How Did World War 2 Affect the Economy?

World War II had caused massive casualties and losses. It left its mark in many countries, but not all the changes it brought were bad. It made America come up with a whirlwind of new ideas and activities. The second world war put an end to the Great Depression, bankrupted Germany and put women into the workplace. Changes happened in music, art, politics, culture and economy as well.

The impact of World War 2 on American Society was profound; though no battles happened on the American mainland, it affected the American life in all phases. The United States did many unprecedented efforts to collaborate with Grand Alliance members for tactics and strategy against Italy, Japan and Germany, or collectively called the Axis Powers.

The U.S. faced a demand for materials needed to fight, produced weapons of war and became the “arsenal of democracy” as per President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words. It experienced basic domestic reorientation of social and economic patterns which became templates during the postwar years.

Another impact of World War 2 on American Society was in the economic arena. The military defense spending, which started in 1940, boosted the economy while millions of Americans were employed to make weapons. In 1945, the country produced 80,000 landing crafts, 300,000 airplanes, 100,000 armored cars and tanks, 41 billion rounds of ammunition, and 15 million guns. It also produced the first two atomic bombs. The experience provided the country a framework for its economy’s administrative organization.

Americans measured up to the challenge of doing whatever was necessary for the war effort. They bought bonds to aid and defray the war cost, saved metals that were recycled for military material and gathered rubber until they produced synthetic rubber. They planted gardens of vegetables and fruits for personal use.

The impact of World War 2 on American Society was also felt in the lives of women. American women were second class citizens at the start of the struggle, facing job discrimination and earning less than men. The big productive effort gave them the opportunity to do industrial jobs. They worked in factories which they did in great numbers while the guys entered the military.

More women worked during the war, rising from 14 million in 1940 to 19 million in 1945. Their wages surged by 50 percent between 1941 and 1943. Women became machinists, railway track workers, lumberjacks, and took other jobs previously been reserved for men. Some women fought in the military, serving in the nursing corps, navy and the army. The post-war era had women leaving the employment world, but the attitude towards working women had already changed greatly.

Another impact of World War 2 on American Society was the vast migration in the U.S., as 9 million families and workers moved to the defense industries. The migration resulted in social problems like housing shortages, higher divorce rates and schools unable to accommodate the massive influx of children.

War has always been a catalyst for change, and part of the impact of World War 2 on American Society was the change in the attitude of U.S. citizens. They were willing to get involved. It changed domestic life pattern and expanded their expectations and hopes. After the war, there was a surplus of money. People spent it and the American dollar became powerful throughout the world. Unfortunately, the changes happened at the expense of many lives.