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What is the role of a civilian population in a wartime society?

In any war the support of the civilian population is a necessity. In the case of World War II America was about to enter it's second "total war," the first being the Civil War. America needed to marshal all of its resources in order to beat two formidable adversaries. The commitment of Americans on what became known as the "home front" was a necessity.

I. World War II

A. The Home Front - term used to describe civilian support and participation in the war.

1. How did women help support the war effort?

a. Served in various production capacities like WOW's (Women of War.

b. Volunteered for service: WAC's (Women's Army Corps), Waves, Spars.

c. As result of women's participation in the war effort the expected role of women in American society changed. Before the war people did not think women should work. After the war women working was more or less an accepted part of society.

2. How do you think the average civilian was able to support the war?

a. Observe rationing. Products like silk and gasoline were not readily available. Women who could no longer wear silk stockings would draw a loine up the back of their legs to simulate the look of the stocking.

b. Students and others collected scraps.

c. New technology - nylon as opposed to the silk used parachutes.

d. Massive government and private investment to war industry.


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