World War II

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How did the government impact Americans during WWII? Please answer in 3 sections: economically, politically, and socially.

During WWII, the government economically mandated rationing and created jobs in munitions industries. Politically, the government instituted a draft in order to fill its wartime needs. Socially, the government gave contracts to factories that hired both black and white workers.

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The government affected many aspects of American life during WWII. Politically, the government instituted a draft in order to fulfill its manpower needs; though many young men signed up for service, more were needed in order to fight a two-front war. The government also created educational material such as the Private Snafu cartoon series, which was meant to entertain and educate soldiers. The government also detained many Japanese Americans in detention centers due to fears of espionage that never materialized.

Economically, the government encouraged the average American to buy war bonds in order to pay for the war. The government also mandated rationing of food, fuel, and tires. The government ensured that wages and prices for consumer staples would remain constant during the war. The government also negotiated with companies receiving defense contracts in order to ensure that these businesses would be favorable to unions for the duration of the war.

Socially, the government encouraged Hollywood to promote the war—many famous actors such as Clark Gable fought in the war but also assisted in war bond drives. The government placed women in more active roles such as transporting fighter aircraft; these actions placed women in harm's way at a greater rate than they had been during the previous world war. The federal government also gave contracts to companies that employed both black and white workers.

For all of the nations who participated in WWII, the conflict proved to be a total war that needed the energies of both the private and public sectors. The United States was very successful in using the government to mobilize its citizenry.

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