War and Culture

Topics: World War II, United States, World War I Pages: 6 (2514 words) Published: November 13, 2013
War and Culture
War has affected society for generations and generations, for as long as history has been recorded. In modern day however, war has affected our culture in a few significant ways. Some people rally for their country and troops, and some people protest. Propaganda is used, and the media is biased. People in America is much more knowledgeable on American issues in present day and it has affected how our culture views wars compared to previous generations. Access to information has really affected culture in America from World War 2 by using the limited access to help gain support for troops, to Vietnam where people were getting much more information and it shook support for the war, to the present War on Terror in Afghanistan where the internet reigns supreme and people are getting constant new information on everything that is going on.

The support for America was at a maximum during World War 2. Women were rallying behind Rosie the Riveter and working to support the war effort, and families were rationing their food and growing “freedom gardens” to allow for more food for the men over seas. But what is the cause for all of this support and rallying of an entire country? Limited access of information led to dramatic support for our American troops overseas.

“On May 1, 1941, the first Series of U.S. Savings Bonds was sold to President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau” (Wheeler 148). This began the lengthy US war bond campaign. The United States used war bonds during conflicts in order to raise money for the war effort. World War 2 was a very expensive war that was spread out to many countries with over 16 million soldiers fighting in it. This cost an estimated $296 billion (Gorman 4063). The White House, realizing the massive cost of the war, decided to create a huge national campaign to sell war bonds. These campaigns consisted of celebrities and war heroes touring across America doing shows and advertisements to gain support for the campaign. The public reacted wildly to it and sales went through the roof. Over the course of the war 85 million Americans purchased bonds totaling approximately $185 billion (Gorman 4081). The popularity of this campaign made it seem that it was the popular or it was your patriotic duty as an American. The community really rallied behind the war bond effort by giving their own money away for up to 7 years for a small percentage of gain. People were willing to give up money in support of the war, but who knew people were willing to change up their entire belief system for support? Gender unity played a big role in America succeeding in the war, and one that set milestones for progress for years to come. The 1940s was still a time is gender inequality. Women were meant to stay home with the kids and cook dinner and the men were supposed to go out and work and provide, that was just the way of the time. However with 16 million men going off to war, we were left with a great shortage of labor on the homefront. Especially with all of the economy shifting toward the war effort, there was a lot to do. The hard working women in America changed up their lifestyles completely to support the men fighting for our country. 6 million women, on top of the 12 million already, rallied behind Rosie the Riveter and went to work in factories and traditional female jobs by the time the war ended. This was not easy however. Women at the time were still getting unequal pay to men and not treated as well in the workplace. Women were working hard to support the war effort. This really gave women a helpful role in the war; therefore they gained a huge sense of ownership, because they were doing their patriotic duty as much as every man. These women did what they knew was best for our country, whatever the sacrifice, which shows the loyalty and commitment that this generation had for their country. It was not only women who stopped what they were doing, changed...

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Gorman, Robert F. Great Events From History. Pasadena, Calif: Salem Press, 2007. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
Mink, Gwendolyn, and Alice O 'Connor. Poverty In The United States : An Encyclopedia Of History, Politics, And Policy. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2004. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
Jerneck, Magnus. "Sitting On The Balcony: American Responses, Strategic Dilemmas, And Swedish Criticism Of The Vietnam War." Diplomacy & Statecraft 24.3 (2013): 404-426. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
Byrne, Alice. "The British Council And Cultural Propaganda In The United States, 1938–1945." Journal Of Transatlantic Studies (Routledge) 11.3 (2013): 249-263. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
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