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Among the Americans, there is a stereotype that the Great Depression was over because of the explosion of WWII. This point of view occurred because some people doubt whether the New Deal had any influence on the Great Depression at all. Some of them say that WWII was a great project that had rescued the economy. However, I think that it is nothing else than a misinterpretation, as people have a wrong understanding of the consequences of the WWII for the civilian economy.Personally, I disagree that WWII was the reason for the recovery because the war cannot give the financial impulse for the economic needs (Roark, Johnson, Cohen, Stage, & Hartmann, 2012). The Great Depression caused the steep decrease in the standards of living for Americans and I believe that WWII just made this decline legitimate.
The deplorable state of economy due to the Depression also contributed to the stereotype that joining WWII would enhance it. Indeed, speaking about the economic conditions during the war, there was a rise in GDP as the states were producing a large amount of military equipment. However, the standards of living did not become higher for the working population (Roark et al., 2012). We had won the war; nevertheless, we should not consider it beneficial for the country, as I cannot see any advantages or profits from participating in it. About ten million men joined the armed forces and fought for victory; thus, they did not produce any consumer goods. Many products were not available and some goods, such as petrol, were on sale but in small amounts. The government spent two million dollars on the production of tanks and vehicle manufacturing. However, we must understand that this money did not have any benefits for the consumers. After the war, the government did not manage to recover the economy.During the Cold War, the cost of the military spending of the USA increased, which significantly affected the economy of the country. It means that the Depression has not come to its end after the war. Consequently, it does not matter what type of war we consider because, in terms of the economic stability and freedom, both WWII and the Cold War had catastrophic consequences.
In addition, I want to emphasize that the Depression was disastrous for the workers, especially due to the high rate of unemployment. Over fifty percent of the Blacks and approximately thirty percent of the Whites was jobless. As the USA had entered the war, the rate of unemployment declined. It is obvious that there were fewer unemployed people at the beginning of WWII as millions of Americans went to war. However, it did not mean the improvement of the quality of life.For me, there are other human ways to increase employment rate than at the cost of the life of many people.
While all civilians suffered, the position of the Blacks was the worst. The 1930s economic crisis, manual labor, dirty work, and terrible underpayment were pushing the Blacks to fight for their rights (Johnson, 2012). During the war, many Blacks joined the army to escape from the Depression and poverty. However, in the army, they still faced segregation and discrimination. I can confidently say that the Depression and WWII have led to the civil rights movement. This movement was a strong protest not only against racial discrimination but also against unemployment, underpayment, and terrible treatment of the Black people (Johnson, 2012), which I believe was caused by the unstable economic situation. Nevertheless, this movement allowed the Blacks to assert and to gain the legal recognition of their civil rights.
Analyzing how international events influenced our country to enter the war, I can say that the Great Depression is not an American notion but a global event, which led to the WWII. Furthermore, I believe that the Japanese attack on the US naval base Pearl Harbor and not the Depression was the main reason for the USA to enter the war.
In conclusion, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and WWII have made significant changes in the political economy of our country. The Depression has led to numerous adverse consequences, such as economic recession, unemployment, and limitations on civil rights. Unfortunately, WWII has not contributed to the end of the Depression because economic deprivation and a decline in living standards continue. However, there was an improvement in the civil rights of the Blacks due to the civil rights movement, which still does not outweigh the detriments to the country.