From Isolation to World War (1930-1945)
The isolationist approach to foreign policy meant U.S. leadership in world affairs diminished after World War I. Overseas, certain nations saw the growth of tyrannical governments that reasserted their power through aggression and created conditions leading to the Second World War. After Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II, which changed the country’s focus from isolationism to international involvement.
22. The United States mobilization of its economic and military resources during World War II brought significant changes to American society.
The mobilization of the United States to a wartime economy during World War II was massive. The federal government reorganized existing plants to produce goods and services for the war effort and instituted policies to ration and redirect resources.
Mobilization caused major impacts on the lives of Americans. A peacetime draft was instituted in 1940 to supplement military enlistments. Scrap drives were conducted to reallocate materials for war goods. Regulations were imposed on some wages and prices. Some products were subjected to rationing. Citizens raised victory gardens to supplement food supplies and purchased war bonds to help fund the war. Some labor unions signed no-strike pledges.
Job opportunities in the civilian workforce and in the military opened for women and minorities. African Americans organized to end discrimination and segregation so that they could contribute to the war effort. Although Japanese Americans were interned in relocation camps by the U.S. government, many enlisted in the armed services.
Expectations for Learning
Identify and explain changes American society experienced with the mobilization of its economic and military resources during World War II.