Life on the Homefront
The U.S. entrance into World War II had a significant impact on Americans at home. Collect information from articles on life on the U.S. homefront and examine posters of the time to describe and illustrate what Americans were asked to do at home to support the war effort.
- How does wartime alter everyday life?
- Why do people save money during wartime?
What does it mean to describe? Watch this:
- homefront: A nation's homefront is made up of the civilians who remain at home while the military is abroad at war.
- propaganda: Propaganda is information or disinformation used to influence public opinion about a specific cause or ideology.
- rationing: Rationing is a specific allowance of food or goods allotted to an individual or community, often during wartime.
- victory gardens: Victory gardens were food-producing gardens planted by Americans living on the homefront to supplement the rationed public food supply.
- war bonds: War bonds are debt securities issued by the government during wartime to provide financial support for the military. During World War II, citizens were encouraged to buy war bonds as part of the war effort.
- World War II: World War II (1939–1945) was a global conflict in which the Allies (France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States) fought against the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan).
World War II was waged not only on the battlefield but also on the homefront. Americans at home rationed gasoline, food items, and other goods for the sake of the war effort. The U.S. government established the War Production Board to ensure that such important resources would be primarily used for the production of weaponry, equipment, uniforms, and other essential military items. As factories switched to a system of wartime production, fewer consumer goods stocked store shelves.
Another important contribution to wartime efforts on the homefront was through the purchase of war bonds, which allowed Americans to invest in funding the war while saving money. In total, more than 85 million Americans purchased war bonds. Finally, day-to-day roles on the homefront also shifted during the war. Increasing numbers of women entered the workforce to fill roles that were left unoccupied by men now enlisted in the military.