American Society at War
The United States was more fortunate than most other nations involved in World War II. American soldiers fought overseas, and virtually every family had someone in uniform—but after Pearl Harbor no fighting took place on American shores. For the most part, the home-front population was far more comfortable than it had been in the preceding decade. Mobilization brought the return of prosperity, and with it the hope and confidence in the American way that had all but disappeared during the Great Depression. Within the United States, the wartime mood was buoyant and upbeat.
Americans participated in the war in countless ways. Combat soldiers put their lives on the line, in both the European and Pacific theaters of war, and many of these people made the ultimate sacrifice. Civilians at home found themselves engaged in the conflict in other ways. Wartime employees worked hard to accomplish the necessary miracles of production and now had money in their pockets to enjoy what they could once again afford to buy. The government encouraged their involvement in drives and campaigns both to fund the war and to collect necessary resources, and to give them a sense of identification with a common cause.