Mobilization on the Home Front

Chapter 25.1

Selective Service and the GI
• 5 Million American’s volunteered to serve. • 10 Million more were drafted through the Selective Service Act • GI – Government Issue
– First used to describe weapons, clothing, etc. and later used to describe soldiers.

Women join the Effort
• Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC)
– Gen Marshall pushed for the creation of the WAAC

• Congress opposed!
– “Who will do the cooking, the washing, and the mending?” – “Silliest piece of legislation” he had ever seen – “Think of the humiliation. What has become of the manhood of America, that we have to call on our women to do what has ever been the duty of men?”

Women join the Effort
• 13,000 women applied on the first day applications were available. • 250,000 women served in this and other auxiliary branches during the war.

Minorities Join the Effort
• Why fight for democracy for some foreign country when we don’t even have it here?” African American Editorial
“Just carve on my tombstone, ‘Here lies a black man killed fighting a yellow man for the protection of a white man.’”

Minorities Join the Effort
• Minorities realized that things might be bad now, but how much worse might they be under a fascist government? • More than a million African-Americans served during WWII.
– They were in segregated units and limited to mostly non-combat roles. – 25,000 Native Americans joined the services, including 800 women.

Life on the Home Front
• Factories transitioned from making consumer goods to making war materials overnight. – Car plans built tanks and airplanes – Pencil factories made bomb parts – Soft-drink companies stopped filling bottles with coke and started filling bombs with gun powder.

The Sleeping Giant is Awoken
• Prefabricated parts make the construction of ships fast! • 1 Liberty Ship took 4 days to construct

Labor Effort
• Out of the 18 million workers in war industries, 6 million were women.
– Women got paid 40% less than men in the same jobs.

• 2 Million were African-Americans

Roosevelt Backs Down
• A. Philip Randolph, a leading AfricanAmerican labor leader organized a march on Washington to protest discrimination in war industries.
We loyal Colored Americans demand the right to work and fight for our country.

Mobilization of Scientists
• Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD)
– Penicillin

The Manhattan Project
• National Committee on Uranium • Einstein – 3-5 years to produce an atomic bomb. • Offices were located in NYC

Internment of Japanese Americans
• Presidential Order 9066: All persons of Japanese ancestry must be relocated to US Internment Camps throughout the US.

Internment of Japanese Americans
• Nisei – Japanese born American citizens • 110,000 were ordered to be interned.

The Government Takes Control of the Economy
Agencies and Laws
National War Labor Board (NWLB)

What the Regulations Did
•Limited wage increases •Allowed negotiated benefits such as paid vacations, pensions, and medical insurance. •Kept unions stable by forbidding workers to change unions. •Fought inflation by freezing wages, prices, and rents. •Rationed foods such as meat, butter, cheese, vegetables, sugar, and coffee. •Rationed fuel and materials vital to the war effort such as gasoline, heating oil, metals, rubber, and plastics.

Office of Price Administration (OPA)

War Production Board (WPB)

Department of the Treasury

•Issued war bonds to raise money for the war effort and to fight inflation.

Revenue Act of 1942

•Raised the top personal-income-tax rate to 90% •Added lower- and middle-income Americans to the income tax rolls. •Limited the right to strike in industries crucial to the war effort. •Gave the president power to take over striking plants.

Smith-Connally Labor Disputes Act (1943)

Economic Controls
• Inflation had skyrocketed during WWI. • WWI inflation was around 60% • Inflation during WWII was around 30%

Economic Controls
• Rationing – fixed allotments of goods deemed essential for the military.

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