The Second World War

  1. Isolationism

    1. After World War I, America tried to isolate itself from outside conflict, especially in Europe

      1. Refused to ratify the League of Nation

      2. Increasing public belief that America had been fooled by business, by French and British propaganda into entering World War I

      3. Pacifist movements grew rapidly, particularly among youth

    2. The Great Depression, with accompanying upsurge in protectionism, further isolated America

    3. However, numerous threats to world peace did exist

      1. Rise of Fascism in Europe

        1. Bennito Mussolini, Italy (1922) - sought to restore Italy as a world power, invaded Ethiopia in 1935

        2. Adolph Hitler, Germany (1933) - demanded that all German speaking people be united in one country, repudiated the Versailles Treaty

        3. Aggressive nationalistic regimes appear elsewhere in southern and eastern Europe

      2. Rise of Imperial Japan

        1. Took Korea in 1905

        2. During World War I, took control of key ports, mines and railroads in Manchuria (Northeast China)

        3. Seized complete control of Manchuria in 1931

        4. Continued to expand into other territories in Asia

    4. Neutrality Acts (1935-37)

      1. Seeking to keep the U.S. out of potential conflicts, isolationists in Congress passed three Neutrality Acts

      2. N.A. of 1935 - Banned sale of arms to countries at war, warned Americans to stay off of those countries ships

      3. N.A. of 1936 - Banned loans on to countries at war

      4. N.A. of 1937 - Made these bans permanent, placed all trade other than munitions with countries at war on cash-and -carry basis

      5. FDR signed these acts, but he did not always enforce them

  2. War Breaks Out in Europe

    1. America's neutrality and pacifism would be severely tested by the outbreak of war in Europe

    2. Hitler's aggressiveness finally resulted in war when he invaded Poland on September 1, 1939

      1. England and France had negotiated repeatedly with Hitler to prevent war, reach compromise

      2. Poland was the last straw - England and France declared war two days later

    3. Quick victories by Hitler begin to change American opinion

      1. FDR is able to convince Congress to lift arms embargo, replace it with a cash-and-carry system

      2. FDR also traded 50 retired battleships to England in exchange for airport rights in the Caribbean

      3. Isolationists were outraged, but FDR ran for third terms in 1940 and won easily

    4. Lend-Lease Program

      1. In early 1941, Congress authorized FDR to "lend" military equipment to British and others fighting Germany

      2. American Navy escorted merchants carrying this trade - led to an undeclared naval war with Germany

  3.  Pearl Harbor and War with Japan

    1. Japan continued to expand its power in China, and threatened European colonies in Asia

    2. FDR tried to defend those colonies with economic sanctions on Japan, and diplomatic tensions grew

    3. Japan signed alliance with Germany and Italy in September, 1940

    4. Japan invaded French colonies in Southern Indochina in July, 1941

    5. FDR responded with a freeze on all assets in U.S., effectively shutting off all trade, particularly oil

    6. Dutch government in exile cut Japan off from oil in Indonesia, leaving Japan without oil supplies

    7. Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

      1. Negotiations over diplomatic crisis fail

      2. Japan attacked the American fleet in Hawaii, hoping to knock out U.S. Pacific fleet long enough to consolidate Japanese power in Asia

      3. U.S. declares war on December 8, Germany and Italy declare war on U.S. December 11.

      4. Anger over Pearl Harbor was intense, uniting country behind FDR and ending isolationist and pacifist movements

  4. The "Arsenal of Democracy"

    1. Key to the Allied victory would be America's ability to supply itself and its Allies with military supplies

    2. The war ends the Great Depression

      1. A key problem of the American economy had been too much production capacity with not enough customers

      2. Now factories would run 24 hours a day supplying the military, putting millions back to work

      3. Wage agreements kept wages modest, but there was plenty of overtime for millions of workers

      4. Farm income quadrupled as U.S. farms fed the Allied military

      5. With rationing, there wasn't a lot to buy, so workers saved a great deal, which fueld post-war prosperity

    3. War Production Board (1942)

      1. American industry quickly revved up to full capacity, but it was too disorganized for military needs

      2. New bureaucracy created to organize war production

      3. Headed by David Nelson of Sears and Roebuck

      4. Awarded contracts, arranged tax breaks to spur building

      5. Allocated raw materials to plants based on military needs

      6. Organized rationing of essential materials, such as rubber, gasoline, nylon, and many others.

      7. Overall American production was twice what Germany and Japan produced in the war combined

    4. Financing the war

      1. Done half with borrowing, half from tax raises

      2. Introduced income withholding for the income tax

    5. Rosie the Riveter

      1. With millions of men in uniform, much of the production work was taken up by women

      2. The number of working women rose from 14 million to 18 million

      3. Large number of married and middle-aged women in work force for first time

    6. African Americans in the War

      1. Over one million served in uniform, but mostly regulated to service jobs

      2. Fair Employment Practices Commission

        1. Political pressure forced FDR to deal with continued discrimination in the workplace

        2. FEPC (1941) worked to combat this discrimination

        3. Succeeded in greatly increasing Black employment by the Federal government

        4. Less successful in combating discrimination in private sector

      3. 700,000 Blacks moved north and west to take manufacturing jobs

      4. Racial tensions and violent conflict created by this migration helped fuel the Civil Rights movement after the war

    7. A nation on the move

      1. Nine million people moved, mostly out of rural areas, to get war time manufacturing jobs

      2. Costal and urban populations boomed as a result

      3. Many military installations and new war plants were in the South and West

        1. thus these areas began to grow economically and in population

        2. This vast and rapidly growing region became known as the Sunbelt

  5. The Japanese Internment

    1. Fear and hatred of Japanese rose rapidly after Pearl Harbor

    2. In February, 1942, FDR isssued Executive Order 9066

    3. This ordered all Japanese removed from the Pacific coast region

    4. 120,000 in all were removed to detention centers

    5. More than 2/3 were Nisei - native-born Japanese Americans

    6. Because they were forced to leave quickly, they had to sell homes and business very quickly at low prices

    7. Ironically, the all-Nisei 422nd Combat Team was one of the most decorated units in the war, and suffered the highest casualty rate.

  6. Victory

    1. In 1941 and 1942, Allied forces stooped the advances of Axis powers and prepared to push them back

    2. Victory in Europe

      1. The Soviet Union, taking enormous casualties, fought the Germans to a standstill in 1943

      2. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Britain pushed the Germans out of North Africa and pushed into Italy

      3. D-Day - June 6, 1944 - Operation Overlord

        1. The Soviets had demanded a Western Front since Germany first attacked them

        2. By Spring, 1944, the U.S. and Britain were ready

        3. The invasion of northern France resulted in massive casualties for the Allies, but established a permanent beachhead as well

        4. After that, the U.S. and Britain coming from the West and the Soviets from the East were able to crush Germany in a massive pincer movement

        5. Germany surrendered May 7, 1945

    3. Victory in the Pacific

      1. America's island hopping strategy quickly accelerated after the defeat of Germany

      2. Japan fought tenaciously, but it simply did not have the supplies the U.S. and its allies had

      3. By mid-1945, the Japanese Navy was defeated, and the U.S. began to plan an invasion of Japan itself

      4. But estimates of death tolls for such an invasion ran from several hundred thousand to 2 million.

      5. FDR had died in April, and Harry S. Truman was now President

      6. The Army presented him with another option - The Manhattan Project - which had created an atom bomb

      7. Truman orders it used, and Hiroshima is bombed on August 9 and Nagasaki on August 14

      8. After this destruction, Emperor Hirohito ordered complete surrender, which was signed on September 2, 1945.

  7. Yalta Agreements and the Aftermath of War

    1. As victory in Europe seemed eminent, FDR, Churchill and Stalin met at Yalta (Soviet Union) in February, 1945

    2. Britain and USA agreed to concessions to USSR in east Asia and in Eastern Europe in exchange for agreement to fight Japanese

    3. Also agreed to create the United Nations

      1. Chartered drafted in San Francisco in April, 1945

      2. Would replace the failed League of Nations

      3. Created a Security Council

        1. Given primary responsibility for securing the global peace

        2. Five permanent members, with veto powers: USA, USSR, France, Britain, China

        3. Six other members on a rotating basis

      4. By joining, USA demonstrated its willingness to abandon isolationism and become a leading figure in international politics