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America in World War II. Background: 1920s America In the post-war “return to normality”, Republican Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover De-Regulate.

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Presentation on theme: "America in World War II. Background: 1920s America In the post-war “return to normality”, Republican Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover De-Regulate."— Presentation transcript:

1 America in World War II

2 Background: 1920s America In the post-war “return to normality”, Republican Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover De-Regulate the economy, removing laws governing financial institutions. Because of the new, risky practices on Wall Street (wild speculation, buying on the margin, overproduction of goods), the stock market catastrophically crashes on 10/29/1929

3 Background: 1930s America The resulting “Great Depression” effects the trade networks of the entire world. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected in 1932, and begins to institute radical policies to ease the pain of the depression: the “New Deal” – Massive public works projects – Government assistance to the poor – Social Security, etc…

4 Depression Era Isolationism FDR’s “Good Neighbor Policy” – the U.S. voluntarily renounced the use of military force in the Western Hemisphere (ex: Platt Amendment repealed) The “Nye Committee” (1934) investigates munitions manufacturers’ profits from WWI, creating or reinforcing Americans’ isolationist sentiments

5 Isolation by Law Neutrality Act of Imposed a general embargo on trading in arms and war materials with all parties in a war. Neutrality Act of 1936 – Renewed previous act, also forbid loans to warring nations. Neutrality Act of 1937 – Renewed previous acts, also banned U.S. citizens from travelling on ships of warring nations. HOWEVER:

6 Isolation erodes… Neutrality Act of 1937 also known as “Cash and Carry” policy. Allows [non-military] trading w/ warring nations as long as they pay CASH and use their own ships to pick up goods. Neutrality Act of 1939 – Extends “Cash and Carry” to include weapons/munitions.

7 “All aid short of war” By the summer of 1940, France had fallen to Nazi Germany. On 9/2/40 the U.S. agreed to give Britain 50 old destroyers in exchange for permission to build military bases on British territory in the Western Hemisphere. Concerned isolationists form the “America First Committee”, a lobby to block further aid to Britain.

8 “All aid short of war” The America First Committee was 800,000 strong and included celebrities like Charles Lindbergh. Aid to our allies was a central theme of the Presidential Campaign of Both candidates favored aid, FDR favored aid strongly. FDR “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

9 Preparing the nation for war Office of Naval Intelligence director receives McCollum’s memo concerning Japanese activities in the Pacific, suggesting war might be unavoidable. (OCT 1940) Lend/Lease act of allowed the U.S. to sell, lend or give war materials to nations the administration (FDR) wanted to support. December 7 th, Pearl Harbor Attacked

10 Preparing the nation for war Executive order #9066: set up military zones and allowed for the “exclusion” of any or all persons. Led to the internment of 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry. Executive order #8802: the first equal opportunity/anti-discrimination act of the USFG. It made discrimination based on race illegal against workers in ANY defense related industry.


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