Explain some ways in which WWII changed the social, cultural, political, and/or economic landscape of America.
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World War II had tremendous impacts on the United States. Of course, the biggest impacts were on the people whose families experienced losses during the war. The families of those who were killed and those who were badly wounded were affected profoundly by the war. Let us look, however, at some other ways that the war made a difference.
It helped make the US rich. After World War II, the US was by far the most prosperous country in the world. All of its competitors had been physically devastated by the war. Their cities had been bombed and, in cases like that of Germany, had served as battlegrounds in the war. This severely reduced their economic potential while the US was physically unscathed. This helped make the US the richest country.
It helped begin to change the role of women in society. During the war, women famously had to (or had the chance to) go to work in many jobs that had previously been reserved for men. After the war, they generally lost those jobs. Even so, these experiences had helped instill in many women the idea that they should not be relegated to life as housewives.
It helped pave the way for racial integration. The war had been partly cast as a war against Hitler’s horrible racist regime. Many, many African Americans had served in the war. These facts made it harder for African Americans to accept being treated in a racist way at home. Soon after the war, President Truman ordered the integration of the military. These things helped to pave the way for the Civil Rights Movement, which got going in earnest about ten years after the war ended.
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