The reason for mentioning WWI soldiers is during The Depression soldiers from WWI wanted a bonus that was promised them but wanted it early since they along with millions of others were facing desperate times. Not only did the government refuse to pay them but also the protest marches by the former soldiers were broken up and the camps they slept in burned.
The song in general refers to how people were well employed building the country up before the economic collapse ended up literally begging for money or food just to survive.
Relief: Immediate action taken to halt the economies weakening. FDR authorized almost $5 million to implement work-relief programs. Hoping to lift the country out of the crippling Great Depression, Congress allowed the president to use the funds at his discretion. The act was unparalleled and remains the largest system of public-assistance relief programs in the nation’s history.
Recovery: Temporary programs to restart the flow of consumer demand. FDR created programs focused on stabilizing the economy by creating long-term employment opportunities, decreasing agricultural supply to drive prices up, and helping homeowners pay mortgages and stay in their homes, which also kept the banks solvent.
Reform: Permanent programs to avoid another depression and insure citizens against economic disasters. Reforms targeted the causes of the depression and sought to prevent a crisis like it from happening again. In other words, financially rebuilding the U.S. while ensuring not to repeat history.
For African Americans during the war, businesses were beginning to boom at the time. Because very small percentage of African Americans fought in the war, it made jobs available. After WWII African American business owners and families had enough money to move out of crowded inner cities and into the suburbs. Of coarse, the migration of African American families to suburban areas led to white families relocating, which led to vacant homes resulting in lower property value in neighborhoods. This had social-economic impact on African American communities as the racial attitudes of the time still persist.
Women: it gave them the ability to join the work force. Prior to WWII, women stayed home and took care of domestic affairs, or worked as nurses, secretaries, or teachers. Women during the war had to replace male workers who fought. When the men returned home women commonly went back to their traditional roles, while some remained at their jobs. Although, it still wasn’t acceptable for women to work jobs typically done by men, the war allowed women to prove that they can.
Japanese Americans were ostracized and put into concentration camps during WWII. After the war many people distrusted the Japanese and other Asian ethnicity in America for a while, which made it hard for them to advance. The treatment of Japanese Americans during and after the war isn’t our proudest moment and is seldom mentioned in our countries history.
Foreign Policy: Harding spurned the League of Nations and negotiated peace treaties with Germany and Austria. His greatest foreign policy achievement came in the Washington Naval Conference of 1921–22, in which the world’s major naval powers agreed on a naval limitations program that held sway for a decade.
Xenophobia: Harding believed that the less we were involved in foreign affairs the better. While he did deviate from this on several occasions his foreign policies were always directed towards reducing the chances of being involved in another conflict.
Business in America: Harding followed a predominantly pro-business, conservative Republican agenda. Taxes were reduced, particularly for corporations and wealthy individuals; high protective tariffs were enacted; and immigration was limited. Harding signed the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, which streamlined the federal budget system and established the General Accounting Office to audit government expenditures.
The war had a dramatic impact on women. The sudden appearance of large numbers of women in uniform was easily the most visible change. The military organized women into auxiliary units with special uniforms, their own officers, and, amazingly, equal pay. By 1945, more than 250,000 women had joined the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), the Army Nurses Corps, and Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES), the Navy Nurses Corps, the Marines, and the Coast Guard. Most women who joined the armed services either filled traditional women’s roles, such as nursing, or replaced men in non-combat jobs. During World War I, the first demonstrations were held to give women the right to vote.
Women also substituted for men on the home front. For the first time in history, married working women outnumbered single working women as 6.3 million women entered the work force during the war. The war challenged the conventional image of female behavior, as “Rosie the Riveter” became the popular symbol of women who abandoned traditional female occupations to work in defense industries. Social critics had a field day attacking women. Social workers blamed working mothers for the rise in juvenile delinquency during the war. On top of everything else there were shortages: food, clothing, transportation, cosmetics and eligible men. There were long hours of hard work, there were sons, husbands and fathers to bury. Women had their share of problems, but they survived and persevered.
In closing the world wars changed America in many ways. Both the roles of men and women changed drastically and still to this day most of those changes are still taking affect in society.
Courtney from Study Moose
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