Ending Depression With War

An Interesting Era—Part 2

 My reason for a refresher of past history is for the readers to recognize the similarities of today’s dilemma with the past.

 Backing up a little from the description of the corporate take over of the economy by the large corporations in my last blog a little more history will make it more feasible.

 We were in a deep depression with tent cities, soup lines, and thousands lining up for 3 or 4 jobs. With the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and the peace time draft, it all changed. By magic the depression was over. War was our deliverance from the greed of capitalist barons.

 The New Deal had created jobs for millions of Americans, but there were still ten- eleven million walking the streets in despairing conditions. Our huge industrial machine, after receiving many benefits from the government, shifted gears and turned plowshares into swords. In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dr. New Deal was replaced by Dr Win The War. Prosperity came and everyone had a good time except for the 400,000 who lost their lives in the inevitable war.

 The prosperity liberated women from homemaking as were needed in defense plants. “At the wars end for millions of American women home would never again be a Doll’s House.” (Studs Terkel)

 It was claimed that if Roosevelt would have left office in 1941 we would have had  an unemployment rate in excess of 15% and an economic recovery that would have failed without the wars in Europe and Japan.

Before Roosevelt’s third term election he promised neutrality, but secretly sent observers and advisors to Britain and France to prepare the way for U.S intervention. He was on friendly terms with Churchill and gave him three destroyers and initiated a lend lease program to supply the allies with military equipment as Britain didn’t have the money to pay for military supplies.       

 This was enough for Germany and Italy to declare war and we retaliated by declaring war on them. Contrary to the beliefs, 88% of Americans were opposed to the war as still had memories of the foolish WW1; the war to end all wars.

 When the peace time draft of men between 21—35 was passed Roosevelt promised parents that draftees would never be sent to fight foreign wars. To motivate the public for war there must be a bogyman.  Bogymen are used to crate fear to justify war, such as the Kaiser, communists, Osama, Saddam. Hitler was the bogyman of this era.

 I’m not going to go into the war with its racism towards Jews, Blacks and Japanese, but will give you sources for this information. Eleanor Roosevelt disagreement with a bigoted Southerner Breckinridge Long, head of the State Department, over admitting Jewish refugees.,

 There were so many interesting people and events during the period: Prohibition, Famous Bank Robbers and life and events in the White House, but I have probably gone past the readers attention span on this subject. Although this is history with many similarities of politicians and public control today, I will move on.



5 responses to “Ending Depression With War

  1. Interesting article..where did the money come from that helped the economy? Could that have been funneled into the economy without a war machine?

  2. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    Thanks for that question, Luanne, as I was wondering that also. I also enjoyed this article and look forward to more. The similarities between then and now is something we weren’t taught to focus on in our study of history. I remember thinking, “Why am I learning this history…how does it relate to me?” It seems wise, also, for Americans to study the history of the Nazi rise to power in Germany, as from what I read on the web, there are alot of similarities between that and what is going on in America today.

  3. Increased taxes and borrowing, through the sale of massive amounts of war bonds. We still had debts from World War One

  4. Lots to think about here, Mr. Cooks. The “Boogeymen” mentioned were indeed insane, tyrannical, despots. No question about that. However, I agree
    the threat did unify Americans and prepare them for war. How much of the,
    “political hype” was calculated by our leaders, (in order to fix the economy), is really the question. If they are as cold-blooded as all that, then I don’t want to live in this world. If we are just mindless puppets,led by the nose by those who lead this country, then I believe God will soon send His Son to end it. It
    can’t happen soon enough. The problem is all the mobs, evil,
    and hellish conditions that will proceed his coming. I do not look forward to that!

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