On January 8, 1940, the British government began rationing goods to cope with wartime shortages. One of the main strategies of the Axis powers was to intercept shipments of food headed for Great Britain, an island that must import a large percentage of its food. To deal with the resulting shortage, citizens were issued ration books containing coupons. When buying food, the purchaser gave the seller a coupon along with money; each household was allowed a certain amount of rationed goods per week.
Among the rationed items were bacon, butter, sugar, tea, jam, cheese, eggs, milk, canned fruit, and meat. As the war went on, clothing and gasoline were also rationed. Rationing in Britain did not fully end until the mid-1950s, as the world began to recover from the economic damage caused by World War II.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry Axis Noun
alliance of countries that opposed the Allies during World War II. The Axis was led by Germany, Italy, and Japan.
to handle or deal with problems.
having to do with money.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
Great Britain Noun
large island in Western Europe consisting of the countries of England, Scotland, and Wales.
to stop the progress of something, and often take it over.
body of land surrounded by water.
Encyclopedic Entry: island ration Verb
to supply people with a fixed amount of food or another good or service.
World War II Noun
(1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)