The Social Warfare State Chapter uri icon


  • The Servicemans Readjustment Act of 1944, also called the GI Bill or the New Deal for Veterans, constituted one of the most expansive social policies in US history. In one deft move, a bi-partisan coalition passed a surprisingly and under-appreciatedly progressive social agenda providing training vouchers, family allowances, up to a years worth of transitional unemployment payments, and low-interest, federally guaranteed loans for homes, farms, and businesses to nearly 8 million citizens. Every Second World War military service member was made eligible, regardless of race or ethnicity. The bill extended access to higher education, social support, and homeownership to 75 per cent of the young male cohort in post-Second World War America. As a consequence, higher educational attainment grew by 20 per cent. More generally, the bill boosted social mobility, creating the civic generation. The policy was so successful and popular that it has been routinely expanded and renewed for veterans in the seventy years since. It endures as a core component of compensation for service members today.

author list (cited authors)

  • Compton, M. E.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Compton, Mallory E

Book Title

  • Great Policy Successes

publication date

  • September 2019