The onset of war in Europe and Asia put a dramatic end to a decade-long economic depression. The American economy recovered rapidly during late 1940 and 1941 from the high unemployment of the 1930s, which averaged 15 to 20 percent and reached as high as 30 of every 100 workers. Fearing world domination by Nazi Germany and Japan, President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress revised neutrality acts of the previous decade to allow the United States to sell arms to Britain. Under the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, the United States shipped millions of tons of war materiel overseas. Within a short time, the gross national product (GNP) doubled and the economy moved from stagnation to boom. World War II ended the Great Depression.
This political cartoon, from the Columbus Dispatch of March 28, 1942, illustrates that war was more responsible than federal programs (The Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration) for ending the Depression.
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