Read Mary Beth Kinsey's winning essay - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Read Mary Beth Kinsey's winning essay

During WWII, America supported the war effort with much patriotism and allegiance. Whether states supported from the home front or the armed forces abroad, they never failed to be loyal.

The war impacted Mississippi through its economy and society, as well as setting a lasting influence on the state. In return, Mississippi contributed to the war effort through its economy and society, as well as the military. Over sixty years later, we remember, honor and recognize Mississippi's contributions to the Second World War.

Although the war ended the Great Depression for Mississippi, it created long-lasting changes to the state's economy. Before the war, Mississippi was agriculture based. While many farmers left their work to enlist, the War Manpower Commission assisted other farm workers with funds to find jobs during the planting and picking of crops.

WWII also created tension in agriculture-based jobs. Because of higher wages, many farmers left for industrial jobs or to enlist. The war caused a decrease in Mississippi's rural population with an increase in urban population.

While Mississippi transitioned from an agriculture state to one of industry, smaller businesses suffered. However, some businesses were able to assist industries and companies such as ammunition plants by supplying needed materials. Even though Mississippi became a more industrial state, there were still small businesses that benefited from the change.

However, Mississippi did contribute to the military war effort greatly with Ingalls Shipyard, one of the largest industrial employers during the war. After constructing the H.M.S. Battler, the first British combat ship built in the US, Ingalls produced over 70 ships.

Mississippi also contributed by establishing military camps for training soldiers. And because of the rise in population due to the military camps, larger towns had no other choice than to construct more needed foundations such as police stations and schools.

Society was altered also by the changes in the economy. Because Ingalls was producing so well, both men and women held jobs in the company. For the first time, women contributed to the war effort by playing their part in Mississippi's new industrial work force. However, these changes threatened to tear apart communities. Labor unions were also an issue, impacting the relationships between workers and their bosses.

Racial tension sparked in the Deep South as well, due to the Jim Crow Laws. These social changes impacted Mississippi in ways that continued on through the years after the war.

I recommend Mississippi remember their efforts during the war. Their transition from agriculture to industry was a big change, but it contributed greatly to the war effort. The new industries produced the supplies needed as well as the transportation. The economy transitioned, but continued to support the war with the assistance of military installments. Women were finding a place in the new industrial society, as well as playing their part in supporting the war effort.

By honoring Mississippi's efforts, their contributions will continue to be recognized as playing a vital role in the Allies success in the Second World War.

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