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United States in World War II 1941-1945 Mushroom Cloud over Nagasaki, 1945.

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Presentation on theme: "United States in World War II 1941-1945 Mushroom Cloud over Nagasaki, 1945."— Presentation transcript:

1 United States in World War II Mushroom Cloud over Nagasaki, 1945

2 United States Entry into World War II Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941): Japanese attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor was a complete surprise, led to U.S. declaration of war on Japan; first attack on American soil by any foreign power since War of 1812 Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941): Japanese attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor was a complete surprise, led to U.S. declaration of war on Japan; first attack on American soil by any foreign power since War of 1812 U.S. War Preparations Prior to Pearl Harbor: arms sales to Great Britain and first peacetime draft (1940); Lend- Lease Act (1941); Atlantic Charter (1941) in which FDR and Churchill promised “final destruction of Nazi tyranny” and referenced FDR’s freedom from want and freedom from fear U.S. War Preparations Prior to Pearl Harbor: arms sales to Great Britain and first peacetime draft (1940); Lend- Lease Act (1941); Atlantic Charter (1941) in which FDR and Churchill promised “final destruction of Nazi tyranny” and referenced FDR’s freedom from want and freedom from fear Dilemma: Appeasement vs. Economic Sanctions Dilemma: Appeasement vs. Economic Sanctions

3 War in the Pacific Early 1942: Japan conquered Burma (now Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), and Dutch East Indies (Indonesia); it occupied Guam, the Philippines, and other Pacific islands. Japan already occupied substantial portions of French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) Early 1942: Japan conquered Burma (now Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), and Dutch East Indies (Indonesia); it occupied Guam, the Philippines, and other Pacific islands. Japan already occupied substantial portions of French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) Bataan (Philippines): largest surrender in U.S. military history in April 1942; 78,000 American and Filipino troops captured, “death march” to POW camp Bataan (Philippines): largest surrender in U.S. military history in April 1942; 78,000 American and Filipino troops captured, “death march” to POW camp Battle of Coral Sea, May 1942: U.S. Navy turned back Japanese fleet en route to Australia Battle of Coral Sea, May 1942: U.S. Navy turned back Japanese fleet en route to Australia Battle of Midway Island, June 1942: U.S. inflicted devastating losses on Japanese navy Battle of Midway Island, June 1942: U.S. inflicted devastating losses on Japanese navy U.S. started to drive Japanese back west and regained fortified islands like Guadalcanal (7 Japanese troopships were sunk) and the Solomons (10,000 U.S. sailors died versus 30,000 Japanese) U.S. started to drive Japanese back west and regained fortified islands like Guadalcanal (7 Japanese troopships were sunk) and the Solomons (10,000 U.S. sailors died versus 30,000 Japanese) Oct. 1944: General MacArthur invaded Philippines; 100,000 Filipino civilians died in battle for Manila Oct. 1944: General MacArthur invaded Philippines; 100,000 Filipino civilians died in battle for Manila Iwo Jim and Okinawa in 1945: among the war’s most costly battles; Americans lost 12,000 men on Okinawa; 80,000 Japanese casualties Iwo Jim and Okinawa in 1945: among the war’s most costly battles; Americans lost 12,000 men on Okinawa; 80,000 Japanese casualties

4 War in Europe In spite of joint British-American invasion of North Africa in November 1942, major involvement of American troops in Europe not until D-Day (June 6, 1944); until end of 1944 more American military personnel deployed in Pacific than against Germany In spite of joint British-American invasion of North Africa in November 1942, major involvement of American troops in Europe not until D-Day (June 6, 1944); until end of 1944 more American military personnel deployed in Pacific than against Germany D-Day: close to 200,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers landed in Normandy under General Dwight D. Eisenhower; more than a million troops followed, greatest amphibious invasion in history nearly failed— 100,000 American casualties in first month D-Day: close to 200,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers landed in Normandy under General Dwight D. Eisenhower; more than a million troops followed, greatest amphibious invasion in history nearly failed— 100,000 American casualties in first month Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 1944: largest single battle ever fought by U.S. Army with 70, ,000 American casualties Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 1944: largest single battle ever fought by U.S. Army with 70, ,000 American casualties

5 The “Good War” Memory of “Good War”: a time of national unity and a just war of self-defense; FDR proclaimed Four Freedoms in his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1941: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear Memory of “Good War”: a time of national unity and a just war of self-defense; FDR proclaimed Four Freedoms in his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1941: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear Government, business, and labor mobilization for wartime production ended Great Depression Government, business, and labor mobilization for wartime production ended Great Depression In 1944, unemployment dipped to 1.2 percent of the civilian labor force, a record low in American economic history, as near to "full employment" as possible In 1944, unemployment dipped to 1.2 percent of the civilian labor force, a record low in American economic history, as near to "full employment" as possible Wages rose 65% over course of war Wages rose 65% over course of war In spite of rationing of items like coffee, meat, and gasoline, more consumer goods available in 1944 than in 1941 In spite of rationing of items like coffee, meat, and gasoline, more consumer goods available in 1944 than in 1941 More freedoms for women and expansion of civil rights More freedoms for women and expansion of civil rights

6 Double-V Double-V: phrase in 1942 Pittsburgh Courier; victory over Germany and Japan must be accompanied by victory over segregation at home Double-V: phrase in 1942 Pittsburgh Courier; victory over Germany and Japan must be accompanied by victory over segregation at home NAACP membership grew from 50,000 to 500,000 during war; Congress of Racial Equality (an interracial group of pacifists) held sit-ins to integrate restaurants and theaters in northern cities; The Crisis insisted that a segregated army “cannot fight for a free world” NAACP membership grew from 50,000 to 500,000 during war; Congress of Racial Equality (an interracial group of pacifists) held sit-ins to integrate restaurants and theaters in northern cities; The Crisis insisted that a segregated army “cannot fight for a free world” A. Philip Randolph, black labor leader, called for March on Washington in July 1941; in response, FDR banned discrimination in defense jobs (Executive Order 8802) and established a Fair Employment Practices Commission A. Philip Randolph, black labor leader, called for March on Washington in July 1941; in response, FDR banned discrimination in defense jobs (Executive Order 8802) and established a Fair Employment Practices Commission by 1945, the left-liberal agenda included racial justice alongside full-employment, civil liberties, and New Deal welfare state by 1945, the left-liberal agenda included racial justice alongside full-employment, civil liberties, and New Deal welfare state

7 War as Agent of Social Progress? From FDR’s “Economic Bill of Rights” (1944) to GI Bill: by 1946 over 1 million veterans attended college From FDR’s “Economic Bill of Rights” (1944) to GI Bill: by 1946 over 1 million veterans attended college Women: “Rosie the Riveter,” 6 million women worked in munitions production; 350,000 served in auxiliary military units (15 million men in armed forces) Women: “Rosie the Riveter,” 6 million women worked in munitions production; 350,000 served in auxiliary military units (15 million men in armed forces) Mexican-Americans: Even though 400,000 Mexican-Americans had been “voluntarily” repatriated during Depression, tens of thousands of contract laborers came to U.S. under bracero program (lasted until 1964). “Zoot suit” riots in L.A. (1943): sailors and policemen attacked Mexican-American youths wearing flamboyant clothing Mexican-Americans: Even though 400,000 Mexican-Americans had been “voluntarily” repatriated during Depression, tens of thousands of contract laborers came to U.S. under bracero program (lasted until 1964). “Zoot suit” riots in L.A. (1943): sailors and policemen attacked Mexican-American youths wearing flamboyant clothing Asian-Americans: more than 50,000 Asian-Americans fought in the army (immigrant children from China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines); Congress ended the exclusion of Chinese immigration in 1943 (annual quota set at 105) Asian-Americans: more than 50,000 Asian-Americans fought in the army (immigrant children from China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines); Congress ended the exclusion of Chinese immigration in 1943 (annual quota set at 105) Blacks: 700,000 black migrants moved to cities in North and West; 34 killed in Detroit 1943 race riot; lynching continued; over 1 million blacks served in segregated units in armed forces; at beginning of war, no blacks in air force and marines, only five black officers in army, and only back waiters and cooks in navy. Blacks: 700,000 black migrants moved to cities in North and West; 34 killed in Detroit 1943 race riot; lynching continued; over 1 million blacks served in segregated units in armed forces; at beginning of war, no blacks in air force and marines, only five black officers in army, and only back waiters and cooks in navy.

8 Japanese-American Internments Japanese-Americans: Pacific war as race war; long- standing prejudice and shock of Pearl Harbor created unprecedented hatred of Japan; government propaganda and war films portrayed Japanese as bestial and subhuman; Japanese-Americans viewed as spies Japanese-Americans: Pacific war as race war; long- standing prejudice and shock of Pearl Harbor created unprecedented hatred of Japan; government propaganda and war films portrayed Japanese as bestial and subhuman; Japanese-Americans viewed as spies Japanese-American Internments: In his Executive Order 9066 of February 1942 FDR ordered the expulsion of all persons of Japanese descent from West Coast; without public protests 110,000 men, women, and children (two- third of them American citizens) were moved to interment camps in remote portions of nation’s interior Japanese-American Internments: In his Executive Order 9066 of February 1942 FDR ordered the expulsion of all persons of Japanese descent from West Coast; without public protests 110,000 men, women, and children (two- third of them American citizens) were moved to interment camps in remote portions of nation’s interior In Korematsu v. U.S., Supreme Court upheld legality of internments in Korematsu never overturned, “lies about like a loaded weapon” to be used again In Korematsu v. U.S., Supreme Court upheld legality of internments in Korematsu never overturned, “lies about like a loaded weapon” to be used again 20,000 Japanese-Americans joined armed forces from camps, 200 draft resisters sent to prison 20,000 Japanese-Americans joined armed forces from camps, 200 draft resisters sent to prison In 1988, Congress apologized for internments and compensated each surviving victim with $20,000 In 1988, Congress apologized for internments and compensated each surviving victim with $20,000

9 Negative Propaganda Posters German Threat in World War I Japanese Threat in World War II

10 Positive Propaganda Posters Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom From Want”Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Worship”

11 Allied Conferences and Postwar Planning Teheran, 1943: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin: Second Front set for 1944; defeated Germany should be dismembered; Churchill offered eastern part of Poland to Soviets Teheran, 1943: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin: Second Front set for 1944; defeated Germany should be dismembered; Churchill offered eastern part of Poland to Soviets Yalta, 1945: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin: Stalin agreed to enter war against Japan after defeat of Hitler in Europe; FDR and Churchill mildly protested Stalin’s plans to keep Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; Soviets signed a watered-down version of the Declaration of Liberated Europe; Stalin requested 20 billion in reparations from Germany Yalta, 1945: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin: Stalin agreed to enter war against Japan after defeat of Hitler in Europe; FDR and Churchill mildly protested Stalin’s plans to keep Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; Soviets signed a watered-down version of the Declaration of Liberated Europe; Stalin requested 20 billion in reparations from Germany Potsdam, 1945: Stalin, Truman, and Churchill (Clement Attlee): Allies established military government for Germany and placed top Nazi leaders on trial for war crimes; dismemberment of Germany went forward Potsdam, 1945: Stalin, Truman, and Churchill (Clement Attlee): Allies established military government for Germany and placed top Nazi leaders on trial for war crimes; dismemberment of Germany went forward United Nations, 1945: 51 countries adopted UN Charter in San Francisco; it outlawed force or threat of force as a means of settling international disputes; U.S. endorsed UN Charter in July 1945; U.S., Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and China served as five permanent members of security council and had veto power United Nations, 1945: 51 countries adopted UN Charter in San Francisco; it outlawed force or threat of force as a means of settling international disputes; U.S. endorsed UN Charter in July 1945; U.S., Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and China served as five permanent members of security council and had veto power

12 Tensions Among Allies Combined Chiefs of Staff: British and U.S. officers excluded Soviets in strategic decision-making Combined Chiefs of Staff: British and U.S. officers excluded Soviets in strategic decision-making Second Front: Churchill pushed FDR to delay Allied invasion of France for two years (instead, call for “unconditional surrender” of Japan and Germany in 1943) Second Front: Churchill pushed FDR to delay Allied invasion of France for two years (instead, call for “unconditional surrender” of Japan and Germany in 1943) Poland: Stalin promised “free elections” but forced communism in Eastern Europe (“whoever occupies a territory also imposes his own social system,” said Stalin) Poland: Stalin promised “free elections” but forced communism in Eastern Europe (“whoever occupies a territory also imposes his own social system,” said Stalin) Italy: Anglo-American forces liberated Italy in 1943, refused to collaborate with Soviets on occupation policies Italy: Anglo-American forces liberated Italy in 1943, refused to collaborate with Soviets on occupation policies FDR pressured Churchill to grant independence to India and other British colonies; Churchill opposed FDR’s efforts to build up China as U.S. junior partner FDR pressured Churchill to grant independence to India and other British colonies; Churchill opposed FDR’s efforts to build up China as U.S. junior partner Churchill angered FDR by concluding private deals with Stalin: the British would control Greece and the Soviets would control Romania Churchill angered FDR by concluding private deals with Stalin: the British would control Greece and the Soviets would control Romania Bretton Woods, 1944: British resented U.S. economic power, British pound replaced with dollar as main international currency; established World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Bretton Woods, 1944: British resented U.S. economic power, British pound replaced with dollar as main international currency; established World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Morgenthau Plan, 1944: to de-industrialize Germany after the war: Churchill reluctantly went along, FDR then disavowed it Morgenthau Plan, 1944: to de-industrialize Germany after the war: Churchill reluctantly went along, FDR then disavowed it Manhattan Project: a joint Anglo-American project, excluded Soviets Manhattan Project: a joint Anglo-American project, excluded Soviets

13 Atomic Bomb Manhattan Project: top-secret program to develop atomic bomb; bomb successfully tested in New Mexico in July 1945 during Potsdam Conference Manhattan Project: top-secret program to develop atomic bomb; bomb successfully tested in New Mexico in July 1945 during Potsdam Conference U.S. dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, killing 214,000 Japanese (mostly civilians) by bomb and radiation effects; Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and invaded Manchuria; Japan surrendered within days U.S. dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, killing 214,000 Japanese (mostly civilians) by bomb and radiation effects; Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and invaded Manchuria; Japan surrendered within days U.S. firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945 had killed 100,000 people U.S. firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945 had killed 100,000 people Truman later claimed atomic bomb saved half a million American lives; reports at the time estimated Japanese invasion to cost 50,000 American lives Truman later claimed atomic bomb saved half a million American lives; reports at the time estimated Japanese invasion to cost 50,000 American lives Enola Gay Controversy over Smithsonian exhibit 1994 Enola Gay Controversy over Smithsonian exhibit 1994

14 President Truman’s Advisers Discuss the Atomic Bomb, May 1945 Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson stated “that this project should not be considered simply in terms of military weapons, but as a new relationship of man to the universe. This discovery might be compared to the discoveries of the Copernican theory and of the laws of gravity, but far more important than these in its effect on the lives of men […] the implications of the project went far beyond the needs of the present war. It must be controlled if possible to make it an assurance of future peace rather than a menace to civilization […] the Secretary expressed the conclusion, on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning; that we could not concentrate on a civilian area; but that we should seek to make a profound psychological impression on as many of the inhabitants as possible […] the Secretary agreed that the most desirable target would be a vital war plant employing a large number of workers and closely surrounded by workers’ houses.” Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson stated “that this project should not be considered simply in terms of military weapons, but as a new relationship of man to the universe. This discovery might be compared to the discoveries of the Copernican theory and of the laws of gravity, but far more important than these in its effect on the lives of men […] the implications of the project went far beyond the needs of the present war. It must be controlled if possible to make it an assurance of future peace rather than a menace to civilization […] the Secretary expressed the conclusion, on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning; that we could not concentrate on a civilian area; but that we should seek to make a profound psychological impression on as many of the inhabitants as possible […] the Secretary agreed that the most desirable target would be a vital war plant employing a large number of workers and closely surrounded by workers’ houses.” Source: Robert Griffith, ed., Major Problems in American History Since 1945 (1992),

15 Recommended Readings Anderson, Karen. Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations, and the Status of Women During World War II (1981) Anderson, Karen. Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations, and the Status of Women During World War II (1981) Blum, John M. V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II (1976) Blum, John M. V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II (1976) Daniels, Roger. Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II (1993) Daniels, Roger. Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II (1993) Dower, John. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986) Dower, John. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986) Kennedy, David. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, (1999) Kennedy, David. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, (1999) Lichtenstein, Nelson, Labor’s War at Home: The CIO in World War II (1982) Lichtenstein, Nelson, Labor’s War at Home: The CIO in World War II (1982) Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986) Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986) Von Eschen, Penny. Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, (1997) Von Eschen, Penny. Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, (1997)


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