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class Twenty: modern Society in the Pacific Northwest; The 2nd World war as transforming Point

Women and Work: civilization War II was a special transforming point because that women, together these Texaco attendants presented in a 1941 picture document. (Special Collections, college of, Social issues Files Ga. Neg. #11475)

The ahead lesson suggests that a collection of nationwide crises between 1929 and also 1989—in details the an excellent Depression, second World War, and also Cold War—wrought thorough transformations that introduced the modern Pacific Northwest. The crises connected with one another to generate several of the same effects, e.g. An increased presence of Uncle Sam in the region, the restructuring of the economic situation so that it eventually depended less than prior to on extractive industry, and also heightened migration to Idaho, Oregon, and That is useful to stand back and conceive of this three situations working with each other to readjust the Pacific Northwest, to take into consideration the six decades from 1929 to 1989 together something that a discrete era.

While lumping the crises of 1929-1989 together, however, two things should be maintained in mind. First, the is crucial to establish that not all areas within the an ar were influenced in the same way by this events. Recall, because that instance, the Oregon"s and"s national politics diverged throughout the 1930s, and also that Wenatchee and also Portland gained differently from dams on the Columbia River. The years since 1929 were typically prosperous ones for the metropolitan Northwest, moreover, yet rural parts of the an ar seldom benefited together much. Second, that is vital to save in mind the each national dilemm had its own character and also impact. The good Depression was a time of financial hardship and also doubt. The introduced more federal safety in the region, but the presence of the U.S. Federal government was less comprehensive than it would be throughout the second World War and Cold War. New Deal reversal envisioned large-scale alters in the region, yet government lacked the sources to implement your plans totally until the post-war era. Finally, the great Depression was perceived and also dealt with mainly as a domestic crisis; it seemed to have actually fewer worldwide ramifications. The Cold War, through contrast, was a more protracted crisis that occurred in a time that greater economic abundance and also that involved America and also the Northwest in new ways with various other peoples roughly the globe. The Cold war reshaped both the Pacific Northwest"s economic climate (it secured an tremendous future for Boeing and Hanford in, because that example) and also its politics (again, the McCarthyism of the duration was specifically pronounced in state). In recent years human being have agreed that the Cold battle is "over," yet its countless effects linger on in the region.


Of the 3 crises between 1929 and 1989, the second World battle exerted the greatest impact in the shortest expectancy of time. Ns don"t think that is proper to collection the war years (1939-45) turn off by themselves, since they continued some trends already under method during the 1930s (the expansion of a commonwealth presence, migrate of populace from various other states) and because the mobilization the they entailed was essentially perpetuated for more than four decades by the Cold War. Yet, world War two is the single factor that ns would point to if asked come account for exactly how the Pacific Northwest became "modernized" throughout the 20th century. Century. The war, more than any type of other event, deserves come be called a turning point in the regional history of the 20th century. Together Carlos Schwantes describes quite nicely in The Pacific Northwest: one Interpretive History (chapter. 19), the second World War led to profound changes to the economy, society, and politics of the region. The Pacific Northwest in world War II (Manhattan, KS: Sunflower college Press, 1986) top top the region"s wartime history.>

Above: A Boeing B-17 flying Fortress over Mt. Rainier. (Special Collections, university of, Postcard Files. Picture by Pacific Aerial Surveys.)

The brand-new Deal brought many projects to Puget Sound that had long-term effects on the future development and advance of the area. The Lake Floating Bridge, (right) presented here during its dedication, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and McChord ar (now McChord Air force Base), located north of ft Lewis in Pierce County, were all committed the critical week the June/July in 1940. This photograph was taken on July 2, 1940. (Asahel Curtis, an unfavorable 65146; copy negative. Special Collections, college of Original, State historical Society, Tacoma)

This lesson and the 2 to monitor will discover the methods that the 2nd World War stood for a turning point for Pacific Northwest society. That is, they emphasis on just how the numerous different groups in the Pacific Northwest, an especially women and people the color, were affected by the war and the plenty of events concerned the war, and how the battle years the 1939-1945 initiated a series of alters with long-term effects for the advance of the an ar through the remainder of the 20th century. To recognize these changes, specifically in to the to civilization of color, one demands to think about the Northwest experience prior to war. Class 21 and 22 will focus on african Americans and Asian Americans, respectively, in the 20th-century region; because that both groups, the second World War significant a an essential turning point. The remainder of this lesson will certainly consider an ext generally how the battle years initiated changes in the Pacific Northwest, and also survey selected groups" experiences.

One means to appreciate the impact of human being War 2 on the Pacific Northwest is to look at basic census data. In the period between 1940 and also 1990, both the total populace and the number of minorities in the populace increased substantially. (The main exception to this pattern, of course, was the reduced populace of world of Japanese descent throughout the 1940s, as result of the effects of wartime internment and relocation.) The war itself jump-started the demography changes, as is evident in the changes in between 1940 and 1950, and also other occasions kept lock going. As the following table shows, repetitively possessed a bigger and an ext diverse population than Oregon or Idaho.

Year Oregon Idaho
Total populace 1940 1,736,000 1,090,000 500,000
1950 2,378,500 1,521,000 588,637
1990 4,867,000 2,842,000 1,006,000
Percentage of white skin - man 1940 97.8% 98.7% 98.9%
1950 97.3% 98.4% 98.8%
1990 88.5% 92.8% 94.4%
African americans 1940 7,424 (0.4%) 2565 (0.2%) (0.1%)
1950 30,691 (1.3%) 11,529 (0.8%) 1,050 (0.2%)
1990 149,801 (3.1%) 46,178 (1.6%) 3,370 (0.3%)
Indians 1940 11,394 (0.6%) 4,594 (0.4%) 3,537 (0.7%)
1950 13,816 (0.6%) 5,820 (0.4%) 3,800 (0.6%)
1990 81,483 (1.7%) 38,496 (1.4%) 13,780 (1.4%)
Of Chinese descent 1940 2,345 (0.14%) 2,086 (0.19%) 208
1950 3,408 (0.1%) 2,102 (0.1%) 244
1990 33,962 (0.7%) 13,652 (0.5%) 1,420
Of Japanese lower 1940 14,565 (0.84%) 4,071 (0.4%) 1,191 (0.22%)
1950 9,694 (0.4%) 3,660 (0.2%) 1,980 (0.3%)
1990 34,366 (0.7%) 11,769 (0.4%) 2,710

Note the these data come indigenous U.S. Census reports, and also therefore have actually some limits. One is the the U.S. Census tabulated groups in different way from decade to decade. Over there is no simple means to recover, because that example, the number of Latinos native 1940 or 1950, since the Census office used different categories then because that naming Hispanic groups (e.g. "Spanish-speaking" or "Spanish-surnamed"). Also, it only recently began tabulating a combined group the "Asian/Pacific Islanders," so that data for eastern groups other than those of Chinese and also Japanese descent are daunting to recover. The Census Bureau counts on self-reporting, and also it would seem that some civilization were an ext prepared to recognize themselves together Indians in 1990 than they to be in 1940. Finally, the census reports normally lumped together teams besides the ones listed here together "all other."

It is valuable to think about these local data against national figures. The 1990 populace of the Northwestern states was no as "diverse" as that of the remainder of the country, largely since they had fewer Latinos and African Americans.

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However states in the an ar tended to have a relatively big proportions of oriental Americans and also Native individuals in your populations.