Mobilizing for World War 2 did more to rectify the Great Depression than all of the programs in effect in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Essay by PrismpunkHigh School, 11th gradeA-, December 2002

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The years of the Great Depression were a time of great change in American

society. New reforms were an attempt by President Franklin Roosevelt to relieve

unemployment, poverty and alter the economy to bring the Great Depression to an end.

However, it was not until the 1940's after America's involvement in World War II

that the effects of the depression ended. While these new policies did help to prevent the

economic crisis from becoming any worse, it was America's entry into World War II that

restored the country's economy.

The reform movements did not end the Great Depression in the late 1930s.

Through policies such as the TVA project, and the Works Progress Administration, the

downward economic trend was slowed down but did not bring about lasting economic

reforms (Document H). By 1940, several years after reforms were implemented, "fifteen

percent of the nation's working force still did not have a job."

(Document A) While the

government started the WPA to employ jobless Americans, assistance, especially to

women, was limited to domestic jobs. Roosevelt's plan offered what

appeared to be promising advances, but was often proven ineffective (Document D). The

policies did not provide permanent solutions to unemployment problems. Also, certain

aspects of the New Deal were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court ruling of

Schechter v. United States. (Document E) For this reason, the New Deal and many

reforms during the great depression had few lasting impacts on American society.

U.S. entry into the war provided a solution for many problems that had challenged

supporters of the reform movements. "The events leading to the outbreak of war and

subsequent American entry into it are of an importance and interest so great it is difficult

to exaggerate." (Document C) The war, not reforms, brought about full employment

through industrial...