Political and Economic Issues in the United States during World War II
The Second World War was the greatest event of the twentieth century to be remembered. It involved almost all the continents with the United States playing a significant role in it. Great historians said that the USA emerged as a winner of the war and contributed immensely to its end. The decisive role played by the country was a result of actions taken by Americans both in the government and outside looking at economic and political powers. During the war, Americans were composed of many races and people from almost all over the world. It had a significant effect on what was happening in the USA during the conflict.
Political activities were more intense during the war than before and after it. In 1941, there was political activism sponsored by the blacks protesting against discrimination in the provision of employment in different sectors with the main interest in the war industry. The activism of blacks whose number was big in the country forced President Roosevelt to issue an order for the equal participation of all Americans in industries without discrimination. The act was not supported by those comprising the government majority, namely, the whites. They used to see black Americans as immigrants that should not have a share in the government. Before the war, there has been total discrimination and segregation of African Americans, which prevented them from having access to some valuable services such as education. Hence, they could not acquire positions in the government. During the war, blacks posed threats to the government by constant mobilization, renewing their political activities. This factor alone made them involved in the war by providing their manpower in ensuring the U.S. victory. This inclusion happened because of the suggestion made by then NAACP Secretary Walter White. The NAACP was a body fighting for the rights of the blacks.
The Second World War had a lot of impacts on the economy of the USA. Historians claimed that Americans were not prepared for the war and did not have enough resources. Thus, its economy could not support the war. However, the latter was a situation that the USA could not avoid. It forced the government with the assistance of the Congress to mobilize resources for participation in the war. The budget of the USA was shifted to the manufacturing of war weapons, buying planes and training the military. This policy created a troubled economy, and people started feeling the impact negatively. It led to emergency actions that involved price control and rationing on consumer goods. The first strategy had major effect on businessmen who were not making profits. The second one consisted in the government controlling the production sector in such a way that goods were produced for the war. Because of inequality, part of the population, which was not represented in the government, felt the pitch and started raising issues. This dissatisfaction happened because some sectors had not received the right share from the budget. The agricultural sector was affected most of all, since most of its labor force was withdrawn to participate in the war. A contentious issue arose in 1942 when the Congress suggested to the government, especially the President, to freeze the income generated by the agricultural sector to raise finances to be used in the war. Americans outside the government strongly disagreed with that opinion through their trade unions making the Congress lose since its policy did not work. The issues concerned an increase in taxes and poor planning. The Americans supported the war, but some groups, including economists, argued on the problem of country’s involvement in the conflict, leading to divisions among themselves. During World War II, the Congress, federals, and some whites formed one camp, while the blacks, activists, trade unions, workers, and economists created another one. Such division was a result of differences of opinions concerning rationing on consumer goods and price controls, discrimination, segregation, inequality and ignorance. Some of the few African-Americans who used to work in the war industry did not get equal treatment, and this propelled constant strikes and protests at war production factories.
The entry of the United States in the Second World War was supported by the majority of Americans, since almost all sectors of the economy contributed to it. Groups that participated in the war included the government, Congress, political parties, unions, liberals, conservatives, radicals, housewives, and war workers. The government played a critical role such as leading the nation into the war to protect its people from attacks, providing resources for the war, formulating strategies on how to fight, implementing policies such economic and war tactics, seeking support from other nations, and giving constant motivation to the army and individuals participating in the war. The Congress worked under control of the federal government by formulating policies and advising the president on the war. Political parties played an important role mainly by mobilizing their members to support actively the government irrespective of their opinions. Hence, the country faced less internal criticism encouraging the government.
Furthermore, labor unions helped the government by mobilizing their members to participate in the war, convincing them not to take part in the strike during the war, and offering pieces of advice to the government. Housewives offered voluntary services to their men who were in the war by becoming nurses and providing medical services to injured soldiers, preparing food for the army, and bringing children single-handed. War workers supplied the army with weapons providing emergency services. It was a unique war for the USA, where all liberals, conservatives, and radicals worked together in the support of the state. Significant roles of stakeholders in the United States propelled the country to win in World War II and ensured the unity of society.
In conclusion, the Second World War had a great influence on the USA since it showed how the unity helped to achieve success. The involvement of all sectors in the conflict provided a legitimate way of resolving it. The participation of the Americans, though with some challenges, provided the right direction in the winning of the war. The organization of the country showed that togetherness was an exact recipe of success.