Answer to Question #157164 in History for Chris

Question #157164

What is Rationing? Why was it introduced? Give examples of items that were rationed. How did the government regulate what you could buy?

Expert's answer

Rationing is the controll of the demand and supply of scarce resources or commodities. Rationing was introduced in 1940 when Germans wanted to weaken the British by cutting off their supplies of food and other commodities. Rationing ensured everyone had a fair supply of scarce commodities and people could not hoard these scarce items. The Germans attacked ships that were carrying food to British thus making it a scarce resource. Moreover, other scarce commodities that were rationed include petrol, clothing and furniture. The government regulated items through issueing of identity cards and ration books. The ration books contained coupons which shopkeepers had to sign everytime a person bought rationed goods. This ensured nobody bought more than what was allowed. On the National Registration Day, every household filled a form that gave details of the people who lived in each household and this helped the government control the supply of scarce commodities. Also, individuals had to register with the local shops where they could buy their rationed goods. This helped the government regulate what people could buy.

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