Why was industrial power and the ability to mobilize it critical to the U.S. during World War II? Explain the Lend-Lease Program using the five W's.
Discuss each of the following wartime agencies:
Office of Price Administration, War Production Board, National Labor Board, and War Information Board.
Industrial power was essential to the United States during World War II simply because of the constant demand for military resources. In World War II, more than in any other war, it was equally essential, given that the United States was so far removed from the areas of conflict - the Pacific and in Europe - for the United States to mobilize their industrial power quickly and efficiently.
Though the United States was technically not at war with Germany in 1938, President Roosevelt decided to provide conspicuous aid to the Allies. The Lend-Lease program was Roosevelt's answer to contributing to the Allied effort without a formal declaration of war; though it was started in 1938, it came into full effect by 1941. Under the Lend-Lease program, the United States would provide military resources to the Allied nations to aid them in their fight against the Axis powers in Europe. In exchange for the resources, Allies, particularly Great Britain, gave the United States cash. Though it started as "cash-carry," Roosevelt eliminated the "carry" part, bringing the United States into more direct contact with Germany. The Americans would bring aid directly to the Allies. American aid included ships, tanks, and other weapons, as well as food and other supplies.
During the war, the United States government established the Office of Price Administration to combat the very real possibility of wartime inflation. The office would regulate a range for prices, particularly on those commodities essential to the war effort - tin, rubber, copper, etc. The War Production Board was given supreme authority by the government to gather necessary wartime materials. The National Labor Relations Board helped to ensure the cooperation of unionized labor in the war effort, while the War Information Board regulated the dissemination of information, particularly information deemed necessary for national security. Each of these government bodies had as their goal the efficient running of the wartime effort.