We are now in the midst of what is becoming one of the greatest wars, with respects to casualties. I have spent much time reflecting on how the war is affecting us on the home front. I have come up with two major assertions. One: This war has been the catalyst moving us away from the Great Depression. Two: The war has changed the lives minority groups in our country is very different ways.
Even before the war, many was factories were being converted to war factories to send materials to our ally countries. As we became more and more involved in the war, factories have become more efficient and now have demand. During the Great Depression, there was overproduction and under consumption as no one could afford to buy the products. However, now there is an everlasting demand for goods. With many more men away at war fighting for our dear country, we have more diversity in the workplace. As I have much more to write on the different minority groups, I am going to wrap this topic up by saying that this war, by creating more demand and opportunity for work, has been successful in revitalizing our economy.
As for minority groups, I am going to stick to women and Indians. Women during the war have been offered many more opportunities. For example, many women have volunteered in service. Some are allowed to serve away in the military behind the scenes while some are dedicated to the cause here at home. The United Service Organization is a program for women to travel overseas to boost morale amongst the men and troops. This not only allows women to see the conditions in which the troops were living but also gives women the opportunity to serve overseas. Another opportunity that many women are taking advantage of is becoming a member of the Red Cross. Through this program, women can become nurses, participate in blood drives, and help prepare and send care packages. This provides an opportunity to help and stay at home and care for the family and household. Additionally, WASPS has been organized. As it stands for women air force service pilots, WASPS employed around 1,000 of the 25,000 women that applied. On the home front, women went to work. This is one of the first times in our history that we are seeing this large amount of women working in the factories! I have heard much talk about “Rosie the Riveter” or the symbol of what a working, strong, independent woman has become today.
Women also worked towards the war cause by selling war bonds and advertising for the collection of war materials. These ways, women still know they are contributing to the cause but they do not have to leave their lifestyles or their family. As a whole, I believe this war is providing women with a whole stage of new opportunities in which they can gain new skills and become a bit more educated. From this, women might taste equality and realize they will want to fight for it, but I cannot say for certain that this will happen.
A second group I have studied is the American Indians. In reflecting about how the war has changed the Indians, I have come up with many positive and negative aspects. Many Indians volunteered to enlist, around 44,500 American Indians served. In volunteering, Indians hoped to break the social barriers and gain more respect. I have seen many Indians react with anger when they are rejected from the draft for poor health and living conditions. Navajo Indians, in particular, have served as ‘code talkers’. Because of them, our enemies have yet been able to crack our code. As I am watching how the American society is evolving during the war, I have noticed that the racial barriers toward the American Indians have weakened as more jobs in defense industries have become available. Through these jobs, just like women, Indians are able to learn new vocational skills for life and have more educational opportunities.
Thank you for reading my blog thus far and I plan on posting again soon.