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Diplomacy and World War II

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1 Diplomacy and World War II

2 Hoover’s Foreign Policy
“Isolationist” in nature. Saw peace conferences and treaties as moral efforts – no place for economic sanctions. League of nations (without US) had met continuously through the 1920s.

3 Roosevelt’s Policies, 1933 - 1938
Good-Neighbor Policy. Policy of non-intervention in Latin America. Dollar diplomacy no longer practical. Rise of militarist regimes in Germany and Italy prompted FDR to seek Latin American cooperation.

4 Pan-American Conferences.
Hoover had been on a goodwill tour of Latin America. Reversed the interventionist policies of Wilson and Taft (Nicaragua and Haiti). Pan-American Conferences. U.S. delegation at the 1933 conference pledged the US would never again intervene in the internal affairs of Latin America.

5 Repudiated the Roosevelt Corollary.
In 1936 Roosevelt attended the conference – if a European power (Germany) aimed “to commit acts of aggression against us,” it would find “a hemisphere wholly prepared to consult together for our mutual safety and our mutual good.”

6 Cuba. In 1934 FDR nullified the Platt Amendment retaining only the U.S. right to keep a naval base at Guantanamo. Mexico. Tested U.S. patience and commitment. Seized US oil properties in 1938. Roosevelt did not intervene.

7 Japanese Aggression in Manchuria.
Defied the Open Door Policy and the League of nations. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Put in puppet regime – renamed region “Manchukuo” L of N did nothing – passed a resolution.

8 Japan invades Manchuria, 1931.

9 Stimson Doctrine. Sec. Of State Henry Stimson - US would refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the “Manchukuo” government. L of N endorsed the doctrine.

10 Economic Diplomacy. Initially Roosevelt’s foreign policy motivated by the economy. London Economic Conference (1933). Recognition of the Soviet Union (1933). Tydings-McDuffie Act, 1934 provided for the independence of the Philippines. 1935 Filipinos elected their own president – US still in nominal control. Lowered tariffs on goods from nations who had reciprocated.

11 Events Abroad: Fascism and Aggressive Militarism
Worldwide depression + nationalist resentments gave rise to military dictatorships. Italy. 1922 – Benito Mussolini “Il Duce.” Fascists – black shirts – believed nation and race should be glorified through show of force.

12 Germany. Nazi Party equivalent of Italy’s Fascists.
Rose in the 1920s in reaction to depression. Adolf Hitler played on anti-Semitic sentiments. Brown shirts gained control of German legislature in 1933.

13 Japan. Militarists and nationalists increased their power in 1920s and 30s. Persuaded Japan’s nominal ruler, the emperor, to invade China and S.E. Asia for raw materials. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

14 American Isolationists.
Nationalism in US led to isolationist sentiment. Believed U.S. entry in WWI had been a mistake. Nye Committee in 1934 had concluded that US involvement in WWI was to serve the greed of bankers and arms manufacturers.

15 Neutrality Acts. Isolationists were the majority in Congress 1938.
Congress adopted acts to ensure US neutrality if war broke out in Europe. Neutrality Act, 1935 – authorized president to prohibit all arms shipments and forbid US citizens from traveling on ships of belligerent nations. Neutrality Act, 1936 – forbade the extension of loans and credit to belligerents. Neutrality Act, 1937 – forbade the shipment of arms to the opposing sides in the civil war in Spain.

16 Spanish Civil War. 1936 – ideological struggle between fascism and republicanism. 1939 General Francisco Franco established a military dictatorship.

17 America First Committee.
In 1940 war in Europe had begun. Isolationists saw Roosevelt’s policies as pro-British. America First Committee mobilized to turn public opinion against American involvement – Charles Lindbergh.

18 Prelude to War 1935 to 1938. Hitler created powerful military – stronger than Britain and France. Britain, France and US adopted a policy of appeasement in an effort to avoid conflict.

19 Appeasement: Ethiopia, 1935. Rhineland, 1936 China, 1937.
Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. L of Nations and US did nothing. Rhineland, 1936 Demilitarized in the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler ordered troops to reoccupy it. China, 1937. Full-scale war between Japan and China.

20 Sudetenland, 1938. Hitler insisted he had the right to a strip of Czechoslovakia – Germany speaking. Roosevelt, Chamberlain and Daladier decided to negotiate in Munich. “Peace in our time.”

21 US Response. Roosevelt recognized public opinion was isolationist in US. When Japan invaded China he argued for “quarantining” the aggressor. Public reaction was negative and he dropped it.


23 Preparedness. Roosevelt argued for neutrality and security - building up arms. Congress agreed in 1938 – military budget went up 2/3rds. Isolationists understood the build up would be used in the event of invasion of the western hemisphere.

24 From Neutrality to War 1939-1941
March, 1939 Hitler broke the Munich agreement - occupied all of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France pledged to fight if Poland was attacked. August 1939 – Hitler and Stalin signed nonaggression pact.

25 Invasion of Poland. September 1, 1939 – Hitler invaded Poland – Britain and France declared war. Blitzkrieg. By June 1940 of the Allies only Britain remained.

26 Changing U.S. Policy. Americans increasingly shocked by what they saw happening in Europe. Roosevelt argued British survival crucial to U.S. security. Chipped away at restrictive neutrality laws. By 1940 Americans accepted the need to strengthen U.S. defenses.

27 “Cash and carry.” British navy still controlled the seas.
If US ended arms embargo it would be to help Britain. 1939 Congress adopted a less restrictive Neutrality Act. provided that a belligerent could buy U.S. arms if they used their own ships and paid cash.

28 Selective Service Act (1940).
Congress enacted a law for compulsory military service. Registered men between the ages 21 and 35. Trained 1.2 million in one year. Isolationists opposed the peacetime draft.

29 Destroyers-for-bases deal.
September 1940 – Britain under air assault. German submarines threatening the Atlantic. U.S. couldn’t sell destroyers to British without alarming the isolationists. Britain received 50 older US destroyers in exchange for giving US the right to build military bases on British island sin the Caribbean.

30 Election of 1940 Roosevelt the first president to be nominated for a third term. Wendell Wilkie (R) - agreed with FDR on most things. Criticized FDR for third term. FDR won with 54% of vote.

31 Arsenal of Democracy FDR saw Germany as a threat to US security.
Wanted to give material aid to Britain. Four Freedoms. Jan. 6th, 1941: US must support countries that were committed to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

32 Lend-Lease Act. Atlantic Charter.
March, 1941: Ended cash-and carry requirement of NA and permitted US to sell arms to Britain on credit. Atlantic Charter. Secret meeting with Churchill – outlined peace objectives. Self-determination No territorial expansion. Free trade.

33 Shoot-on-sight. July, 1941: Ordered US Navy to escort British ships carrying lend-lease materials as far as Ireland. Sept.4th, USS Greer attacked – US ships ordered to shoot German ships on sight. An undeclared naval war against Germany.

34 An American bomber, provided through Lend-Lease, is loaded on to a ship bound for Allied ports, ca (National Archives)

35 Disputes with Japan : relationship with Japan strained after invasion of China (1937). Sept. 1940: Japan allied with Germany and Italy. Japan expanded into Indonesia, British Burma (Myanmar), and French Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam).

36 US Economic Action. US prohibited export of steel and scrap iron to all countries except Britain and the Western Hemisphere. Japan said it was “an unfriendly act.” July, 1941 Japan occupied Indochina. US froze Japanese credit in US and cut Japanese access to all vital materials including oil.

37 Negotiations. Both sides knew that Japan needed oil to fuel its navy and air force. US said invasion of China a violation of the Open Door Policy. FDR insisted Japan pull troops out of China. Japanese ambassador attempted to negotiate a change in U.S. policy. In October new Japanese government under General Hideki Tojo attempted again and failed.

38 Pearl Harbor FDR wanted to delay a military conflict with Japan until forces in Pacific were strong. Japan knew they had to act quickly. U.S. fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Dec. 7th, 1941. Lasted 2 hours, killed 2,400 Americans. 1,100 on the battleship Arizona.

39 1,200 wounded. 20 warships sunk or severely damaged. 150 planes destroyed. Americans stunned by attack. US Gov’t knew an attack was imminent - broken the Japanese code.





44 Declaration of war. FDR addressed Congress on Dec. 8th.
“a day that will live in infamy.” “since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Dec. 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.” 3 days later Germany and Italy declared war with US.

45 WWII on the Home Front Dec., 1941 Hitler broke pact with Stalin and opened up the eastern front. Allies: US, Britain, Soviet Union. Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill agreed to concentrate resources in Europe before shifting resources to defeat Japan.

46 Industrial Production.
War Production Board: established to manage war industries in 1942. Office of War Mobilization: set production priorities and controlled raw materials. Gov’t used cost-plus system: paid war contractors the cost of production plus a certain percentage for profit.

47 Government contracts stimulated economy.
Depression over. Industrial output twice that of Axis powers by 1944. Tanks and fighter planes rolled off automobile assembly lines. Henry Kaiser’s shipyard in California turned out a new ship every 2 weeks


49 Tank Production, US, 1943

50 Wages, Prices and rationing.
Office of Price Administration. Regulated everything, prices, wages, rents and rationed meat, sugar, gasoline, rubber. Unions. Agreed to not strike. Workers disgruntled by frozen wages while corporations made large profits. Miners struck.

51 Smith-Connally Anti-Strike Act of 1943 – allowed gov’t to take over business in event of strike.
FDR used it in 1944 to break the Philadelphia Transit Strike.

52 Financing the war. Sold war bonds. $100 billion spent in 1945 alone.
Increased the income tax. 1944 – first time everyone was required to pay taxes. First time gov’t deducted automatically from people’s wages. Sold war bonds. Raised $135 billion. Shortage of consumer goods made it easier to save.

53 The War’s Impact on Society.
Increase in factory jobs – people moved to urban areas in mid-west and on Pacific Coast. New communities arose around factories and military bases. New defense installations put in the South.

54 African Americans. Moved north. Over a million went into the military.
Race riots in New York and Detroit in summer, 1943. “Double V” slogan – Victory over fascism, Victory for equality at home. Membership of NAACP increased.

55 Mexican Americans. Worked in defense industries.
1942 –bracero program allowed temporary workers to enter US. “Zoot Suit” riots in summer, Started in LA. "The zoot suit has become a badge of hoodlumism"

56 Native Americans. Women. 25,000 served in the military.
Navajo- wind talkers. Thousands worked in defense industry. Many never returned to the reservation. Women. 200,000 served in the military. (non-combat). 5 million entered the workforce.


58 Japanese Americans. 20, 000 native-born Japanese fought for the US.
1942 US gov’t interned 100,000 Japanese Americans from west coast (all US citizens). Did not apply to Japanese Americans living in other parts of US including Hawaii. Korematsu v. US (1944): SC upheld constitutionality of internment. 1988, gov’t awarded financial compensation to internees still alive.

59 Anti-Japanese sentiment
Japanese internment camp

60 Propaganda. Office of War Information – controlled news about troop movements. Movies, radio etc all reflected a positive view of the war.


62 Election 1944 Roosevelt nominated again.
Changed VP to Harry Truman – Missouri Senator. (previous: John Garner, Henry Wallace) Thomas Dewey – Republican nominee. FDR won 53% of popular vote – 432 to 99 in electoral college. Fourth term.

63 The Battlefronts Fighting Germany.
German advance ended in 1942 – Stalingrad. Battle of the Atlantic – Britain and US attempted to contain submarine problem. Began bombing raids on German cities.

64 North Africa Campaign – took North Africa by May, 1943.
Allies invaded Sicily in summer, 1943. Invaded Italian peninsula, September 1943. Mussolini fell from power, summer 1943.

65 Allied forces landing at Salerno, Italy, 1943

66 D-day to VE Day. June 6, 1944 – largest invasion by sea in history - Operation Overlord. By August Allied forces had liberated Paris. By September Allies were at the German border. Battle of the Bulge – Dec A setback but Americans quickly reorganized.


68 U.S Forces, June 6th, 1944

69 U.S. infantrymen wade from their landing craft toward Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, (National Archives)

70 Normandy Invasion, June, 1944

71 German Surrender and Holocaust.
Hitler committed suicide April 30th, 1945. May 7th, Nazi armies surrendered. As allied troops advanced they witnessed the extent of Nazi’s genocide. Buchenwald. 6 million Jews systematically murdered.

72 Survivors at Buchenwald

73 Fighting Japan Early 1942 Japanese occupied: Korea, eastern China
the Philippines, Burma (Myanmar) and Malaya. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Indonesia. and most of the Pacific islands west of Midway Island.

74 Turning Point, 1942. War in the Pacific dominated by naval forces.
May 7-8 – Battle of the Coral Sea – U.S. aircraft carriers stopped an invasion of Australia. June 4-7 – Battle of Midway – US destroyed 4 Japanese carriers and 300 planes.

75 Island-hopping. US bypassed strongly held Japanese islands and isolated them. Admiral Chester Nimitz. General Douglas Macarthur commanded army units in the southern Pacific. US reoccupation of Philippines followed largest naval battle in history – Battle of Leyte Gulf. Japanese navy virtually destroyed. Kamikazes. Battle of Okinawa (April to June 1945) – US suffered 50,000 casualties, killed 100,000 Japanese.


77 MacArthur, returning to the Philippines, 1944.

78 Atomic Bombs Manhattan Project, begun in 1942. J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Employed 100,000 people and cost over $2 billion. A-bomb tested successfully in NM on July 16, 1945. Japan refused to surrender. Bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. On August 9th another dropped on Nagasaki. 250,000 people killed.


80 Japan surrendered Sept. 2nd, 1945
Hiroshima, Japan, 1945 Japan surrendered Sept. 2nd, 1945


82 Wartime Conferences Casablanca: January 1943 – FDR and Churchill – agreed to invade Sicily and demand “unconditional” surrender of Axis powers. Teheran: November, 1943 FDR, Churchill and Stalin – Agreed British and Americans would invade France, USSR would invade Germany.

83 Yalta: Feb. 1945. Agreement would have long-term significance:
Germany divided into occupation zones. Free elections in liberated countries of Eastern Europe. Soviets would enter the war against Japan – August 8th, 1945. Soviets would control some islands in the Pacific and have special concessions in Manchuria. A new word peace organization (UN) would be formed at a conference in San Francisco.

84 Potsdam, Germany: July 17 – Aug. 2, 1945.
Death of Roosevelt. April 12, 1945 Roosevelt died in Georgia. Harry S. Truman became president. Potsdam, Germany: July 17 – Aug. 2, 1945. After Germany’s surrender Truman, Clement Atlee (new British PM) and Stalin met. Issued a warning to Japan to surrender unconditionally. Agreed to hold war-crime trials of Nazi leaders (Nuremberg).

85 At War’s End 300,00 Americans died, 800,000 injured.
Cost $320 billion. Federal spending increased 1,000%. National debt reached $250 billion, five times that of 1941. United Nations- October 24, 1945. Senate ratified it this time.

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