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The Great Depression and World War II

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It was during 1920’s when the great power of the United States was put into test. Based on history, Americans had greatly suffered from two major economic chaoses.

First was the Great Depression year. This economic turmoil had a major impact on the country’s economic stability and had spread towards Europe and some other parts of the world. Lastly was the entry of the United States into World War II in the 1930’s. In relation to this, the US government would allot a huge part of its budget to military for it to sustain their entry to the war. In short, this results to an increase in the government expenses and eventually would cause the raise in the tax rate to compensate for that part of the government budget that was used to sustain the war.

In the article (“Great Depression,”), the author stressed that the sudden down turn in the business profits, prices of the commodities, individual savings and government revenue in the form of tax collections was the result of the “stock market crash” in 1929 that continued until the end of 1930’s. The said economic disorder had greatly affected the social conditions of the blacks specially the ones living in the country side.

According to (“The Second Great Migration,”), around 1.5 million black Americans left the South going to the cities from the North and West between the year 1910 to 1940 because of  the “massive collapsed in the agricultural employment”, and later, the outburst of the Second World War would also contribute into their resettlement. The main reason of their migration was for their security and for the reason that they found it hard to live in the countryside during the economic misery. An example based on the article was the turn down of the prices of major products produced by the Southerners, (e.g. tobacco, cotton and sugar).  For them, the only answer to their need was to move towards the cities on the North and West, (e.g. Chicago,

Detroit, Philadelphia, New York and a lot more), wherein they could find greater number of job opportunities.

One of the many problems that the blacks encountered was the abrupt raise in the apartment or housing rents in the cities from the North and West due to the shortage of shelter units. Although the US Housing Administration, according to (“The Second Great Migration,”), did find ways to provide ample number of housing units, but the process was too sluggish.

Another problem that blacks from the rural area of the South encountered was the racial discrimination they experienced from the whites. Often times white assign blacks on the unskilled works. Sometimes blacks were underpaid, or worse, would receive nothing even a single cent.

            On the part of the employers in the North and West, it was to their advantage that they can hire more workers at low costs since there was a large supply of workers-the blacks from the South. In return, costs of production will decline and production had increased. Based on the (“The Second Great Migration,”), the workers of the aircraft plants on the West coast significantly increased, from 37,000 to 475,000 workers. Shipyards on the pacific coast recorded that the construction of sea vessels doubled during the time of war.

            Therefore, the Great Depression and World War II somehow gave benefit to some businessman by having cheaper laborers. But on the other hand, we can see that blacks have a small probability of being well-off in their society. Great depression and World War II made them miserable, incapable of having basic kind of living.


Great Depression [Electronic Version], 1. Retrieved April 25, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression.

The Second Great Migration [Electronic Version], 1. Retrieved April 25, 2007 from http://www.inmotionaame.org/print.cfm;jsessionid=f830122521177481633487?migration=9&bhcp=1.

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