How did a family's social class status impact their experiences during the war?

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Because this question doesn’t reference a specific war, I will answer how a family’s social status impacted their war experiences with examples from three wars.

In the Civil War, the wealthy people had an easier time getting out of being drafted. In the North, a person could buy his way out of fighting by paying $300.00 to the government. In both the North and the South, a person could also hire a substitute to fight for him. A wealthy person would be more likely to be able to afford this than a poorer person would be. In the South, a white southerner was exempt from the draft if the plantation had 20 or more slaves. Plantation owners were generally wealthy.

During World War II, the government instituted a system of rationing of essential supplies. Products like meat, bread, and gasoline were rationed, or limited, each month. Since the demand for these products didn’t drop significantly, an underground market or the black market developed where people could get more than their allotted share if they were willing to pay higher prices. Those who were wealthy could afford to do this.

In the Vietnam War, a person could get their draft status listed as deferred if they were attending college. Those who were wealthier than others would be able to afford college and get the draft status listed as deferred.

There were several ways a family’s status impacted their war experience.

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