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World War II on the Home Front I.U.S. Isolation and the Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor II.The Wartime [Socialist] Economy III.Role of Minorities in WWII.

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Presentation on theme: "World War II on the Home Front I.U.S. Isolation and the Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor II.The Wartime [Socialist] Economy III.Role of Minorities in WWII."— Presentation transcript:


2 World War II on the Home Front I.U.S. Isolation and the Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor II.The Wartime [Socialist] Economy III.Role of Minorities in WWII I.African-Americans II.Mexican-Americans III.Native Americans IV.Role of Women in WWII V.Japanese [American] Internment VI.U.S. Propaganda in Machine WWII VII.The Bombs The first casualty of war is the truth.

3 U.S. Isolationism …Incremental steps towards intervention

4 U.S. Isolationism Nye Committee - 12 April 1934 (1) The anti-business climate caused Senator Gerald P. Nye (ND) to investigate armament sales and manufacture during WWI, revealing that huge profits had been made by American financiers and munitions manufacturers (2) Confirmed views of some that wars were fought to profit a small minority (3) Set the stage for the rise of isolationist sentiment in the US Johnson Debt Default Act - 13 April Banned loans to foreign governments in default to the US on their WWI debts (Finland was the only nation not in default). Ludlow Amendment - high point of isolationist sentiment (1) Amendment offered by Rep. Louis Ludlow (IN) was narrowly defeated by a vote of in the 75th Congress. (2) If passed, the US Congress could not have declared war without a nationwide public referendum, unless the US or one of its possessions were directly attacked. (3) Showed depth of isolationist sentiment among Americans

5 U.S. Isolationism FDRs Chicago Quarantine Speech - 5 Oct FDR's trial of collective security (1) "When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of the disease." (2) FDR had moved ahead of public opinion polls that revealed a growing fear that the US might be moving toward entanglement in another European war. (3) 21 Mar Hoover took issue with FDR, speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations, arguing against US involvement in collective security arrangements.

6 U.S. Isolationism USS Panay Incident - 12 Dec 1937 (1) Japan, at war with China, attacked a river gunboat, the USS Panay on the Yangtze River, killing two US citizens. (2) Although the US government immediately protested Japanese actions, instead of demanding action against Japan, US public opinion demanded to know what the Panay was doing, escorting Esso oil tankers to China in a war zone. (3) 14 Dec - Japan officially apologized for the attack, agreed to pay damages and promised to avoid such attacks in the future. (4) US public reluctant to risk any actions which might involve the US in another war. FDR began private correspondence with Churchill, promising to aid Britain in whatever capacity he legally could State of the Union Address - FDR noted a need for adequate strength in self defense.

7 U.S. Isolationism …in response to German invasion of Poland (Sept 1939) 3 Sept - During his "fireside chat," FDR stated that the US would remain neutral, and he partially limited travel to Europe. 5 Sept - FDR ordered the reconditioning of 40 destroyers, beginning a neutrality patrol around the Western Hemisphere. 8 Sept - A limited national emergency was declared. 27 Sept - A special session of Congress considered repealing the arms embargo of the third Neutrality Act By May 1940 Germany had captured Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. By June 1940, Vichy gov in France Sept Tripartite Pact - Germany, Italy and Japan

8 U.S. Isolationism First Neutrality Act - 31 Aug Feb 1936 (a) Created a federal agency to consider arms sales. Still an arms embargo (b) US citizens could travel on belligerent vessels or into war zones at their own risk. (c) First used in Oct 1935 when Italy attacked Ethiopia. Second Neutrality Act - Feb May extended the first act (a) It added a prohibition against extending loans or credit to belligerents (b) US stated that it would not interfere in Spain's civil war. US recognized the new government of Spain. Third Neutrality Act - 1 May revised the provisions of 1st 2 acts. (a) Est. cash-and-carry system, effectively limiting US ships from carrying goods into war zones. (b) The US shipped much aid to China (c) Est. embargo on armaments, and not to raw materials which could produce munitions, allowing Japan to continue to purchase from US sources such items as scrap iron, copper, and oil. Fourth Neutrality Act - 4 Nov 1939 (a) After Germany invaded Poland, Congress repealed the arms embargo (b) It allowed belligerent nations to purchase munitions on the same cash-and carry basis, which obviously favored the sea power, Britain.

9 U.S. Isolationism FDR added two interventionists to his cabinet. a. Henry L. Stimson Secretary of War. b. Frank Knox Secretary of the Navy. Alien Registration Act - 28 June - required registration and finger printing of aliens Declaration of Havana - 30 July - To ensure that European colonies in the Western Hemisphere would not be taken over by Germany, if the mother country fell to Germany, affected colonies would be administered by other Western hemisphere nations. First Peace Time Draft - 16 Sept 1940 a. Burke-Wadsworth (Selective Training and Service ) Act -- registering all men aged 18-35, and authorized training of 1,200,000 over a 1-year period with 800,000 reserve forces. b. 16 Oct - The first registration began - 16,400,000 registered. c. 29 Oct - The first draft numbers were selected Destroyers for Bases Deal - 3 Sept - The US transferred 50 destroyers to the British, in exchange for 99-year leases on naval and air bases in British possessions in the Western Hemisphere: Newfoundland, West Indies, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Antiqua and British Guiana. Pittman Resolution permitted the US arms sales to Latin America.

10 U.S. Isolationism Committee To Defend America By Aiding the Allies - Chaired by William Allen White, favored aid to the Allies short of American combat forces. Friends of Democracy, stressed that fascism was a greater threat than communism. Non-Interventionists: America First Committee –Formed by Sears executive Gen. Robert Wood, peaked at 800,000 members including Henry Ford, Alice Roosevelt Longsworth and Charles Lindbergh. –Lindbergh made several speeches for the committee which stressed: (1) Impossibility of a German attack across the Atlantic; (2) Wealth of nations like Britain was acquired at the expense of poorer European nations like Germany; (3) German-dominated post-war Europe was not detrimental to our hemisphere (4) Lindbergh used Nazi themes, like the Jewish press conspiracy, and the public linked the organization to Nazism and it lost popularity. Election of 1940 –Dems in Chicago nominated FDR for an unprecedented third term. Henry A. Wallace VP –Republicans nominated Wendell L. Willkie (IN), corporate lawyer, who had never held public office and Sen Charles McNary VP –Both Willkie and FDR supported building up America's defenses and aiding the Allies, short of combat troops, thus providing no referendum on this issue. –Republicans attacked the New Deal, but favored most of its reforms, while the Democrats stood on FDR's record. –FDR won 449 electoral (27,244,160 popular) votes to Willkie's 82 electoral (10 states) (22,305,198 popular) votes.

11 U.S. Isolationism Lend-Lease HR "An Act to Further Promote the Defense of the US –17 Dec In a fireside chat, FDR proposed what became known as "Lend-Lease" illustrated by his garden hose analogy"Suppose my neighbor's house catches fire, and I have a length of garden hose four or five hundred feet away. If he can take my garden hose and connect it up to his hydrant, I may help him to put out the fire. Now what do I do? I don't say to him before that operation, 'Neighbor, my garden hose cost me $15. You have to pay me $15 for it.' What is the transaction that goes on? I don't want $15 - I want my garden hose back after the fire is over. –11 Mar - Congress approved Lend-Lease, appropriation of $7 billion –Lend-Lease terminated in Sept 1946 after expending $50.6 billion. 29 Dec - A poll revealed that 39% believed that the US had made a mistake participating in WWI, down from 64% in Jan State of the Union Address: enunciated his Four Freedoms Speech - Freedom of speech and expression, of worship, from want, from fear

12 U.S. Isolationism U.S. Occupation of Countries – 1941 –9 April - The US occupied Greenland as a result of a joint agreement between the US and the Danish government –7 July - US Marines occupied Iceland to keep the Germans from using it as a strike base 18 Aug - The Selective Service Bill was extended for 18 months by a vote of Atlantic Charter 14 Aug Provided a purpose for fighting the war including –a renunciation of all aggression –self-determination of peoples –equal access to raw materials –guarantees for freedom from want and fear –freedom of the seas –disarmament of aggressor nations. –became a blueprint for the UN

13 U.S. Isolationism Battle of Britain - 10 July - 31 Oct 1940 German Violation of Non-Aggression Pact with USSR 22 June 1941 Immediate aid to the USSR 24 June Nov - the Germans inside USSR were almost entirely surrounded and the turning point of the European war, the Battle of Stalingrad, began.

14 Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor FDR's Quarantine Speech, Oct. 1937, called for Japan to be treated like a disease Economic sanctions designed to stop Japanese war machine –Trade treaty with Japan not renewed in January, 1940 –Aviation fuel, scrap iron, and steel embargoed, September, 1940 –Japanese assets in American banks frozen, July, 1941 –Aid to China $125 million lent to China in 1940 U.S. fleet to Pearl Harbor in 1940 Lend--Lease" extended to China, April, 1941 The "Flying Tigers" arrived in China, April, 1941 (Claire Chennault) With Japan's occupation of Indochina in the summer of 1941, FDR froze all Japanese credits in the US, nationalized forces in the Philippines under Gen Douglas MacArthur's command and warned Japan against further aggressive actions in the East. By Oct 1941 signs appeared that Japan might attack an US Pacific possession 3 Nov - US Ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew, warned of a possible attack on US positions, but the general consensus suggested the Philippines, not Hawaii.

15 Entry into the War The Attack –Sunday 7 Dec 1941 at 7:55 A.M. Honolulu time –19 ships were sunk or disabled, 170 planes lost and 2,403 civilian and military personnel killed and 1,178 wounded. –Simultaneous attacks on Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Midway Islands and on British forces at Hong Kong. –That evening Japan officially declared war on the US 8 Dec - FDR asked Congress to declare war on Japan –Senate –House , lone dissenter vote, Jeannette Rankin (R-MT), who had voted no to war in WW I, making her the only person to vote against both 11 Dec - Under the terms of the Tripartite Pact, Germany and Italy declared war on the US. Reciprocated w/o debate in Congress. 19 Dec - Military conscription was extended to all men aged

16 The [Socialist] Wartime Economy

17 The [Socialist] Wartime Economy War Resources Board (1939): –To allocate resources for production –Inefficient and slow Office of Production Management: William Knudsen of GM and Sidney Hillman of CIO. War Production Board (1942) –Regulated the use of raw materials –Inefficiency and big profits hurt US production –1/2 of factory production went into war materials. –Produced twice as many goods as all the enemy countries combined.

18 The [Socialist] Wartime Economy Office of Price Administration (1941). Designed to control inflation by: –fixing prices –high taxesCorporate taxes set at 40%. Taxes raised 46% of the cost of the war million filed tax returns –in million! –selling war bonds –encouraging Victory Gardens

19 The [Socialist] Wartime Economy Office of Economic Stabilization of the Office of Price Administration (OPA) –Replaced all other agencies –Complete control of the economy –Solved America's production problems –Froze prices and rents at March 1942 levels –Rationing Certificate Plan: buy cars, tires, typewriters, etc.: Coupon Plan: more widely used. Family issued book of coupons for the purchase of meat, coffee, sugar, gas, etc. –Anti-inflation measures successful WWI cost of living up 170% WWII was less than 29% Beginning of National Debt –1941 = $49 billion; 1945 = $259 billion –2/5 was pay as we go; 3/5 was borrowed –New Deal + WWII = "warfare welfare" state.

20 War Production Board Executive Order 9024

21 OPA Executive Order 8734

22 War Bond Propaganda

23 Rationing in Propaganda


25 The Role of Minorities During World War II African-Americans Mexican-Americans Native Americans

26 Minorities in the Armed Services African Americans- 1,000,000+. Segregated units and did not see much front-line action. Mexican Americans- 500,000 Saw a lot of front-line action. 1/10 of the population of Los Angeles, yet accounted for 1/5 of the casualties. Native Americans- 25,000 By enlisting, they were able to leave reservations. Code talkers. Asian Americans - 46,000 Many Asians became spies and translators

27 Minorities in the Armed Services Why did they fight? Most minorities determined their lives would be worse if under Axis Powers control. Germany, Italy, and Japan were more racist than the United States. U.S. increasingly tolerant of racial differences. Many minorities saw their commitment to the US war effort as a means to the end of equality. Propaganda works

28 African-Americans: Tuskegee Airmen "A couple of our fighters rescued a crippled bomber and brought them back to base. The bomber's flight crew came over to look us up and when the pilot discovered there was nothing but black faces, he turned around and walked away." "We shared the sky with white pilots, but that's all we shared. We never had contact with each other. German prisoners lived better than black servicemen...and the Germans treated us better than the Americans did. Our service is something that just never got into history books. It was just ignored." --Joseph Gomer

29 African-Americans & Civil Rights During WWII, massive migration of Blacks to industrial centers. Competition for scarce resources (e.g. housing) & tension in the workplace. Blacks struggled against racism Many whites rallied to the defense of the minorities Mass Violence plagued 47+ cities Detroit Race Riot June, 1943 –Detroit's population had grown by 350,000 since 1941 –6,000 federal troops needed to restore order –$2 million in property damage –25 blacks dead, 9 whites; 433 wounded

30 African-Americans & Civil Rights A. Philip Randolph, President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters –African-Americans excluded from well-paying jobs in war-related industries. –Randolph made three demands of the president Equal access to defense jobs Desegregation of the armed forces End to segregation in federal agencies March on Washington Movement -- Randolph proposed a black March on Washington in 1941 if his conditions were not met.

31 African-Americans: A. Philip Randolph FDR issued Executive Order 8802 in June, 1941 stablishing the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to investigate violations in defense industries. FDR did not agree to other two demands Randolph canceled the March Result: Govt agencies, job training programs, and defense contractors ended segregation Randolph dubbed Father of the Civil Rights movement"

32 African-Americans & Civil Rights Congress of Racial Equality (1942): est by Chicagoan James Farmer- nonviolent action to promote better race relations and end discrimination. Most minorities came home to pre-war racial segregation. NAACP grows from 50,000 before the war, to 500,000 by wars end

33 Black Nurses preparing to land in Greenock, Scotland. August 15, 1944

34 Black men constructing an aircraft

35 Negro League All Star Team During WWII

36 Mexican-Americans Zoot Suit Riots L.A (1943) Young Mexican-Americans became object of frequent violent attacks in LA. Sailors on leave roamed streets beating "zooters," tearing their clothes, cutting their hair. War Frauds Division got an injunction forbidding one shop to sell any of the 800 zoot suits in stock. Claiming that the shopkeeper had contributed to "hoodlumism Radio reports blamed zooters but a city committee under Earl Warren revealed the truth and need for improved housing.


38 Mexican Americans The Bracero Program – 1942 During the war, the need for increased farm production led to a U.S. government policy for short-term work permits to be issued to Mexican workers It was a dirty, miserable job that gave real meaning to the term "backbreaking" labor. The work was done with two "instruments of horror" designed by the devil, according to one worker. One was the infamous "short shoe," which had a handle twelve to eighteen inches long. A regular long-handled hoe could have been used, but it was considered harmful to the plants. With the short hoe, there was less margin for error. However, the modified hoe required the user to work in a bent over position and crawl along the dusty rows of beets for ten or twelve hours a day. At the end of the shift, it was nearly impossible to stand up straight. For young bodies, it eventually meant assuming a partially stooped position and suffering painful backaches for life. The other tool, more rightly called a weapon, resembled a razor-sharp machete with a mean, semi-curved, three or four-inch hook riveted on the end. Working at breakneck speed to pick up the beet with the hook and slice off the top in one swing was dangerous work. It was rare to meet a betabelero (beet worker) who had not lost a finger or did not bear the scars of his trade. DECADE OF BETRAYAL, Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez, University of New Mexico Press, 1995.

39 Native Americans -The Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific between Navajo languages extreme complexity made it perfect for code talk. -As of 1945 about540 Navajos, out of about 50,000 tribe members, served as Marines.

40 Japanese [American] Internment

41 Japanese [American] Internment Background: 1942 was a critical year for Allied powers. –Japan controlled SE Asia and most of China –Germany controlled W. Europe, N. Africa, and were deep inside USSR. 23 Feb - Oil refinery near Santa Barbara, CA was shelled by Japanese sub. June Japan occupied Aleutian Islands, Attu and Kiska Japanese troops on US soil had great psychological effects for Japan and US

42 Japanese [American] Internment 29 Feb To counter fears of a Japanese invasion, FDR authorized EO 9066 removing Japanese-Americans from the Pacific coast states. –FDR authorized the War Dept. to declare the West Coast a "war theater". –110,000 forcibly interned. 1/3 were Issei -- foreign born 2/3 were Nisei -- American born usually too young to vote –Given 48 hours to dispose of their belongings. Most families left most stuff behind.

43 Japanese [American] Internment Camps in desolate areas Conditions harsh, yet many remained loyal to US –17,600 Nisei fought in US Army. Relocation became "necessary" when other states would not accept Japanese residents from CA Although govt considered relocation of Germans and Italians, the Japanese were the only ethnic group singled out by the govt for action.

44 Japanese [American] Internment 8 March 42 - War Relocation Authority created. General John DeWitt organized removal of people of Japanese ancestry to 10 locations in 7 states

45 Japanese [American] Internment


47 Supreme Court upheld internment Hirabayashi v. US - 21 June unanimously upheld internment citing the authority to wage war successfully. –Could not second-guess military decisions –Court also ruled that persons couldnt be held once loyalty was established. Korematsu v. US - 18 Dec to 3 upheld the exclusion of the Japanese from the West Coast (a military decision). FYI: The rulings of the US Supreme Court in the Korematsu and Hirabayashi cases, specifically in its expansive interpretation of government powers in wartime, have yet to be overturned.

48 Japanese [American] Internment $105 mil of farmland lost $500 mil in yearly income; unknown personal savings. No act of sabotage was ever proven against any Japanese-American Camps closed in March, , President Reagan officially apologized for its actions and approved in principle the payment of reparations to camp survivors totaling $1.25 billion. In 1990 Congress appropriated funds to pay $20,000 to each internee.

49 Women in WWII

50 More than 5 million women joined the labor force during the war, often moving to new communities to find jobs in the aircraft, munitions, and automobile industries. Propaganda campaigns worked –Films characterized "Rosie the Riveter" as an American heroine –Womens magazines and newspapers discussed the suitability of womens smaller hands for "delicate" tasks.

51 Women in WWII Womens increased wages from jobs in industry helped to swell family incomes and pave the way for postwar consumer demand. Despite these gains, in 1945 an average womans pay was still less than 2/3 that of a male worker At wars end, pressures increased on women to return to homemaking rather than to stay in the work force.

52 Women Airforce Service Pilots WASP To free male pilots for combat roles by employing qualified female pilots on missions such as ferrying aircraft from factories to military bases, and towing drones and aerial targets 25,000+ women applied for WASP service, less than 1,900 accepted. After completing four months of military flight training, 1,078 of them earned their wings and became the first women in history to fly American military aircraft. No gunnery training and very little formation flying and acrobatics 38 WASP fliers died11 in training and 27 on active duty

53 Women Airforce Service Pilots WASP

54 Women in Propaganda


56 Our women and children MUST be protected!


58 Other focuses of U.S. Propaganda During WWII

59 Patriotic Propaganda: The Four Freedoms, Norman Rockwell


61 Security Concerns in Propaganda

62 Anti-Axis Propaganda



65 Pro-Allied Propaganda

66 Look familiar?

67 The End?

68 The Atomic Bombs

69 Developing the Bombs Office of Scientific Research and Development was established by executive order with J. Robert Oppenheimer as chief scientist Primary purpose to coordinate the American effort to develop radar, proximity fuses, sonar against submarines…and an atomic bomb. 1 May 43 - Development of the atomic bomb was transferred to the US Army and placed in the care of a unit known as the "Manhattan Project" for security reasons. 16 July 45 - First atomic bomb, code named Trinity, was exploded in Alamogordo, NM

70 Dropping the Bombs At the Potsdam conference, Allies demanded the unconditional surrender of Japan 26 July - The Allies warned Japan that they must surrender or face sudden destruction from a newly developed weapon. 29 July - Japan formally rejected the Allied demand When realizing a land assault on mainland Japan would likely result in untold 1000s of Allied casualties, Truman's decided: –Revenge for Pearl Harbor sneak attack –To speed up the end of the war without thousands of Allied casualties –To serve as a warning to the Soviet Union of US power

71 Dropping the Bombs 6 Aug - An atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima resulting in over 70,000 dead and 110,000 wounded or missing 8 Aug - USSR declared war on Japan, 90 days after VE Day 9 Aug - A second bomb dropped on Nagasaki - 80,000 casualties. 1/7 of victims were Korean conscript workers 10 Aug - Japan surrendered asking to let emperor Hirohito keep his throne. 14 Aug - Japan accepted the Allied terms of surrender and its troops in Korea surrendered to the Soviets above the 38th parallel and to Allied forces below it. 15 Aug - VJ Day was declared.

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