Mobilization in the Second World War affected Americans in different ways. Surprisingly, their participation did more good than harm; apart from the trauma resulting from the grief of losing a loved one, the nation experienced both short and long-term mobilization effects that saw improvements in the region (Dawley 39). Mobilization further changed life patterns and habits mainly after Americans agreed not to participate in the war actively. They focused on providing weapons and other war necessities to their allies; as a result, the United States economy shifted from production and manufacturing of civilian goods to war materials (Dawley 39). They were expected to produce a lot thus forced the nation to arise from economic structure triggered by The Great Depression, which had caused social chaos due to rise in unemployment, and reduced business activities.
Another change following the US deployment is the economic advancement. During the war, spending was limited because essential goods were rationed; after the war, citizens had acquired a lot of savings, which helped to improve their livelihoods and eradicate social problems within their society (Dawley 39). Moreover, the enactment of the GI bill into law at the end of the war helped to educate many ex-military men; this created a cohort of trained men thus improving their lifestyle and contributing towards the growth of their nation. It was not only men who benefited from the mobilization but also women. Though most of them remained jobless after the war began and stayed at home, they decided to push for a women’ movement when the economy became stable (Dawley 39). The agenda for the move was to fight for civil rights and recognition because they also served in the war by ensuring that there was enough supply of food and water.
Among these changes, the United States federal government acted as a guard of the economy during the war. It created several state agencies such as War Production Board, War Resources Board, Office of War Mobilization and Office of Economic Stabilization among others to facilitate an increase in industrial productivity that extended into the private sectors (Koistinen 444). With the rise of business opportunities, people were likely to become entrepreneurs leading to social conflicts. Therefore, the government had to regulate the power bestowed on citizens owing to the booming economy; also, they encouraged employees to form labor unions that would protect them against mistreatments from their employers. It would be hard for them to demonstrate or prepare strikes without any support form a more powerful body to drive their objective and demand for fair treatment.
With time, disagreements between business owners and the government emerged because entrepreneurs wanted to stop government intervention. They did not want the state’s involvement in private matters thus formed the National Defense Advisory Commission (NDAC) to limit the administration’s control (Koistinen 445). They created groups to help in government contract awards for their support in war materials supply and ensured that these contracts were offered to their organization to benefit themselves. When their strategy to enrich themselves was discovered, the public was disappointed due to their selfish acts, and this led to a decline in the private sector, which saw the rise of the government again (Koistinen 447). Ultimately, the government need to controlling the economy and the entire nation cannot be ignored because it acts a crucial role in ensuring that citizens lived in harmony and respected each other freedom.
Dawley, Alan. Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution. Princeton University Press, 2013, pp. 39
Koistinen, Paul AC. “Mobilizing the World War II economy: Labor and the Industrial-Military Alliance.” The Pacific Historical Review (2011): 443-448.