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  • Created on: 14-05-13 17:11
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  • Impact of World War 2
    • Machinery of Government
      • Demands of WW2 intensified pressure for Federal and President activity
      • War Powers Act- gave Roosevelt the authority to lead the nation in a total war.
      • PENTAGON - military HQ where all departments were in easy reach of one another
      • Office of Price Administration was set up to manage the war economy - employed 73,000 people
        • Dramatic increase in government control of economy and society
      • Massive increase in federal expenditure - budget rose from $5bn to $97bn with $90bn being spent on the war
      • This increase of spending meant a rise in taxes and a crack down on paying it. By 1945 40 million people were paying income tax, which had risen from 4 million in 1940
      • The highest rate of taxation was 94%. 40% of war costs were paid by taxes
    • Economy
      • To help the international situation the Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 37 were modified in 1939 to allow any nation to buy arms on a cash and carry basis
      • Created an army of a million, doubled the size of the navy and increased the airforce to 8000 combats
      • Produced 6 more million tons of steel than Germany, but 2/3 of steel plants were idle.
      • By the time Germany declared war on USA, unemployment was at around 14%. By 1943 it was 2%
      • GNP grew from $91 bn to 214bn by 1945
      • There was some fundamental change with private manufactures now making tanks and plants designed for fridge production made munitions instead.
      • A lot of government investment. For example 51 new rubber plants were constructed.
    • Gearing up for War
      • Henry Kaiser designed the Liberty Ship which was 440 ft long and could hole 3,000 jeeps, and 400 tanks
      • Henry Ford was responsible for the largest aircraft factory with an assembly line of over 1600 meters. By 1944 ten bombers a day were being produced.
      • By 1942 the USA was building nearly 50,000 aircraft and 25,000 tanks. by 1944 this grew to nearly 100,000 aircraft, 600,000 army trucks.
    • Impact on Society
      • Most dramatic result was the collapse of unemployment of 9 million in 1940 to 780,000 in 1943.
      • Number of women in work grew by 50%
      • Bottom fifth of society saw their income rise by 70% but their share of nation income grow from 4% to 5%
      • Richest 5% saw their share of national income drop from 26% to 16%
      • Areas of the south transformed with hundreds of thousands share cropper farmers and poor tenant farmers leaving for the North cities or west coast. 10% of people moved states, 20% moved location.
      • Over a million black people left the south to move to places like Detroit and work in war industries.
      • Farm incomes quadrupled.
      • Life expectancy increase by three years. Infant mortality dropped by a 1/3
      • There were nearly 300,000 battle deaths but the population grew due to a soaring birth rate and earlier marriages
      • Number of women in work rose from 11 million to 20 million, and from low paid jobs to better paid jobs. Female workers in the car industry rose from 5% of the workforce to 20% by 1945 and in electrical manufacturing it was 50%.
      • Most women ended up doubling as housewives and workers due to poor childcare and low wages.


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