What types of changes did Americans go through during World War 2?
This is probably too complex a question to answer easily online, but there are some obvious changes caused by the war. According to the 1940's volume of American Decades (Gale Research, 1995), the most immediate effect was that over ten million men, including fathers were drafted by the armed forces. Because of increased manufacturing production to supply military needs as well as providing the necessities for the people at home, the gross national product and manufacturing doubled during the war. From 1942 until the end of the war no cars otr trucks were manufatured for civilians. Steel, rubber, and electrical goods were very scarce. Taxes were raised, many items were rationed, prices were controlled, and labor was allocated by the government, too, even restricting sometimes where people lived. Unemployment dropped from 14% to zero. Wages did rise during this time, and of course, many more women entered the wrok force. Many people became much better off, especially when compared to the recent Depressson times. Americans saved much more money during the war, so spent much more on new houses and other consumer goods after the war, which helped to keep the economy going. The USA was, of course, the only major industrail country to emerge almost untouched from the war, and low interest loans provided to Europe and also to U.S. servicemen for education and for buying homes, farms, and businesses helped to fuel prosperity for many. By the end of the decade, though, inflation had recreated bad times for a third of the country that remained below the poverty line.
Race relations were mixed. There was lingering animosity toward Japanes Americans, and many of these people had suffered internment in government camps during the war. Reaction against the NAzi ideal of whie supremacy led many to reject that idea and the government passed some legislation thatencouarges aliens to become citizens, and more than a million immigrants, mainly Italian and Eastern European, were naturalized. Yet there remained a lot of discrimination against the different ethnic groups, and Mexican Americans were victims of heavy discrimination. African Americans still dealt with heavy discrimantion despite FDR's ban on discrimination in defense production. Although many African AMericans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Japanese Americans served in the war, that didn't necessaily translate to more respect. Also, women, who went to work outside the home in manufaturing and the military during the war, were pushed back into the home or more traditional female occupations after the war was over.