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This chapter analyzes whites who actually served in World War II, asking to what extent their military service had racially liberalizing effects on them, relative to similarly situated non-veterans. For veterans, the results are somewhat mixed. White veterans were indistinguishable from non-veteran whites on many measures of racial prejudice, and they were equally committed to segregation both in the armed services and in society more broadly. They were, however, more supportive of federal anti-lynching legislation in the war’s immediate aftermath, and southern white veterans were more supportive of black voting rights in the early 1960s. Relying on archival materials related to small-scale experiments in the military, this chapter also considers the counterfactual where Roosevelt had moved to integrated the armed forces during or prior to U.S. entry into World War II, highlighting the potential consequences for white racial attitudes of FDR’s refusal to integrate the armed forces during the war
This chapter gathers the evidence from the preceding chapters to offer a refinement of the more general theoretical relationship between war and the inclusion of marginalized groups based on this book's analysis of World War II and the response to black civil rights advocacy. The chapter then discusses questions that remain open for future scholarship, particularly possibilities that might arise from expanding the scope of the analysis to other political institutions and other marginalized groups. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the importance of studying war to better understand the outcomes of not just civil rights politics, but domestic political processes more generally.
This introductory chapter describes the general theoretical relationship between war and the inclusion of marginalized groups, provides historical background on civil rights politics in the World War II era, and addresses several methodological and definitional issues.
This chapter examines the effects of World War II and its aftermath on the Truman administration’s civil rights actions. In conjunction with broader political pressures and electoral incentives, the chapter points to Truman’s belief in the republican virtues of military service as a variable that can mediate between his personal racism and relatively more extensive civil rights program. It then shows how civil rights advocates—particularly by highlighting incidences of violence against returning black veterans in the immediate postwar period— convinced Truman to issue an executive order establishing the President’s Committee on Civil Rights. The chapter then discusses his executive order calling for equality of opportunity and treatment in the armed forces, issued after congressional inaction on his civil rights committee’s proposals, which eventually led to the desegregation of the U.S. military. This was not without its challenges, however, particularly from the Army, which frequently pushed back against the committee tasked with implementing the order.
This chapter describes and assesses the racial liberalization hypothesis: the notion that World War II had a liberalizing impact on white racial attitudes. Contrary to the Myrdalian account, however, analysis of rarely utilized survey evidence is used to demonstrate that there is much less evidence for the racial liberalization hypothesis than is often assumed, particularly when the focus is on measures of policy rather than prejudice. Although there is some evidence that the war coincided with decreases in anti-black prejudice (e.g., whether black blood is biologically distinctive from white blood),this chapter demonstrates that white attitudes toward civil rights policies—particularly federal intervention in state lynching cases—did not liberalize over the course of the war. If anything, white opposition to anti-lynching legislation actually seems to have increased. While the available evidence is more limited, whites were also largely opposed to wartime civil rights demands like integration of the armed forces.
This chapter examines the Roosevelt administration’s record on civil rights in the context of the Second World War. Relying on internal executive branch documents, as well as attempts by black newspapers to get the administration to comment on the Double-V campaign, the chapter demonstrates the White House’s familiarity with the Double-V rhetoric of civil rights activists, and frames this as part of a larger debate within the Roosevelt administration about whether to maintain a New Deal focus on social policy or focus almost entirely on the military aspects of World War II. The chapter then examines how wartime activism compelled Roosevelt to issue an executive order to combat defense industry discrimination, while similar efforts to integrate the armed forces proved unsuccessful.
World War II played an important role in the trajectory of race and American political development, but the War's effects were much more complex than many assume. Steven White offers an extensive analysis of rarely utilized survey data and archival evidence to assess white racial attitudes and the executive branch response to civil rights advocacy. He finds that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the white mass public's racial policy attitudes largely did not liberalize during the war against Nazi Germany. In this context, advocates turned their attention to the possibility of unilateral action by the president, emphasizing a wartime civil rights agenda focused on discrimination in the defense industry and segregation in the military. This book offers a reinterpretation of this critical period in American political development, as well as implications for the theoretical relationship between war and the inclusion of marginalized groups in democratic societies.
The Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in class’ time is limited to four weeks a year, and the programme spans two years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser–plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just completed its first year. Thus far three Learning Teaching Training (LTT) activities have been held, at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux and the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL) of TEI Crete. The last of these was a two-week long Intensive Programme (IP), while the activities at the other two universities were each five days in length. Thus far work has concentrated upon training in both theoretical and experimental work in plasma physics, high power laser–matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail and some metrics relating to the activities carried out to date will be presented.
Shallow ice cores were obtained from widely distributed sites across the West Antarctic ice sheet, as part of the United States portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) program. The US ITASE cores have been dated by annual-layer counting, primarily through the identification of summer peaks in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42–) concentration. Absolute dating accuracy of better than 2 years and relative dating accuracy better than 1 year is demonstrated by the identification of multiple volcanic marker horizons in each of the cores, Tambora, Indonesia (1815), being the most prominent. Independent validation is provided by the tracing of isochronal layers from site to site using high-frequency ice-penetrating radar observations, and by the timing of mid-winter warming events in stable-isotope ratios, which demonstrate significantly better than 1 year accuracy in the last 20 years. Dating precision to ±1 month is demonstrated by the occurrence of summer nitrate peaks and stable-isotope ratios in phase with nssSO42–, and winter-time sea-salt peaks out of phase, with phase variation of <1 month. Dating precision and accuracy are uniform with depth, for at least the last 100 years.
A modified version of shift-share analysis is used to examine spatial, temporal and compositional trends in employment growth in the Northeastern United States during the 1970s. The analysis is presented for subregions, states and metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties. Secondary data compiled by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis is used.
Employment growth in the Northeast, though positive overall, did not keep pace with that of the nation. While the distribution of employment among industries was very similar in the Northeast and the United States, the performance of these industries was not. The same was true for the three major subregions that comprise the Northeast. Nonmetropolitan counties outperformed their metropolitan counterparts in employment growth during the decade, with the most rural county types showing the greatest percentage employment growth.
Scholars of American politics often assume World War II liberalized white racial attitudes. This conjecture is generally premised on the existence of an ideological tension between a war against Nazism and the maintenance of white supremacy at home, particularly the Southern system of Jim Crow. A possible relationship between the war and civil rights was also suggested by a range of contemporaneous voices, including academics like Gunnar Myrdal and activists like Walter White and A. Philip Randolph. However, while intuitively plausible, this relationship is generally not well verified empirically. A common flaw is the lack of attention to public opinion polls from the 1940s. Using the best available survey evidence, I argue the war's impact on white racial attitudes is more limited than is often claimed. First, I demonstrate that for whites in the mass public, while there is some evidence of liberalization on issues of racial prejudice, this generally does not extend to policies addressing racial inequities. White opposition to federal anti-lynching legislation actually seems to have increased during the war. Second, there is some evidence of racial moderation among white veterans, relative to their counterparts who did not serve. White veterans were more supportive of anti-lynching legislation in the immediate postwar period, and they offered stronger support for black voting rights in the early 1960s. However, they were not distinguishable on many other issues, including measures of racial prejudice and attitudes toward segregation.
Critical analysis is the basis of the liberal arts education, and computer analysis is so much a part of contemporary society that liberal arts majors need to learn to assess the veracity of computer-derived information just as they do the sources for a historical monograph. It is increasingly clear that humanists should acquire basic understandings of the use of the computer. Jobs for traditionally trained liberal arts majors are scarce, and computer skills will make history graduates more competitive in the job market. We are not necessarily suggesting that all historians understand “computerese,” or the way some computer users talk to one another. What is important for the historian, or for any humanistic scholar for that matter, is the ability to understand the algorithm, or in the language of the humanist, the logic of how a computer program operates to produce output. This is also essential if scholars in the humanities are to be able to understand and evaluate the new social science research.