Post War America Introduction

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Post War America
In August of 1945, Americans everywhere celebrated the end of World War II. Peace overseas, however, did not mean an end to strife at home. As America transitioned from a wartime economy to one of peace, its citizens faced a wide variety of conflicts and concerns.
Using your basic knowledge of the period, and your skills at identifying causes and effects, match the postwar cause with its effect below.


  1. Even though the war was over, it took a large amount of time and resources to demobilize the millions of troops abroad.

  2. Many American soldiers came home facing potential unemployment. They demanded to be re-hired at their pre-war jobs.

  3. Black soldiers, who had fought overseas for the principles of freedom, came home to find themselves still stuck in a racist and segregated nation.

  4. In 1946, wartime wage and price controls were finally lifted.

  5. By 1946, citizens had become angered by the strikes, shortages, and slow-moving reconversion process. Most blamed Harry S. Truman.

  6. The GI Bill provided veterans with health care, education grants, and home and business loans.

  7. Media begins to encourage women to marry and pursue domestic lives.

  8. Because most building supplies were used only for war production during WWII, veterans returning home found a large housing shortage.

  9. By 1947, America was finally beginning to emerge from its 20 years of depression, war, and scarcity.

  10. By mid-century, per capita income in America was 50 percent higher than any other nation in the world.


___ a. After controlling Congress since the early 1930s, the Democrats lose both houses in the 1946 Congressional election.

___ b. As women married younger and in greater numbers, the birth rate began to soar. The effects of the “Baby Boom” are still felt today.

___ c. Wives of soldiers flooded Congress with baby shoes and notes reading, “Please bring back my daddy.”

___ d. America instated the Marshall plan, providing billions of dollars to aid Europe with its postwar rebuilding.

___ e. Suburbs, filled with identical houses, began to spring up all of the country.

___ f. Women, who had been employed in wartime production jobs, were told to return to their domestic duties.

___ g. Union workers began to strike for higher pay and rapid inflation caused large price jumps.

___ h. The seeds of the Civil Rights movement are sown as black leaders demand equal rights for their people.

___ i. Massive consumerism takes over America. Citizens begin to fill their homes with new cars, TV’s, air conditioners, and many other modern amenities.

___ j. Going to school, starting new businesses, and getting new jobs, many veterans find themselves a part of the growing and prosperous middle class.

Post War America

Teacher’s Guide
Cause and Effect Answers

  1. c 6. j

  1. f 7. b

  1. h 8. e

  1. g 9. d

  1. a 10. i

Additional Activities

  1. As a study of inflation, have students locate post WWII prices of standard commodities and compare them with both pre-WWII prices and present day prices. They can look at magazine and newspaper advertisements from the period (available on microfilm at the public library), ask their grandparents or older friends and relatives about prices, or consult an almanac.

  2. Have students conduct a short interview with a grandparent or older friend or relative. Instruct them to find out about daily life during the years following WWII. How was it different from wartime? Was it better or worse? How was it different from daily life today?

Web sites:

On general information about life in the 1940s:
On women in the work force and armed services:

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