Whatis the relationship of the economy to society during times of war?
Theeconomic relationship of war to the economic position of the societyis intertwined. War has both positive and negative effects on theeconomy of a society. A case in point is the economic position of USthat experienced roller coaster during the period that spannedthrough World War I and II. Normally, wars are very expensive,destructive, and disruptive. Large wars such as the World War 1 andII often have large impacts and shocks to the various economies ofthe countries at play. Even though there might be some littleelements of short-term and long-term effects of war includingdestruction and rebuilding, war often is known to have wide effectson reducing the economic development of a nation and thus underminesthe general prosperity of a country.
First,war results into inflation, as it is known to push up prices andultimately reduce the standard of living. Most of the societies feelthe heat when paying for wars as it is a central problem for most ofthe economies(Collierand Hoeffler, 561). Often, governments pay for wars by raising taxesand this often has effect on reducing the spending by civilian andtheir level of investment. The other way that war is paid for isthrough borrowing of money that eventually increases the debt by thegovernment though it is documented that war-related debts can leadstates into a state of bankruptcy. The other means is printing morecurrency, which undoubtedly increases inflation. From the coursematerials, it emerges clearly that industrial warfare especially theWorld War I and II created inflationary pressures across some of thelargest economies including US (Harrison 24). On the other hand,governments often mobilized entire societies through laborconscription, diverting capital and technology from civilian tomilitary. World War I for instance caused a very hefty inflation asvarious participants changed from the known gold standards and theystarted issuing the currency freely. Inflation effects of war wererealized in other wars including U.S Civil War and Vietnam War amongothers (Harrison 17).
Duringtime of wars, most societies experience the economic capitaldepletion. Apart from draining money and resources from the economiesof the affected parties, there is intense destruction of capital likethe farms, factories, and cities being affected. The effects oftendepress the economic output. A case in point is the World War I thatreduced the production in France by nearly half and leaving hundredsof thousands of Germans starving to death.
Alsoother war-induced epidemics are realized by the warring societies andgenerally have the disruptive effects on their economies. In 1918,the World War I resulted into influenza epidemic that killedmillions. The baby boom after the World War II continues to date todetermine and shape the policy debates in the US. Some of the policydebates touch on the area of school budgets and social security(Harrison31). Generally, the labor force is affected hence disrupting theeconomy.
Nonetheless,there are positive relations of war with the economies. War at timescan stimulate growth in national economy though in the short term.For instance in the period of the Great Depression of the 1930s, themilitary spending as well as war mobilization increased capacityutilization. There was definitely reduction in unemployment throughconscription, patriotism among citizens was induced, and citizenswere encouraged to work harder for less compensation.
Warat times offers chances for re-building of the effected societaleconomies. A case in point is France that after being set back by thetwo World Wars, there was growth in production that happened fasterafter 1950 in comparison to what was witnessed in 1914(ElderJr, 5).
DuringWar times, there is often the technological development that iswitnessed. Governments are often in place to coordinate and so moreresearch and development for them to produce technologies that coverfor war and even find civilian uses. An example is the radar in WorldWar II. Even though it is widely acknowledged that the innovationsthat happen because of war have positive effects, it is yet to beunderstood if the money spent on such innovations can help produceeven greater innovations.
Howdoes that relationship change during times of peace? What about timesof prosperity and times of difficulty?
Duringtimes of peace, most of the societies realize a growth in theireconomies especially in instances where they are from war. A case inpoint is France that after being set back by the two World Wars,there was growth in production that happened faster after 1950 incomparison to what was witnessed in 1914. During the time ofdifficulties, there is slowed growth in the economies of thesesocieties.
Also,think about how the changes in the U.S. economy during this timeperiod affected how Americans regarded their government andthemselves?
Duringthe war-time there are a lot that changes including the diplomaticrelations of countries hence straining on the already thrivingeconomic ties between countries. The US government concentrates somuch in protecting the country and hence less attention to theeconomy. The citizens are at liberty to get protection by theirgovernment and cannot stand to see and themselves. The citizens oftendo not trust even their governments and foreigners alike.
Thissection deal with the research on the aspects of my hometownHempstead,Long Island New York 11550. Exploration of how the economic changesof the First World War, the 1920s, the Great Depression, and WorldWar II affected my hometown shall be explored. The World War II hadeffects in this area hence leading to the development of Nassau andwestern Suffolk making the areas witness suburban sprawl. After theSecond World War, the results of the area were in itself disastrous.My hometown, which was mainly made up of working class, whitecommunities, turned to harbor impoverished, overwhelmingly blackPuerto Rican areas.
Duringthe period of the Great Depression and the First World War, myhometown experienced a surge in suburbanization with it reaching mostparts beyond the western end of the island. The island started itsphase of transformation from backwoods and farms to a new whole erathat made up the American suburb. After the World War II, myhometown’s population increased tremendously and this was mainlyevident in Nassau County and western Suffolk County. People wouldthen move out and build in the new developments of the post-war boom.
Ideally,the main effect on this Island was an upsurge in population with thepopulation being at slightly over 186,000 in 1930. After the SecondWorld War, the returning GIs together with their families increasedthe population from 265,000 in 1940 to around 448,000 in 1950. Forinstance, Levittown was one of the towns that experienced thesuburban growth. By 1960, the country would see even further increasein population growth and this would directly be attributed to theKorean War that saw the population at 765,000. By 1970s, thepopulation would then just pick at slightly over 800,000 and thenlevel to 725,000 in 1990s. The surbabinization of this area is mainlyattributed to the proximity to Borough of Queens the New York’scity. Hempstead was one of the first post-war communities toexperience suburbanization and to date it has very aginginfrastructure.
TheGreat Depression would take a heavy toll at the residents. Mostresidents lost their jobs and the homes went into foreclosure. OliveBach, the President of the PTA would then organize a fund for theneedy residents with the concerts to raise funds being held atHempstead High School auditorium. Admission into the auditorium wasbetween 75 cents and $ 1 and several tickets were sold to raisethousands for needy during the Depression.
TownHall Dedication, October 16, 1907
LongIsland’s Aging Infrastructure
Bach(sitting, at left) pictured with his troupe during WWI.
Inthis module, I did complete the discussions and presentationssuccessfully. Tackling both areas have been entertaining and I havelearnt a lot from both sections. When tackling the discussions part,specifically the relationship of wars and the economic position ofthe society, I learnt that indeed there are some sort of positiverelationship between war and economic status of a society. This is anarea that I have never known. Nonetheless, the negative effects ofwars are outstanding hence making war not a good thing in a society.
Thelearning from this module directly connects to the previous module asI get procedural accounts of events and their relation. This modulehelps explain some of the activities that we learnt in the previousmodule and puts them in wider perspectives.
Theamount of learning in this module is quite significant and would helpexpound on some issues that are just touched on lightly in the othermodules. In personal learning, I can teach others and explain toothers the general relationship that Great depression has, the Firstand Second World Wars had and most important is the aspect of peacein the society.
Oneof my personal goals was to have broader picture of the understandingof the events that culminated in the 1920 through to 1945,which Ihave clearly comprehended. Further, I have been able to connect theeffects of war to economic aspects of society.
Iwould make this learning module to be more of presentation anddiscussions among students. This is opposed to having most part of itbeing essay as is the case. With the learning module being more ofpresentation, it is with no doubt that more comprehension on mattersat hand will be got.
Forpurpose of research and developments as well as innovation, do youthink most of it happen during the war period, especially in thefield of military? If yes, should it be encouraged and tested in thewarring areas?
Collier,Paul, and Anke Hoeffler. "Greed and grievance in civilwar." Oxfordeconomic papers 56.4(2004): 563-595.
ElderJr, Glen H. Childrenof the Great Depression: Social change in life experience .Westview Press, 1999.
Harrison,Mark. Theeconomics of World War II: six great powers in internationalcomparison.Cambridge University Press, 2000.