Unlike World War I, the Vietnam War or the recent commitment of American troops to the Middle East, World War II evoked relatively little opposition once the United States had formally entered the fray. But politics did not stop during the war. Discuss how Americans, in government or out, divided on two of the following political and economic issues during World War II. Describe who was on each side, why they differed, and what arguments they used to motivate their ideas. Where appropriate, discuss the role of the government, of Congress, of the political parties, of unions, of liberals, conservatives, and radicals, of housewives and war workers. Make an argument. Don’t discuss the history of World War II. Get to the point as quickly as possible. You can do all this in just three pages.
1. Strikes and protests in war production factories.
2. Price controls and rationing on consumer goods
3. Civil rights for African-Americans
Where appropriate, use the essays and documents in the course reader, the books written by Jason Scott Smith and Nelson Lichtenstein, the lectures and any videos shown in class. Try to avoid quoting the historians listed above; rather offer examples, incidents, stories, narratives, and analysis. Footnote or endnote as follows:
“Today, Detroit is a worker’s town – dynamic in every respect.” So announced The Crisis, the magazine published by America’s largest civil rights organization.
During World War II the Communists were among the most militant defenders of the UAW’s No-Strike Pledge, especially during the union’s 1944 debate over its repeal.