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A war economy or wartime economy is the set of contingencies undertaken by a modern state to mobilize its economy for war production. Philippe Le Billon describes a war economy as a "system of producing, mobilizing and allocating resources to sustain the violence." Some measures taken include the increasing of Taylor rates as well as the introduction of resource allocation programs. Needless to say, every country approaches the reconfiguration of its economy in a different way.
Many states increase the degree of planning in their economies during wars; in many cases this extends to rationing, and in some cases to conscription for civil defenses, such as the Women's Land Army and Bevin Boys in the United Kingdom during World War II.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated if the Axis powers won, then "we would have to convert ourselves permanently into a militaristic power on the basis of war economy."
During total war situations, certain buildings and positions are often seen as important targets by combatants. The Union blockade, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea during the American Civil War, and the strategic bombing of enemy cities and factories during World War II are all examples of total war.
Concerning the side of aggregate demand, this concept has been linked to the concept of "military Keynesianism", in which the government's military budget stabilizes business cycles and fluctuations and/or is used to fight recessions.
On the supply side, it has been observed that wars sometimes have the effect of accelerating progress of technology to such an extent that an economy is greatly strengthened after the war, especially if it has avoided the war-related destruction. This was the case, for example, with the United States in World War I and World War II. Some economists (such as Seymour Melman) argue, however, that the wasteful nature of much of military spending eventually can hurt technological progress.
War is often used as a last ditch effort to prevent deteriorating economic conditions or currency crises, particularly by expanding services and employment in the military, and by simultaneously depopulating segments of the population to free up resources and restore the economic and social order.
The United States alone has a very complex history with wartime economies. Many notable instances came during the twentieth century in which America's main conflicts consisted of the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.
In mobilizing for World War I, the United States expanded its governmental powers by creating institutions such as the War Industries Board (WIB) to help with military production.Others, such as the Fuel Administration, introduced daylight saving time in an effort to save coal and oil while the Food Administration encouraged higher grain production and “mobilized a spirit of self-sacrifice rather than mandatory rationing.” Propaganda also played a large part in garnering support for topics ranging from tax initiatives to food conservation. Speaking on Four Minute Men, volunteers who rallied the public through short speeches, investigative journalist George Creel stated that the idea was extremely popular and the program saw thousands of volunteers throughout the states.
In the case of the Second World War, the U.S. government took similar measures in increasing its control over the economy. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor provided the spark needed to begin conversion to a wartime economy. With this attack, Washington felt that a greater bureaucracy was needed to help with mobilization.The government raised taxes which paid for half of the war's costs and borrowed money in the form of war bonds to cover the rest of the bill. “Commercial institutions like banks also bought billions of dollars of bonds and other treasury paper, holding more than $24 billion at the war’s end." The creation of a handful of agencies helped funnel resources towards the war effort. One prominent agency was the War Production Board (WPB), which “awarded defense contracts, allocated scarce resources – such as rubber, copper, and oil – for military uses, and persuaded businesses to convert to military production." Two-thirds of the American economy had been integrated into the war effort by the end of 1943. Because of this massive cooperation between government and private entities, it could be argued that the economic measures enacted prior to and during the Second World War helped lead the Allies to victory.
The United States has been involved in numerous military endeavours within the Middle East and Latin America since the 1960s. Having been in a continuous state of war since the September 11 Attacksand having a military budget over double of its two largest military rivals.
Germany has experienced economic devastation following both World Wars. While this was not a result of faulty economic planning, it is important to understand the ways that Germany approached reconstruction. In World War I, the German agricultural sector was hit hard by the demands of the war effort. Not only were many of the workers conscripted, but lots of the food itself was allocated for the troops leading to a shortage.“German authorities were not able to solve the food scarcity [problem], but implemented a food rationing system and several price ceilings to prevent speculation and profiteering. Unfortunately, these measures did not have the desired success."
Heading into the Second World War, the Nazis introduced new policies that not only caused the unemployment rate to drop, it created a competent war machine in clear violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The Third Reich implemented a draft and built factories to supply its quickly expanding military. Both of these actions created jobs for many Germans who had been struggling from the economic collapse following World War I. 151 billion 2009 euros)." After World War II, Germany was discovered to have exploited the economies of the countries it invaded. The most important among these, according to historians Boldorf and Scherner, was France and “her highly developed economy… [being] one of the biggest in Europe.” This is further supported when they later reveal how the French economy provided for 11 percent of Germany's national income (during the occupation) which covered five months of Germany's total income for the war. Using extortion and forced labor, the Nazis siphoned off much of France's economic output. For example, during the early months of the Nazi occupation, the French puppet government was forced to pay a "quartering" fee of twenty million Reichmarks per day. Supposedly, the fee was payment for the Nazi occupation forces. In reality, the money was used to fuel the Nazi war economy. Germany employed numerous methods to support its war effort. However, due to the Nazi's surrender to the Allies, it is hard to tell what their economic policies would have yielded in the long term.However, it is worth noting that while unemployment rates plummeted, “by 1939, government debt stood at over 40 billion Reichsmarks (equivalent to
Total war is warfare that includes any and all civilian-associated resources and infrastructure as legitimate military targets, mobilizes all of the resources of society to fight the war, and gives priority to warfare over non-combatant needs. The Oxford Living Dictionaries defines "total war" as "A war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the laws of war are disregarded."
Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, services, or an artificial restriction of demand. Rationing controls the size of the ration, which is one's allowed portion of the resources being distributed on a particular day or at a particular time. There are many forms of rationing, and in western civilization people experience some of them in daily life without realizing it.
The history of the United States from 1918 through 1945 covers the post-World War I era, the Great Depression, and World War II. After World War I, the U.S. rejected the Treaty of Versailles and did not join the League of Nations.
Nazism and the acts of the Nazi German state profoundly affected many countries, communities, and people before, during and after World War II. The regime's attempt to exterminate several groups viewed as subhuman by Nazi ideology was eventually stopped by the combined efforts of the wartime Allies headed by Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States.
Mobilization, in military terminology, is the act of assembling and readying troops and supplies for war. The word mobilization was first used, in a military context, in the 1850s to describe the preparation of the Imperial Russian Army. Mobilization theories and tactics have continuously changed since then. The opposite of mobilization is demobilization.
East Germany had a command economy similar to the economic system in the Soviet Union and other Comecon member states. The state established production targets and prices and also allocated resources, codifying these decisions in comprehensive plans. The means of production were almost entirely state-owned.
Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany during World War I and World War II. In the war time governments encouraged people to plant victory gardens not only to supplement their rations but also to boost morale. George Washington Carver wrote an agricultural tract and promoted the idea of what he called a "Victory Garden". They were used along with Rationing Stamps and Cards to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil "morale booster" in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front.
Julian Scherner was a Nazi Party official and a high-ranking member in the SS of Nazi Germany. During World War II, he served as the SS and Police Leader of Kraków, Germany-occupied Poland.
The term Wirtschaftswunder, also known as the Miracle on the Rhine, describes the rapid reconstruction and development of the economies of West Germany and Austria after World War II. The expression referring to this phenomenon was first used by The Times in 1950.
Military production during World War II includes the arms, ammunition, personnel and financing which were mobilized for the war. Military production, in this article, means everything produced by the belligerents from the occupation of Austria in early 1938 to the surrender and occupation of Japan in late 1945.
The 'home front' covers the activities of the civilians in a nation at war. World War II was a total war; homeland production became even more invaluable to both the Allied and Axis powers. Life on the home front during World War II was a significant part of the war effort for all participants and had a major impact on the outcome of the war. Governments became involved with new issues such as rationing, manpower allocation, home defense, evacuation in the face of air raids, and response to occupation by an enemy power. The morale and psychology of the people responded to leadership and propaganda. Typically women were mobilized to an unprecedented degree.
The reconstruction of Germany after World War II was a long process. Germany had suffered heavy losses during the war, both in lives and industrial power. 6.9 to 7.5 million Germans had been killed, roughly 8.26 to 8.86% of the population. The country's cities were severely damaged from heavy bombing in the closing chapters of the war and agricultural production was only 35% of what it was before the war.
The United States home front during World War II supported the war effort in many ways, including a wide range of volunteer efforts and submitting to government-managed rationing and price controls. There was a general feeling of agreement that the sacrifices were for the national good "for the duration [of the war]."
The Aftermath of World War II was the beginning of a new era, defined by the decline of all European colonial empires and simultaneous rise of two superpowers: the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (USA). Allies during World War II, the US and the USSR became competitors on the world stage and engaged in the Cold War, so called because it never resulted in overt, declared hot war between the two powers but was instead characterized by espionage, political subversion and proxy wars. Western Europe and Japan were rebuilt through the American Marshall Plan whereas Central and Eastern Europe fell under the Soviet sphere of influence and eventually behind an "Iron Curtain". Europe was divided into a US-led Western Bloc and a Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. Internationally, alliances with the two blocs gradually shifted, with some nations trying to stay out of the Cold War through the Non-Aligned Movement. The War also saw a nuclear arms race between the two superpowers; part of the reason that the Cold War never became a "hot" war was that the Soviet Union and the United States had nuclear deterrents against each other, leading to a mutually assured destruction standoff.
The Philippine Executive Commission was a provisional government set up to govern the Philippine archipelago during World War II. It was established with sanction from the occupying Imperial Japanese forces as an interim governing body prior to the establishment of the Japanese-sponsored and nominally independent, Second Philippine Republic.
The German economy, like those of many other western nations, suffered the effects of the Great Depression with unemployment soaring around the Wall Street Crash of 1929. When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, he introduced policies aimed at improving the economy. The changes included privatization of state industries, autarky, and tariffs on imports. Although weekly earnings increased by 19% in real terms in the period between 1932 and 1938, average working hours had also risen to approximately 60 per week by 1939. Furthermore, reduced foreign trade meant rationing in consumer goods like poultry, fruit, and clothing for many Germans.
American food policy in occupied Germany refers to the food supply policies enacted by the U.S., and to some extent its dependent Allies, in the western occupation zones of Germany in the first two years of the ten-year occupation of Western Germany following World War II.
Franz Neuhausen was a wealthy industrialist who became the special plenipotentiary for economic affairs in the Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia during most of the German military occupation of that region of the partitioned Kingdom of Yugoslavia during World War II. He worked as a representative of Germany and the Nazi Party in Belgrade throughout the 1930s, during which he amassed a huge fortune. As a close friend and personal favourite of Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring, he became Göring's direct representative for the Four Year Plan in the occupied territory, and was its virtual economic dictator from April 1941 until August 1944. On 18 October 1943 he succeeded Harald Turner as the Chief of the Military Administration in Serbia, and he continued to fulfill both roles until late August 1944.
The economic history of World War I covers the methods used by the First World War (1914–1918), as well as related postwar issues such as war debts and reparations. It also covers the economic mobilization of labor, industry, and agriculture leading to economic failure. It deals with economic warfare such as the blockade of Germany, and with some issues closely related to the economy, such as military issues of transportation. For a broader perspective see Home front during World War I.
The United Kingdom home front during World War II covers the political, social and economic history during 1939–1945. See also Timeline of the United Kingdom home front during World War II, Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II and Diplomatic history of World War II.
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