World War II -- Life Term Paper

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Food, gasoline, oil, soap, and clothing were all scarcely distributed so as to not take too much away from the people at war (Ames Historical Society). For the first time as well, income taxes were implemented on items as well as withheld from people's checks. Bond buying also became a popular way of funding the war (PBS). Life in the United States transformed after its involvement in World War II.

Despite the positive changes that the United States had seen in their economy, Great Britain's experience was not so positive. Europe had already been participating in the full war effort for two years prior to the involvement of the United States. Due to their proximity to enemy countries such as Germany, Japan, and Italy, Great Britain felt the full effects of the war (BBC). While the United States was busy avoiding the war, the citizens of Great Britain lived in constant fear of receiving attacks from the opposing forces. These attacks arrived in the form of air strikes which frightened people to an even greater extent (BBC). No one ever felt safe walking outside during any time throughout the war. A sunny afternoon could easily be interrupted by bombings and gunfire. Millions were killed and injured during the strikes.

The citizens of Great Britain however, put in their effort to sustain the Second World War, just as American citizens did on their home front. Men and women worked hard at home factories and in the agricultural upkeep of their farmlands (BBC). This supplied their troops with food and with direly needed supplies. Hundreds of thousands of women also directly joined the war effort as uniformed service members. Those who did not volunteer their services were drafted into the war (BBC). While the United States felt extreme patriotism when deciding to volunteer themselves for the armed services at the time, the British were forced to face a war that they too did not really want to be a part of.

Great Britain also implemented a forced food rationing system in order to control the limited resources that they had at the moment (BBC). Because most of the European continent was at war, it was had grown increasingly difficult for citizens of Great Britain to receive a food supply readily. Most of these supplies were delivered by ship, which meant that because of the constant attacks and raids on these vessels, there were times when the food and supplies would never arrive to the people who needed them most (BBC). This also signified that Great Britain would not get any food or sustainable items for months at a time.

The living situation was even worse as parts of Great Britain experienced long blackouts that lasted for years (BBC). While the United States had jobs in excess and employment rates were at an all-time high, the citizens of Great Britain experienced quite the opposite. Due to the limited resources that they were receiving and that they were able to produce, the black market began to thrive. This meant that crime rates skyrocketed, as people became desperate to survive (BBC). As the blackouts increased in regions of Great Britain, so did breaks-ins and the delinquency rates.

Life in Great Britain was not as glorious during World War II as it was in the United States. Although both countries had their fair share of misfortunes, the United States avoided two less years of suffering that Great Britain had no choice but to endure. The United States experienced a boom in their economy, while most people lost everything in Great Britain. Despite their different experiences on the home front, citizens of both countries made valiant efforts in order to assure success in the Second Great War.


Ames Historical Society. "There's a War On, You Know!" Rationing on the U.S. Homefront during WWII. Ames, Iowa Historical Society, 2004. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. .

BBC. "More Information About: The Home Front." BBC HISTORY. BBC, 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. .

PBS. "The Home Front." Masterpiece., 2003. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. .

"World War II." New York Times (1923-Current file): 1. Aug 12, 1945. ProQuest: Historical Database. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.[continue]

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