The New Deal to the Carter Administration - Vol. 3

By Philip H. Burch Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3

The World War II and Truman Years

As the politically stormy, Depression-ridden 1930s drew to a close, the attention of the Roosevelt administration was increasingly directed to the threat posed to America's national security by the aggressive Axis powers. In the early 1940s the stunning military successes of Germany and Japan were so sweeping that it appeared they might ultimately conquer the entire world. Though severely hampered by a strong isolationist sentiment in the United States, the Roosevelt regime firmly supported the hard-pressed Allied forces, led by Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union.

America's abrupt entry into the war in late 1941 quickly united the country and permitted the government to take a series of unprecedented steps to effectively coordinate the nation's military and industrial defense effort. Because of a shortage of essential raw materials such as rubber, gas rationing was imposed for the first time in American history. An Office of Price Administration was established by federal edict to restrain inflationary pressures created by the diversion of a tremendous amount of material into the production of vital military goods. Another important agency was created in the form of the War Production Board, which was given extraordinary powers to oversee and direct the nation's massive economic mobilization. At the same time the War and Navy departments underwent a vast expansion in their size and range of responsibility. To direct these now critical agencies, a sizable number of able executives were recruited on short notice from various sectors of the economy, especially from the business and legal communities. Through such efforts the country built up a huge military machine (capped by the development of the atomic bomb) that played a decisive role in defeating the Axis powers in 1945.

But even with the return of peace and the accession of a new President, Missouri's Harry S. Truman, America was unable to return to its less hectic prewar conditions, particularly in the realm of foreign relations. Soon after the cessation of hostilities it became clear that the United States and the Soviet Union had emerged from this momentous conflict as the two strongest

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The New Deal to the Carter Administration - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Elites in American History - The New Deal to the Carter Administration *
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The New Deal 13
  • Chapter 3 - The World War II and Truman Years 69
  • Chapter 4 - The Eisenhower Administration 123
  • Chapter 5 - The Kennedy-Johnson Years 169
  • Chapter 6 - The Nixon-Ford Regime 231
  • Chapter 7 - The Carter Administration 307
  • Chapter 8 - Conclusion 359
  • Appendix A 399
  • Appendix B 519
  • Index 535
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