The Second World War was fought like no other. The war changed many aspects of American society - politically, socially, but most importantly socially. The flux of people needed to man the war both drove many to seek not only victory in the world, but also victory at home over racism. For the first time, minorities and the rest of the population were working for the same cause. This was the 1940’s, and the war served to prep Americans for the huge movements of the 1960’s. Through factory work and further involvement in the American militia, minorities like Native Americans, women, and African Americans fought both the Axis powers and oppression against minorities.
Native Americans had long fought for the freedom before World War II. They were only granted citizenship in 1940, and still had a long way to go before achieving the same rights as the majority of Americans. It was through the war, however, that Natives began to work side by side with Americans for the first time. 99% of Native Americans enlisted in the draft during the war; their “warrior” ethic prompted them to fight a war for a society that had previously been their enemies. They became some of the most useful soldiers the army had ever had. Many became Navajo code-talkers, since their language could not be detected by the Axis over the radio. They became so appreciated by the American forces that they were affectionately dubbed “chiefs” and noted for their fiery
passion for the cause. At home, many went to work in factories to make defense weaponry – about 40,000. They arrived in major cities like Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle, and Baton Rouge to work, which was territory they would have never dared to enter before....
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...ne set of people. The war brought a diverse society of Native Americans, women, African Americans, Asians, Mexicans, Caucasians, and others together to fight against a common enemy. Many say that war divides, whether it be of different ethnicities, cultures, religions, etc. In America, however, World War II had the benefit of joining different people together. Through this, not only did American society learn the power of acceptance, but minorities also got a taste of what it equality is like. This made them fight harder for their rights in the movements of the 60’s. Civil rights, women’s rights, and Native American rights all had origins stemming from the Second World War. In short, minorities fought racism during the war by teaming up with their fellow Americans to achieve a common goal, and by gaining the momentum they would need for future movements.
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