why did many women replace men as factory workers during world war 2?
in the book, A People of the United States, by Howard Zinn, he quotes "a developing attitude of militancy or a crusading spirit." what does this mean exactly and how does it compare to women replacing men as factory workers during world war 2?
First one must consider the source. Howard Zinn during his lifetime was an outspoken socialist who offers alternative views of American history. Since his views are not mainstream, one must accept them in the way that Zinn intended.
By militancy and crusading spirit, Zinn indicates that the entire country was caught up in the war, as it had been in World War I. Both World Wars were the first in history in which total mobilization was employed, especially WW II in the U.S. when new automobiles and appliances were not produced, and pennies were made of steel to support the war effort. Women worked in factories to replace the men who were fighting the war; however even this was couched in terms of women doing their part to win the war. The famous image of "Rosie the Riveter" depicts her as contributing to the war effort in her own special way. To Zinn, this was a classic "us vs. them" controversy in which the U.S. considered itself right and engaged in a righteous crusade against an unholy enemy. The term "crusade" has often been used in U.S. initiatives, whether military or otherwise; but the term has fallen out of favor recently due to Osama bin Laden's references to "crusader America," an obvious reference to the abuses of the crusades of the Middle Ages.
The obvious connotation of Zinn's remarks is pejorative; but this is exactly what he intended. He should be read not so much to learn the history as to analyze and interpret the meaning of events. So, Zinn's remark means that the people of the U.S. engaged in a zealous and righteous campaign to fight the war.
Many woman replaced men in factories for the simple fact that the men were fighting in the war, therefore the men could not work in the factories in order to supply for the demand.
alot of the men had been or were being drafted into the war. So many women took over their positions