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Recent histories of the South neglect the rural South after. World War II and stress the urban, industrial Sunbelt South, which in LOUISIANA HISTORY.
Table of contents

The impact on African-American neighborhoods was usually negative. Starke, Florida is located about 50 miles southwest of Jacksonville. Today, Starke is best known as the home of Florida State Prison. In , Starke was a small, rural community of about 1, people. Life in Starke changed radically when the town was chosen as the site of Camp Blanding. Some 32, migrants arrived to the community looking for a job. This is still the Great Depression, so the opportunity for a government job at a government pay scale was incredibly attractive.

Religious orders and dioceses found space to gather separate groups of preschoolers and school-age boys and girls, outfit them with clothes and shoes, feed them, tend to their medical needs, resume their educations, and provide some training in common job skills. The Toscanini concert raised money for shoes for these orphans, gathered around his picture with their new footwear.

Once adults were re-settled and children educated, then what?

Historically, few Italians owned enough land for more than subsistence farming and few could find work nearby. Migration allowed Italians to move where work was plentiful, sending home remittances that paid real estate taxes and met other cash expenses. The United States, two weeks away by steamship, with its plentiful supply of diverse opportunities, was a favorite destination.

After World War I, the United States began to restrict immigration, and, particularly, to limit migration from outside of northwestern Europe. After World War II, the problems with the law became apparent. Italian workers found few employment opportunities in Italy and limited ability to expand their search abroad. Ironically, restraining American immigration restrained American industry, undermining the Italian market for all the consumer goods the American economy produced in the years after the war.

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Who was in a position to reform immigration? It made sense to involve Italian Americans. They were personally affected; it was their relatives who needed help. They were also affected as Americans; they understood how limiting migration limited development in Italy which in turn limited American economic development.

And they were citizens who understood how to effect change. Edgar et. One of the many challenges South Carolina faced was supplying a labor force for its war-time industries. As the war progressed, more than , South Carolinians, including 2, women, joined the armed services.

Many others desired to serve, but forty-one percent were disqualified during their examinations due to mental or physical problems. Charleston and its vicinity saw a population increase of 41 percent. The counties of Beaufort, Dorchester, Greenville, and Richland also saw increases in population. The remaining forty counties lost population. One obvious cause for the decreased population was the number of men and women in military service.

It was also due in part to a migration of people from rural to urban areas seeking employment in the defense-related industries.

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Many people, particularly African-Americans, left the state and moved north in search of greater opportunities. In order to supply the needed workers, farmers employed more women and children in the fields. Although urban populations increased, the war-time demands for production made it necessary for industries to employ women to perform jobs once held by men alone.

The United States at war

Edgar , Segregation and economic oppression were daily realities for African-Americans in South Carolina. African-Americans remained at the bottom of the social ladder. Labor shortages not only created opportunities for women, they also created opportunities for African-Americans. In spite of long held prejudices, necessity forced Charleston industries to accept more African-American workers.

Most of the jobs they were given required only unskilled labor. The few skilled labor positions available to blacks also required they be kept separate from their white counterparts. Reports of discrimination in hiring practices and fears of African-American protests prompted President Roosevelt to issue an executive order creating the Fair Employment Practices Commission, which guaranteed jobs for African-Americans in defense plants. Hamer , 88 Horne , Over a million African-Americans were drafted or volunteered for military service. At the beginning of the war they were assigned to all-black units with white officers.

But by , African-American officers were graduating at a rate of about two hundred a month. Units like the Tuskeegee Airmen provided historic opportunities for African-Americans to serve in capacities never before realized.


Florida Frontiers; World War II military bases transformed Florida

By the wars end, plans were already being made by the army to integrate platoons of black and white soldiers. When the war was over, most southerners believed society would return to its pre-war norms. This was far from what was to follow. African- Americans began to speak with one voice and with the moral authority of those who sacrificed as much as any others to win the war.

It was time for change. Horne , South Carolina had over fatal casualties during the war.

United States - World War II |

The sacrifices made by these brave men and women makes all the other sacrifices pale in comparison. Thousands more were wounded and maimed. At the home front, life was characterized by war bonds, collections for relief agencies, rationing and numerous recycling drives. Items important to the war effort, such as, gasoline, lard, tires, as well as food items like coffee, tea, and sugar were rationed. Money was collected for the National War Fund, a relief agency providing entertainment for the troops, food, clothing, and medical aid for war torn countries and war prisoners.

Recycling drives for cooking oil, rubber, paper, and various metals were common. There were food drives to provide relief for European countries.

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  • Everybody was required to make sacrifices for the war effort. World War II was a total war. As such, very few escaped feeling its impact. It brought changes to South Carolina that are still felt today. South Carolina would never be the same following the war. The lesson will follow along with the Power Point presentation.