What was the importance of the GI Bill of Rights for American society?

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seaofknowledge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the G.I. Bill, was legislation that gave American servicemen returning from World War II certain benefits. Benefits included unemployment stipends, education grants, reduction in mortgages for homes, priority in employment and also loans to start new businesses. 

About 16 million Americans served in World War II; the bill had a huge impact on the national economy by improving the financial status of many Americans. As Americans made more money and had more money to spend, the American economy grew. An increase in education rates also had a long-term positive impact on innovation and economic growth. 

This legislation is often cited as one of the best bills to have been passed due to its immense positive effect on the standard of living of Americans. The economic growth of America during this period also contributed greatly to America becoming a key player and decision maker in the global economy in the following decades.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The GI Bill that was enacted after WWII is seen as one of the most important pieces of legislation ever.  It totally remade America's society and economy.

First, the GI Bill allowed many more Americans to go to college or to get other forms of post-secondary training.  This greatly increased their ability to earn money and helped lead to the creation of a much larger middle class in the country.

Second, the GI Bill helped veterans buy their own homes in the new suburbs.  This changed American society from an urban society to a suburban one.  Manhattan, in New York City, had a larger population after WWII than it has now.  This is symptomatic of the way that America has "moved to the suburbs."   The GI Bill was instrumental in causing this move.

gsenviro | Student

The GI Bill of Rights was 1944 legislation that provided major benefits to WWII veterans in the form of education opportunities along with assistance to buy homes and start businesses, thus leading to the creation and furthering of the American middle class.

This bill helped the war veterans readjust to society and gain meaningful employment through educational and vocational training options. It also helped them gain a house and/or business. This meant a huge investment in education, business and infrastructure, all of which was paid back multi-fold in the next few decades due to increased business opportunities and a much bigger qualified workforce.

The bill also helped millions of people attend college and increased the size of the qualified workforce many-fold, a factor which fueled American growth. Low-interest mortgages also meant many more houses were built, leading to infrastructural investment and the rise of "suburbs."

The GI Bill has been modified many times since WWII and has helped change the face of the American middle class.