War Veterans In Illinois: A Case Study

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Illinois went experience a large degree of modernization following the World War II. Several areas in which these changes can be seen are in the efforts to assimilate war veterans back into mainstream society, the changing manufacturing business, suburban emigration of city dwellers, the modernizing education system, and continually increasing racial tension. The postwar years brought prosperity to Illinois and provided the population with many positive benefits and financial gain. However, while industries, state programs, and individual gain increased, the population experienced an increase in racial tensions. The prosperity Illinois experience made it an industrial and agricultural force during the middle of the century. Illinois struggles…show more content…
Peoria received federal recognition for its groundbreaking work in assimilating veterans back into mainstream society. The Veterans’ Service Center with the assistance of grants from various organizations focused their work on rehabilitating and treating veterans that were physically and emotionally disabled. Another struggle veterans faced returning from the war was the housing shortage. Affordable housing could not be built fast enough to accommodate the rising need. The most common solution to this issue was local authorities using public funds to clear slums and build commercial sites. Private dwellings were too often left to private builders. Some veterans even decided to take matters into their own hands and decided to band together, formed their own corporation and bought barracks at Camp Grant from the War Assets Administration and converted them into private housing for veterans. Despite the struggles that veterans faced with finding affordable housing they did not have the same luck when it came to finding a job. The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 made it mandatory for employers to rehire all, “honorably discharged veterans who applied within ninety days after leaving the…show more content…
In the 1940s throughout rural Illinois one-room school house dominated the state school system. The state had over 12,000 school districts that were decentralized. This called for a consolidation of the state schools into regional districts that advocated for higher qualified teachers and better working conditions. These rural districts pooled together their resources and state financial aid to build modern facilities and purchase newer books. The state contributed through their purchase of about 10,000 buses for the rural based schools. The increase and interest in higher education also continued to be on the rise during the postwar era. The GI bill helped to assist veterans in achieving an undergraduate degree, while “the number of high school graduates increased, and a prosperous economy made a college education affordable for a broader spectrum of people.” The increase in university enrollment also can be said for junior college enrollment. The Junior College Act in 1965 established a set of state board and funding guidelines. Enrollment continued to increase due to its accessibility and affordability. Junior colleges provided a wide option of education opportunities. The modernization of the educational system in Illinois after the war provided the population with the opportunity to get an education which translates to a better rounded individual who is
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