"Honey, I am Keeping My Promise to You and Expect the Same in Return" : A Study of the Challenges Faced by Relationships, Specifically the Institutions of Marriage, Courtship, and Dating, during the Great Depression and World War II
Mixtacki, Brian T.
Lang, Katherine H.
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Relationships are complex and intricate entities, especially the institutions of marriage, courtship, and dating. It is difficult to maintain and cultivate a successful relationship during peacetime; however, the task becomes even more challenging during wartime and periods of economic hardships. Two such significant time periods in American History were the Great Depression and World War II. Some scholars have attributed the moniker "The Greatest Generation" to the generation that experienced the effects of financial crises as children during the Great Depression and were subsequently called into service, abroad and on the home front, for the good of the country during World War II. However, in recent scholarship, authors attempt to present the generation, not as a single-minded, homogenous society that was free of flaws and morally perfect, but as human beings that were unique, complex, and inherently imperfect. This paper attempts, through the utilization of statistical data, advice literature from the time period, and correspondences between Wisconsin soldiers and loved ones back home, to showcase the complexities faced by love relationships caused by stressors outside of these individuals' control. The stressors challenged these relationships (marriage, courtship, and dating) in unique ways which are evidenced through statistical data, such as marriage and divorce rates, and through anecdotal artifacts that substantiate the soldiers' fears of infidelity and subsequent feelings of jealousy.
Man-woman relationships--Sociological aspects
Man-woman relationships--History--United States--20th century
Dating (Social customs)--Sociological aspects