The Aftermath of World War II

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How did World War II impact the American economy?

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World War II brought the economy out of the Great Depression. Once the war started, the government began putting people to work in factories and as soldiers. After the war, the Cold War was starting and there was a Space Race to win. There was still plenty of government spending.
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Most all wars are good for the economy in that it creates jobs for people that are not fighting the war. It also created work for factories in that they had to gear up and produce goods to be used in fighting the war.

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We were heavily industrialized by the war, to a much higher degree than before.  The war was incredibly expensive, so taxes were high (most people ave forgotten this) and key industries such as automaking and oil refining were taken over and run by the US government.  Rationing was necessary, so ordinary American citizens had to do without a whole range of items, from new cars, to gasoline, to sugar, to tires.

Also economically, the war got the US permanently out of the Depression, when the New Deal had failed to do so on its own.

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It is generally agreed that World War 2 provided a major stimulus to the American economy, starting a boom that has continued, with intermittent setbacks, till the beginning of the current depression. Various elements of the New Deal that had experienced only limited success during the 1930s really came to fruition with the war as demand from Europe and other theatres of conflict increased. Armaments are an obvious example but electrics and electronics as well as shipping, steel, food and agriculture and many other industries prospered too, and at the end of the war America was virtually alone among the major nations in having an economy that was not only intact but ready to drive the rest of the world back into economic health. Check out sites such as wikipedia and many others by googling american economy + world war 2.

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What he said, although it should be noted that this was a completely unique situation in history.  The fact that our industrial base was involved for years (through Lend Lease and its predesessor) before our armed forces were, built up our economy and industries to a degree no other nation had achieved.  We supported the Chinese for five years before we entered the war, and the European Allies from '39 although we had almost no troops involved there until '43 (Africa) and '44 (D-Day).  This and the financial juggling done to create the lease part of lend-lease allowed the US to get through the war with our economy intact and in position to keep growing while financing the rebuilding of other nations.  This is, as far as I'm aware, the only major war in history in which a postwar boom occured, instead of a postwar depression.

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How did World War II impact the United States?

World War II impacted the United States in many ways. First, World War II ended the Great Depression, as people either went to work in munitions factories or joined the armed forces. This is important to note because even the New Deal programs could never get unemployment under ten percent. WWII also helped end segregation, as Franklin Roosevelt issued an order stating that any munitions plant that received a government contract had to be desegregated. Women also joined the workforce in droves; while Rosie the Riveter is a popular figure, many women did not do any actual "riveting," but were rather in clerical roles. Still, this was key in that women were becoming primary earners while their husbands served overseas. Soldiers returning home received government aid through the GI Bill, which gave soldiers either a free college education or loans to start businesses. The government did this to avoid another round of the Bonus Marchers it faced during the Great Depression.  

Internationally, World War II changed the United States in that it solidified the nation's role as a superpower. The United States had an internationalist leaning after the war, rebuilding Western Europe using the Marshall Plan and leading the creation of the United Nations. This contrasts with the United States' actions after World War I when it did little to rebuild war-torn Europe and insisted on the repayment of all money owed to it by European nations. The United States also had an atomic bomb, which became a leading factor in a growing Cold War with the Soviet Union. American armed forces were also larger than the rest of the world's combined, and this continued to be a trend. The United States also took a leading role in prosecuting war criminals in both Germany and Japan. Additionally, the United States occupied Germany and Japan to rebuild the countries and remove any of the remaining military fanaticism that caused the war. The United States also took key steps in creating Israel and making sure the United States would be Israel's primary supporter.  

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What impact did World War II have on the economy of the USA?  

During the War itself, the economy was mobilized to support the war effort. The War Production Board was created to convert industrial production to war production. For that reason, automobiles were not manufactured during the war years, neither were refrigerators or other items containing metal and other products which could be used in the war effort. Most famously, pennies during 1943 were made of steel rather than copper. Some few are still in circulation. The Office of Price Administration set price ceilings which created shortages of some items. Sugar, coffee, gasoline, meat, and tires were rationed by means of government coupons. Wage and price controls were implemented and if unions threatened to strike over wage freezes, the company risked government seizure. Ironically, the production of war materiel went much further in pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression than had any of Roosevelt's New Deal programs.

After the war, rather than the anticipated recession, the economy boomed because of pent up demand for consumer goods which had not been produced during the war years. This together with Social Security and the Serviceman's Readjustment Act (which provided millions for education, home purchases and medical care for veterans) caused the economy to grow at an exceptionally fast rate. From 1940 until 1952, the Gross National Product (GNP) grew from $101 Billion to $347 Billion.   

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