The Politics of War
The political sphere grew increasingly contentious during World War II. While solidarity in the struggle against the Axis powers remained intact from beginning to end, there was growing polarization over domestic issues. The political world has always reflected the major issues of the day, and electoral contests have long served to articulate a culture’s values and views. This pattern held true during World War II. The major wartime elections—presidential and congressional—revolved around the concerns Americans felt as they responded to military and industrial demands, concerns about wages, prices, and shortages, and the very process of mobilization itself. These elections dramatized the debates about how home-front priorities should be set and revealed the disagreements over the nature of the postwar world. Political maneuvering, an integral part of the governing process, focused on issues that could not be ignored and delineated the boundaries of American society as it dealt with the experience of war.
During the Second World War, the United States became increasingly conservative at home. Republicans and southern Demo