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World War II succeeded in creating the complete economic recovery that the New Deal has pursued with more limited success because of differences in federal spending and socio-economic changes. The New Deal was only successful in relatively stabilizing the economy and decreasing…
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World War II’s Complete Economic Recovery Effects Compared to the New Deal May World War II succeeded in creating the complete economic recovery that the New Deal has pursued with more limited success because of differences in federal spending and socio-economic changes. The New Deal was only successful in relatively stabilizing the economy and decreasing the negative impacts of the Depression, but full economic recovery happened through World War II, due to greater federal spending that improved employment rates both for men and women and for whites and colored people, thereby decreasing gender and racial wage gap and catapulting the U.S. to world power status.
The New Deal provided numerous economic programs that stabilized the economy through giving support in banking and finance, unemployment, and agriculture. In banking and finance, President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered significant credit facilities to industry and agriculture. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) also insured savings-bank deposits up to $5,000. Moreover, to reduce unemployment that affected 13 million Americans, Roosevelt created job-stimulating programs. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a program that gave mostly conservation jobs to young men between 18 and 25 years of age (IIP Digital, 2008). The Public Works Administration (PWA) gave employment to skilled construction workers for different medium- to large-sized projects, among other programs (IIP Digital, 2008). In addition, to improve agricultural revenues, the Congress passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) in 1933. It gave economic relief to farmers by increasing crop prices through paying farmers a subsidy to reimburse them for deliberate cutbacks in production (IIP Digital, 2008). Despite these job and financial programs, the New Deal did not restore the Gross National Product (GNP), consumption levels, and employment rates to pre-Depression years (West, n.d.).
World War II created complete economic recovery because of greater federal spending that improved employment rates both for men and women and for whites and colored people. Military spending by the federal government jump-started the economy, increasing GNP, consumption levels, and employment rates more than the New Deal did. By 1943, California’s aircraft and shipbuilding industries hired 243,000 and 280,000 people correspondingly, and tens of thousands worked in plants in Pacific Northwest (West, n.d.). In Seattle, the Boeing Company’s sales of aircraft in 1944 reached ten times that of the total city’s industries five years before (West, n.d.). With bustling manufacturing industries, the war provided jobs for millions of men and women alike across racial groups (Winkler, n.d.). The number of working women increased from 14,600,000 in 1941 to 19,370,000 in 1944 (Winkler, n.d.). Their wages may not be the same as men’s all the time, but at least, by being given paid employment, their economic status drastically improved (Winkler, n.d.). African Americans also benefited through greater employment. Discrimination was banned in the military too, which improved access to equal wages, though instances of racial discrimination in employment were still reported (Winkler, n.d.). More jobs resulted to greater consumption levels across the nation. Thus, World War II shifted the economy to full recovery.
Two of the major positive effects of World War II on the America society are decreasing gender and racial wage gap and catapulting the U.S. to world power status. World War II has given women a taste of economic independence through hiring numerous single and married women for different manufacturing and service jobs (West, n.d.). As a result, these women increased their purchasing power, which improved consumption levels. The same happened for African Americans. In World War II, they had the opportunity to work alongside white soldiers, which rarely happened during World War I. Many became part of the thriving middle-class because of the war. These socio-economic changes allowed World War II to also set the stage for greater clamor for full racial equality that culminated to the Civil Rights Movement. Finally, World War II pushed the United States to global superpower status. America suffered minor casualties compared to other Allies and Axis nations. Since then, the U.S. has become an influential leader in world affairs.
References
IIP Digital. (2008). The New Deal and World War II: Roosevelt’s leadership through economic reconstruction, war. Retrieved from http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/publication/2008/04/20080407122707eaifas0.5228998.html#ixzz30S3s5rGl
West, E. (no date). The Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II in the American West. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Retrieved from https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/great-depression/essays/great-depression-new-deal-and-world-war-ii-american-west
Winkler, A. M. (no date). The World War II home front. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Retrieved from https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/world-war-ii/essays/world-war-ii-home-front Read More
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