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The economics of World War II
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World War II was the seminal event defining the last half of the 20th Century. It changed the world map, shifted international power alliances, set in motion the Cold War that shaped American foreign policy and domestic politics, and permanently changed the American economy.The American economy had limped through the Great Depression of the 1930s with high unemployment and idle production capacity, even as people needed goods that were not being produced. Japanese bombs on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, changed that situation overnight.As America declared war on the axis powers, the federal government needed planes, tanks, ships, guns, ammunition, uniforms and all the rest of the materiel for a two-front all-out war.