Rosie the Riveter—the strong, competent woman dressed in overalls and bandanna—was introduced as a symbol of patriotic womanhood.
The accoutrements of war work—uniforms, tools, and lunch pails—were incorporated into the revised image of the feminine ideal. In the face of acute wartime labor shortages, women were needed in the defense industries, the civilian service, and even the Armed Forces. Despite the continuing 20th century trend of women entering the workforce, publicity campaigns were aimed at those women who had never before held jobs.
Poster and film images glorified and glamorized the roles of working women and suggested that a woman's femininity need not be sacrificed. Whether fulfilling their duty in the home, factory, office, or military, women were portrayed as attractive, confident, and resolved to do their part to win the war. These jobs will have to be glorified as a patriotic war service if American women are to be persuaded to take them and stick to them. Their importance to a nation engaged in total war must be convincingly presented.
At the beginning of the war, African Americans could join the Navy but could serve only as messmen. Restricted to the position of messman, he received no gunnery training. But during the attack, at great personal risk, he manned the weapon of a fallen gunman and succeeded in hitting Japanese planes. He was awarded the Navy Cross, but only after persistent pressure from the black press.
Joe Louis Says—We,re Going to do our part. Nevertheless, an overwhelming majority of African Americans participated wholeheartedly in the fight against the Axis powers. They did so, however, with an eye toward ending racial discrimination in American society. This objective was expressed in the call, initiated in the black press for the "Double V"—victory over fascism abroad and over racism at home. The Government was well aware of the demoralizing effects of racial prejudice on the American population and its impact on the war effort.
Everything You Know About How World War I Ended Is Wrong
Consequently, it promoted posters, pamphlets, and films highlighting the participation and achievement of African Americans in military and civilian life. We say glibly that in the United States of America all men are free and equal, but do we treat them as if they were? There is religious and racial prejudice everywhere in the land, and if there is a greater obstacle anywhere to the attainment of the teamwork we must have, no one knows what it is. During the war years, gasoline, rubber, sugar, butter, and meat were rationed.
Government publicity reminded people that shortages of these materials occurred because they were going to the troops, and that civilians should take part in conservation and salvage campaigns. President Roosevelt was a gifted communicator. On January 6, , he addressed Congress, delivering the historic "Four Freedoms" speech. At a time when Western Europe lay under Nazi domination, Roosevelt presented a vision in which the American ideals of individual liberties were extended throughout the world. Alerting Congress and the nation to the necessity of war, Roosevelt articulated the ideological aims of the conflict.
Eloquently, he appealed to Americans' most profound beliefs about freedom.
The speech so inspired illustrator Norman Rockwell that he created a series of paintings on the "Four Freedoms" theme. In the series, he translated abstract concepts of freedom into four scenes of everyday American life. Although the Government initially rejected Rockwell's offer to create paintings on the "Four Freedoms" theme, the images were publicly circulated when The Saturday Evening Post, one of the nation's most popular magazines, commissioned and reproduced the paintings.
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After winning public approval, the paintings served as the centerpiece of a massive U. We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want. The fourth is freedom from fear. Our Homes Are in Danger Now! Keep These Hands Off! A study of commercial posters undertaken by the U. Government found that images of women and children in danger were effective emotional devices. The Canadian poster at right was part of the study and served as a model for American posters, such as the one below, that adopted a similar visual theme. Buy War Bonds.
Propaganda of Japan and the U.S. During WW II
We're Fighting to Prevent This, by C. When children are hostile, the opposing army is more likely to consider every civilian a potential enemy. They are often forced to. Some are given alcohol or drugs, or exposed to atrocities, to desensitize them to violence.
Some join to help feed or protect their families. Some are offered up by their parents in exchange for protection. Children can be fearless because they lack a clear concept of death. Women often take on larger economic roles in wartime. They must find ways to compensate for their husband's military deployment or unemployment. Those in war zones must search for food, water, medicine, and fuel despite shortages. Some women in war zones are forced into prostitution to provide for their family.
Famine and stress cause increased stillbirth and early infant death.
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AIDS risk increases for many women in war, from prostitution, husbands who return from military duty with HIV, or rape. Genocide is any number of acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, according to the United Nations. Others include political and social groups in the definition, making genocide more broadly the annihilation of difference. Genocidal campaigns have become more frequent since World War I.
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Modern industrial weapons have made mass killings easier to commit. The most devastating include those in the Soviet Union, where approximately 20 million were killed during Stalin's Great Terror s ; Nazi Germany, where 6 million Jews were killed in concentration camps along with 5 million or more Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other "enemies of the German state" ; Cambodia, where 1.
The U. It oversees the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, which are responsible for land, sea, and air fighting respectively. Excerpted by permission.
World War II Fast Facts
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. What is a war?
Has the world ever been at peace? How many people have died in war? How many people around the world serve in the military?
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