how did the war affect government power?

In the United States, President Franklin Roosevelt promised, less dramatically, to enact a New Deal which would essentially reconstruct American capitalism and governance on a new basis. The prevailing interpretation of the wartime experience gave unprecedented ideological support to those who desired a big federal government actively engaged in a wide range of domestic and international tasks. He thereby also established a precedent for planning war production so as to meet most military and some civilian needs. Part of the postwar economic restructuring included dissolving large-scale Japanese business conglomerates known as zaibatsu. However, by the end of World War II, the pound could no longer compete.

With U.S. entry into the Great War, the federal government expanded enormously in size, scope, and power. Top Image: President Truman with members of his Cabinet and other officials, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. The Office of War Information put the governments spin on whatever it deigned to tell the public, and the military authorities censored news from the battlefields, sometimes for merely political reasons. Given that most new employment occurred in unionized workplaces, including plants funded by the federal government through defense spending, the maintenance-of-membership ruling was a fabulous boon for organized labor, for it required employers to accept unions and allowed unions to grow dramatically: organized labor expanded from 10.5 million members in 1941 to 14.75 million in 1945 (Blum, 140). Nash, Gerald D. The American West Transformed: The Impact of the Second World War. Before the start of World War II, the idea of the United States as a leading global power was not an ambition of American politicians. For the Treasury, World War II was 10 times more expensive than World War I. 4310. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982. As observers during the war and ever since have recognized, scientific and technological innovations were a key aspect in the American war effort and an important economic factor in the Allies victory. In 1939, when World War II erupted in Europe with Germanys invasion of Poland, numerous economic indicators suggested that the United States was still deeply mired in the depression. Americans who earned as little as $500 per year paid income tax at a 23 percent rate, while those who earned more than $1 million per year paid a 94 percent rate. Blum, John Morton. Moreover, the New Deal had accustomed Americans to a national government which played a prominent role in national affairs and which, at least under Roosevelts leadership, often chose to lead, not follow, private enterprise and to use new capacities to plan and administer large-scale endeavors. As the mobilization began, the requisite resources remained in the possession of private citizens. Fischer, Gerald J. The war economies of Britain and Germany, for instance, were overseen by war councils which comprised military and civilian officials.

Field, Alexander J. 2 (February 1992): 1-34. The more that the economy focused on the war effort, the better off they were. The war to end all wars ultimately failed to live up to its name, and Americans were wary of once again of getting involved in foreign conflicts. While the IMF would oversee the maintenance of this new global economic system, the United States and the dollar emerged as the economic standard bearers for the postwar world. US exports made up more than one-third of the total global exports, and the United States held roughly two-thirds of the available gold reserves. American manufacturers, for instance, could not be trusted to stop producing consumer goods and to start producing materiel for the war effort. Hollywood boomed as workers bought movie tickets rather than scarce clothes or unavailable cars. [9] Carolyn C. Jones, Class Tax to Mass Tax: The Role of Propaganda in the Expansion of the Income Tax during World War II, Buffalo Law Review, Fall 1988/89, pp. Migration was especially strong along rural-urban axes, especially to war-production centers around the country, and along an east-west axis (Kennedy, 747-748, 768). Between 1929 and 1939, the American unemployment rate averaged 13.3 percent (calculated from Corrected BLS figures in Darby, 1976, 8). It virtually nationalized the ocean shipping industry. Kennedy, David M. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Four key innovations facilitated this enormous wartime output. In 1948 the government reimposed the military draft, and over the next 25 years conscription was extended time and again. African-Americans moved with particular alacrity and permanence: 700,000 left the South and 120,000 arrived in Los Angeles during 1943 alone.

1945 GDP figure from Nominal GDP: Louis Johnston and Samuel H. Williamson, The Annual Real and Nominal GDP for the United States, 1789 Present, Economic History Services, March 2004, available at (accessed 27 July 2005). Higgs, Robert. The new prosperity led to the rise of a consumer society across the United States, with emerging middle class eagerly purchasing goods such as cars and televisions. Rather, American GDP continued to grow after the war (albeit not as rapidly as it had during the war; compare Table 1). Technological and scientific innovation also transformed less-sophisticated but still complex sectors such as aerospace or shipbuilding. [4] Michael Linfield, Freedom Under Fire: U.S. Civil Liberties in Times of War (Boston: South End Press, 1990), p. 65. Some emergency powers migrated into regular government departments such as State, Labor, and Treasury and continued in force. New York: W.W. Norton, 1995. Federal and defense spending figures from Government Printing Office, Budget of the United States Government: Historical Tables Fiscal Year 2005, Table 6.1Composition of Outlays: 19402009 and Table 3.1Outlays by Superfunction and Function: 19402009. 131, 142. Brody, David. By 1945, the status of the dollar and the pound had essentially flipped. New York: Free Press, 1993. ONeill, William L. A Democracy at War: Americas Fight at Home and Abroad in World War II. The decades before the start of World War I revealed signs of a strengthening US economy. In the summer of 1940, about 5.3 million Americans were still unemployed far fewer than the 11.5 million who had been unemployed in 1932 (about thirty percent of the American workforce) but still a significant pool of unused labor and, often, suffering citizens. American dollars could not compete with European currencies. In 1914, federal spending totaled less than two percent of GNP. Goldin, Claudia. [9] Even though federal revenues soared from $7 billion to $50 billion between 1940 and 1945, most war expenses still had to be financed by borrowing. In January 1942, as part of another effort to mesh civilian and military needs, President Roosevelt established a new mobilization agency, the War Production Board, and placed it under the direction of Donald Nelson, a former Sears Roebuck executive. First, in late 1942, Nelson successfully resolved the so-called feasibility dispute, a conflict between civilian administrators and their military counterparts over the extent to which the American economy should be devoted to military needs during 1943 (and, by implication, in subsequent war years). Markets no longer functioned freely; in many areas they did not function at all. In spite of these dismal statistics, the United States was, in other ways, reasonably well prepared for war. The armed forces comprised fewer than 166,000 men on active duty. Available at, To join the newsletters or submit a posting go to, Budget of the United States Government: Historical Tables Fiscal Year 2005,,,,,,,, Labors War at Home: The CIO in World War II.

330. Hooks, Gregory. On one hand, private-sector executives and managers had joined the federal mobilization bureaucracy but continued to emphasize corporate priorities such as profits and positioning in the marketplace. The number of Americans required to pay federal taxes rose from 4 million in 1939 to 43 million in 1945. Over that same period, federal tax revenue grew from about 8 percent of GDP to more than 20 percent. As Table 2 shows, output in many American manufacturing sectors increased spectacularly from 1939 to 1944, the height of war production in many industries. Aerospace provides one crucial example. At end of nineteenth century, the British pound was more than double in value to its closest competitor, which included the French franc and the German mark. Gender at Work: The Dynamics of Job Segregation by Sex during World War II. In view of the more than 5,000 mobilization agencies of various sortsboards, committees, corporations, administrationscontemporaries who described the 1918 government as war socialism were well justified.[2]. Continuing the movements of the depression era, about 15 million civilian Americans made a major move (defined as changing their county of residence). The end of World War II blended into the beginning of the Cold War. The dominance of the American economy in the global marketplace after World War II brought significant changes to the way Americans lived their daily lives. Vander Meulen, Jacob. Most importantly, American mobilization was markedly less centralized than mobilization in other belligerent nations. Air Force History Support Office. With the USMC supporting and funding the establishment and expansion of shipyards around the country, including especially the Gulf and Pacific coasts, merchant shipbuilding took off. The strength of the British pound continued to persist, but its preference as a standard currency for global commerce was weakening over time.

To oversee this growth, President Roosevelt created a number of preparedness agencies beginning in 1939, including the Office for Emergency Management and its key sub-organization, the National Defense Advisory Commission; the Office of Production Management; and the Supply Priorities Allocation Board. The Navy and Industrial Mobilization in World War II. By that time, more than five million European Jews had already been murdered. In March 1942, a special exhibit opened in New York City of 14 pieces of art each contributed by 14 artists who had escaped Nazi-occupied Europe. 504-528-1944, Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, The Wartime Internment of Native Alaskans. Those suppressions of free speech, subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court, established dangerous precedents that derogated from the rights previously enjoyed by citizens under the First Amendment. (Though scholars are still assessing the impact of Lend-Lease on these two major allies, it is likely that both countries could have continued to wage war against Germany without American aid, which seems to have served largely to augment the British and Soviet armed forces and to have shortened the time necessary to retake the military offensive against Germany.) How the Allies Won. Buying Aircraft: Materiel Procurement for the Army Air Forces. Most important, the scope of federal regulation had increased immensely to embrace agricultural production and marketing, labor-management relations, wages, hours, and working conditions, securities markets and investment institutions, petroleum and coal marketing, trucking, radio broadcasting, airline operation, provision for income during retirement and unemployment, and many other objects. Headed by Secretary of State George Marshall, the effort known as the Marshall Plan helped bolster the economic strength and international prominence of the United States in the aftermath of World War II. The aftermath of World War I confirmed the importance of isolationism to many Americans. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. In brief, as economic historian Alan Milward writes, the United States emerged in 1945 in an incomparably stronger position economically than in 1941 By 1945 the foundations of the United States economic domination over the next quarter of a century had been secured [This] may have been the most influential consequence of the Second World War for the post-war world (Milward, 63). New York: G.P. In July, the National War Labor Board (NWLB; a successor to a New Deal-era body) limited wartime wage increases to about 15 percent, the factor by which the cost of living rose from January 1941 to May 1942. fried deep books theatre bible jewish torah israel globe take yahshua prince pink holy floor build glasgow power then those The sudden onset of this new position of economic power presented the United States with a number of new responsibilities. Nelson understood immediately that the staggeringly complex problem of administering the war economy could be reduced to one key issue: balancing the needs of civilians especially the workers whose efforts sustained the economy against the needs of the military especially those of servicemen and women but also their military and civilian leaders.

Most important, the dominant contemporary interpretation of the war mobilization, including the belief that federal economic controls had been instrumental in achieving the victory, persisted, especially among the elites who had played leading roles in the wartime economic management. As much as the United States invested in the rebuilding of economic markets to promote its own goods and to prevent the outbreak of another global war, the Marshall Plan served as a conduit for the spread of capitalism across Western Europe, hindering the global power and influence of the Soviet Union. Johnston, Louis and Samuel H. Williamson.

So, too, did about 10.5 million Americans who either could not then have had jobs (the 3.25 million youths who came of age after Pearl Harbor) or who would not have then sought employment (3.5 million women, for instance). The governments reprehensible actions, which many citizens viewed only as abuses, we can apprehend more plausibly as intrinsic to its constant preparation for and episodic engagement in warfare. Pearl Harbor was an enormous spur to conversion. The 402,000 federal civilian employees, most of whom worked for the Post Office, constituted about one percent of the labor force. Meaningful planning for reconversion was postponed until 1944 and the actual process of reconversion only began in earnest in early 1945, accelerating through V-E Day in May and V-J Day in September. For instance, many women left the labor force beginning in 1944 sometimes voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily. Shipbuilding offers a third example of innovations importance to the war economy. Federal and defense spending figures from Government Printing Office, Budget of the United States Government: Historical Tables Fiscal Year 2005, Table 6.1Composition of Outlays: 19402009 and Table 3.1Outlays by Superfunction and Function: 19402009. [7] Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan, pp. By adapting well-known manufacturing techniques and emphasizing easily-made ships, merchant shipbuilding became a low-tech counterexample to the atomic-bomb project and the aerospace industry, yet also a sector which was spectacularly successful. Between 1939 and 1945, the hundred merchant shipyards overseen by the U.S. Maritime Commission (USMC) produced 5,777 ships at a cost of about $13 billion (navy shipbuilding cost about $18 billion) (Lane, 8). A third wartime socioeconomic trend was somewhat ironic, given the reduction in the supply of civilian goods: rapid increases in many Americans personal incomes. holocaust dilemmas ww1 war australian australians australia quotes propaganda during initial reactions were reaction females warfare trench wwi crisis society fighting quotesgram
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