Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Effects of the Great Depression (6)

"President Roosevelt issued a directive for production in 1942 of 60,000 planes, 45,000 tanks, 20,000 anti-aircraft guns and 8,000,000 dead weight tons of merchant shipping. These were only the principle items, production of which would require a complete retooling of industrial plants, cessation of non-essential manufacturing, re-allocation of man-power, and vast expansion of the procurement program of raw material." New factories, shipyards and processing plants were being built. (3)

The United States involvement in World War II, brought the Great Depression to a close, mobilizing men and a few women into the armed forces and having the entire population play a role in production or civil defense. Wartime production created millions of new jobs. Women joined the workforce replacing the men that enlisted or were drafted into the war. Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of women laboring in manufacturing.

"There were 50,000,000 people gainfully employed when the war began, and about 4,000,000 able to work who were not employed , 13,000,000 worked in factories, 10,000,000 on farms, 11,000,000 in business and financial houses, 6,000,000 for the government, 3,000,000 in transportation and public utilities, 2,000,000 in construction work, 1,000,000 in mining, and 4,000,000 in a variety of other occupations. The government took 12,000,000 people into the armed forces from all these groups. It rationed automobile tires, gasoline, sugar and food.. It stopped manufacturing of automobiles, leaving 44,000 dealers and their employees to the number of 400,000 without business or work. There was a great shifting of employed persons from various occupations into war industries. The number of female factory workers doubled. The unemployed became demobilized and the great depression ended.." (4)

To be continued: The Effects of the Great Depression (7)


3) Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Page: 619; Henry Holt and Company (1937)

4) Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Pages:624-625 ; Henry Holt and Company (1937)


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