Economic Effects of World War II


US History (11th) The United States and World War II Economic Effects of World War II
Students delve deeply into aspects of World War II’s economic effects on the United States, including changes in employment, fiscal matters, and population distribution. Next, they look closely at rationing from the policy perspective and from the point of view of those experiencing rationing. Finally, they learn more about wartime population redistribution, especially the impact on African Americans.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

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Overview

In this experience, students delve deeply into aspects of World War II’s economic effects on the United States, including changes in employment, fiscal matters, and population distribution. Next, they look closely at rationing from the policy perspective and from the point of view of those experiencing rationing. Finally, they learn more about wartime population redistribution, especially the impact on African Americans.

Objective

  • Describe how World War II led to economic recovery from the Great Depression.




Sign for metals recycling depot, 1941 (prewar)


War causes great suffering, but it can also have a positive effect on a nation’s economy. A nation at war has to produce a lot of materials to support its armed forces. To produce those materials, businesses have to grow and expand, employing more people. In this experience, you’ll learn many details about the changing economic situation in the United States during World War II. 

Objective

  • Describe how World War II led to economic recovery from the Great Depression.




Wartime production poster, 1941


Imagine that you’re an adult living and working in the United States in 1940 or early 1941. For almost a decade you have lived in an economic depression. Sometimes you’ve worked, and sometimes you’ve been unemployed. Your wages have always been low. Then, the United States and another country declare war on each other. 


How do you think the beginning of a war would affect you and your family economically? Why?

Post your answer

Ask for volunteers to present their ideas. The main idea is that for the majority of Americans and for the nation as a whole, the war was a much-needed economic boost. 


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