Historical Essay on America and the Aftermath of the WWII

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Vanderbilt University
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The World War II impacted on the lives of people in myriad ways. The trend was variant from country to country. In most of the known combatant countries like Germany, Japan, and Russia, the effects were horrendous. This was the same fate that the US had to meet, and the Americans paid a heavier and terrible price for the same. As a result of the devastating war, close to 400, 000 Americans died and a dozen others maimed and wounded. For the other group of Americans though, the aftermath of the war brought with it a mix of new opportunities and experiences (M. Winkler, 2017). This was informed by the fact that the war had brought to an end the Depression that nearly brought the country to its knees. As a result of this war, employment opportunities rose exponentially, and this included the African Americans and other minorities who had previously missed out on decent paying jobs. Aside from this, women had opportunities opening up for them, courtesy of the aftermath of the Second World War. After the war, the Americans who had not gone beyond their neighborhoods got an opportunity to traverse the world through their involvement in the military operations all over the world. It was also through the experiences of the war that the Americans of color who took part in the armed forces activities played significant roles in developing a wave of civil rights movements across the United States (Humphreys, 2016).

The Economy

The most important effect of the war was that it changed the American economy. Fundamentally, it is the economy that determines quality lives people lead. By the war bringing to an end the Great Depression, the Americans had a lot to gain regarding opportunities coming their way. The industries that had previously closed down came back to life and this increased production. With increased production, most Americans got absorbed in the job industry, and this led to an increased income amongst them. Mostly, the Second World War brought about advancement in technology, productivity, and globalization (Tindall, & Shi, 2016).

Education and Opportunities

The war also shifted the American education. Most Americans began studies, going to secondary schools and colleges. The Gi Bill had also brought fourth scholarships for the Americans in the spirit of enhancing education among the US citizens.

It should also be noted that the Second World War also led to vast migrations of the American people. That is to say, about 9 million families moved to new sectors of work and subsequently resulted in social problems that also led to high rates of divorce, and shortages in housing, something that the people could not cope with given the massive influx of children. As a result of the war, the politics of the free world also changed (Sparrow, 2014). The wartime head of state was Franklin Roosevelt. He was a Democrat and based on this, faced fierce criticism from the Republicans over the new policy that was to drag the free world out of the Great Depression. When Truman took over the presidency, he came up with a friendlier policy that was meant to continue in the footsteps of Roosevelt and was aimed at providing better social security, improve on employment, improve on the minimum wage, build more houses and secure job places for all Americans regardless of their race (Sparrow, 2014). It was shocking that Truman also met the same fate as did his predecessor and was interestingly opposed for his racial equality campaigns.

The other aftermath of the Second World War among the lives of the Americans was in taxes. The government spent quite exorbitantly, and this resulted in high federal level taxation. This has remained so today and can be said to have been a very significant change.

Conclusively, the United States was not as religious during and in the latter stages of the Second World War. Everything religious had been brought to a standstill and only came back to life with the postwar era. The economy had already improved, and the religion grew anew. It was in the 1950s that the United States began to see itself as a religious country, and coined the phrase, Under God in their pledge as a form of allegiance to the religious stance the country adopted. This was under President Eisenhower.



Humphreys, R. A. (2016). Latin America and the Second World War: Volume 2: 1942-1945. Bloomsbury Publishing.

M. Winkler, A. (2017). The World War II Home Front | the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Gilderlehrman.org. Retrieved 15 July 2017, from https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/world-war-ii/essays/world-war-ii-home-front

Sparrow, B. H. (2014). From the outside in: World War II and the American state. Princeton University Press.

Tindall, G. B., & Shi, D. E. (2016). America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company.


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