What people are saying - Write a review
♦Issues on The Home Front♦
The issues on the home front is rationing and controlling process, defending the home front, wartime research and development, and war work and the employment of women. Men were the ones to go off to war; the people left behind also had a part to play in the war. The problems could be solved at the national level by the federal government. Federal agencies such as the Manpower Commission and the Office of Price Administration were established specifically to address wartime concerns and ceased to exist soon after.
During World War II fewer manufactured goods were available because of military needs. A system of rationing and price controls were established to provide resources needed for the war and to avoid the kinds of economic problems that had resulted during World War I, such as high inflation. Government programs for rationing and price controls were administered by the Office of Price Administration whose activities were especially important at the local level and affected virtually every household in the United States.
Protecting the important northern shipping lanes and guarding against coastal invasion was made even more urgent by the frequent presence of German submarines along the New England coast. A coalition of military and civilian groups carried out patrols in the northern ship lanes, escorted convoys, provided defenses such as mines along the coast, carried out search and rescue operations, investigated submarine sightings, and were prepared to attack the enemy when necessary.
World War II saw a greater than ever emphasis on the importance of technology. All of the countries involved raced to develop superior technology, and the U.S. federal government established several top secret research programs that proved vital in the war, the best known of which was the Los Alamos laboratories. Less well-known was the secret project to develop the new radar technology that was established in the Boston area at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The project was officially known as the Radiation Laboratory in order to keep secret its actual purpose.
Just as the shortage of manufactured goods was a concern, there was a shortage of civilian labor because of the vast number of men who were in the military. The federal government and the war industries sought to solve the problem partly by employing women to fill the gap. Records of several agencies reflect the keen interest that was taken in the women who performed what had formerly been men's jobs at many of the federal facilities in New England. The federal government addressed the labor problem by encouraging people to work and restricting the freedom of workers to move from one job to another. Controlling and regulating the supply of labor was the function of the War Manpower Commission.