“World War II was a Time of Great Prosperity in the United States”

A statement that is still commonly believed is the statement: “World War II was a time of great prosperity in the United States.” Perhaps people still believe this because before the war America was in an economic low with the Great Depression, and things began looking less bleak from 1939. But how accurate is this statement in actuality?

If one actually thinks about this statement, isn’t it ridiculous to think that a country in a war was more prosperous than ever before. A lot of the working force meaning the healthy men were sent off to war. This percentage of the working force not working anymore was forty percent. During the war in the US the working force was made up of people who either had not been working for a while and people who had never done those sorts of jobs in their life; is that more efficient economically? Also the economy was a wartime economy, which meant that the government was buying more things, because of the war, which of course made it seem there was an economic increase. Overall war is not an economic thing: lives are lost, resources are spent, etc.

In short, the statement: “World War II was a time of great prosperity in the United States,” is ultimately false. 

19 Comments

  1. Well what you have to realize is that the us was only in the war towards the end. So for a huge part of the war England was unable to grow and produce food and resources for themselves. So they turned to the US and Canada and bought food and supplies for their soldiers. That did boost the economy significantly. Also, it was the government that was not prospering economically. For the average person there were many more opportunities and having too many jobs and not enough people is much better than the opposite which is how it was in the Great depression. Now, the US did have trouble with many of their supplies getting destroyed on their way to England by u boats at the beginning of the war but this threat decreased as the war went on. Canada had much less trouble with this however. In the end, certain parts of the economy had huge boosts from the war, but the Government was hurt much more that the private citizen.

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    1. That is very true, and there is much gray area because their were many people who worked in those areas benefited for the better. For this essay I could only use the resources provided to me which definitely held the belief that the war was “all,” bad for the economy. I was mainly writing through the eyes of how the war was not a prosperous time for the free market because the majority of the economy was Government involved and controlled(it was already heavily involved because of the depression).

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      1. That is true but the government was forced to let go of the economy during the war in many areas that they had been involved in during the Great Depression simply because the economy profits more on its own. Also, meaning no offense, but the essay is about what you think, not what your teachers do… 😂

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      2. That is true government involvement does not equal economic improvement. Yes, but I have to keep in mind the sources I read and listened to, to write the essay, which lean to a common view point. Historically war does not equal prosperity, and World War II was no exception in many ways.

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      3. But war benifits countries that are not involved in it. For instance, Switzerland was used to store money for safekeeping. Before (and after) the Us joined World war 2, it was able to prosper from it.

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      4. Yes completely! The US became very prosperous after the war especially during the late 40s and 50s.

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      5. also did you know that the urainium for the heroshima bomb was transported in the truck of a car in a wooden box. Also one of the test bombs was put in a hole in the ground with a metal cover over it. The metal cover was captured in one frame of the video of the bomb and scientists were able to calculate that it became the fastest man made object ever and it is still going through space to this day. The record was actually broken by a spacecraft but because it orbited around a planet to gain that speed most people don’t count it. I just find that soo cool that there is a metal cover flying through space hundreds of times faster than the speed of sound.

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      6. No I didn’t, that is very cool!

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      7. also the herishima bomb was one of the most inefficient nuclear bombs ever made.

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      8. Honestly I could see that since it was one of early ones. Now it doesn’t compare to the things that the US military has now.

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      9. Well the US military acually still has many bombs that are similar in size although they are more efficient. This is because it is cheaper and more effective to launch several small nukes instead of one large one.

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      10. Interesting, honestly that would make sense. The military advancements since Ww2 is pretty great.

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      11. It is insane. Also, did you know that the US gets much, if not most of its uranium from Canada?

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      12. Yes I do, also America. Canada has a lot of natural resources.

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      13. It is still more efficient than the Tsar bomb which was set off by the Russians during the cold war. It was about 3,800 times as powerful as the bomb on Hiroshema.

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      14. Sorry i am a HUGE history nerd.

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      15. All good so am I 🙂

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  2. I am not saying that the war was necessarily good for the economy, I am saying that there were many benefits tot he economy from the war. Yes recourses are spent, but the Government bought many of those resources from private companies which stimulated the economy. Food is a resource that is spent every day but when food is sold it does help the economy. Same with gas and oil. Resources being spent is not a sign of a failing economy.

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  3. Ok, i don’t mean to completely fill the comments, but the company i work for is incredibly successful and yet they have a ton of trouble finding enough help and they have to offer benefits for workers to work really late just to get the work done. So although we are understaffed, it is really profitable. This is where i work: https://www.jollyfarmer.com/

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