.
• Mexican Americans and juvenile crime
became linked because of a zoot suit.
• Upon hearing rumors that Mexican American
teenagers had attacked sailors in California,
2,400 soldiers and sailors attacked Mexican
American neighborhoods in LA. The attacked
teenagers, cut their hair, tore off their zoot
suits. The police stood by as the violence
continued for days. In the end the Zoot suit
• Despite discrimination, over 500,000 Hispanic
Americans served in WWII with distinction.
• Rationing was common practice in order to
• Meat, sugar, gasoline and rubber were
• Coupons were given out.
• “Meatless Monday, Wheat- less Tuesday”
• Victory Gardens and Scrap Drives
• Paying for the War—war bonds and taxes