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 After WWI, the U.S. assumed a selective isolationist foreign policy  Americans wanted to maintain the economic boom of the 1920s & desperate for an.

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Presentation on theme: " After WWI, the U.S. assumed a selective isolationist foreign policy  Americans wanted to maintain the economic boom of the 1920s & desperate for an."— Presentation transcript:


2  After WWI, the U.S. assumed a selective isolationist foreign policy  Americans wanted to maintain the economic boom of the 1920s & desperate for an answer to the depression in the 1930s  But, the U.S. did play an active role in attempts at international disarmament & economic stability

3  In the 1920s, the most divisive international issue was war debts:  European nations owed the U.S. $10 billion; Attempts to reclaim these debts led to anti-American sentiment in Europe  When Germany could not repay $33 billion in reparations, the U.S. negotiated the Dawes Plan The U.S. Foreign Debt Commission canceled a large portion of these debts, but insisted that some of the money be repaid In 1924, Hoover negotiated a reduction in German debt, an extended time period to repay debts, & U.S. loans to help Germany make payments to France & England The Dawes Plan helped stabilize the German economy, allowed Germany to repay the Allies, and helped France & England repay their debts to the United States

4  The USA never joined the League of Nations, but did play a role in attempts to avoid future wars: Washington Disarmament Conference  At the Washington Disarmament Conference in 1921, world leaders agreed to disarmament, free trade, & collective security Kellogg-Briand Pact  In 1928, almost every nation, including the USA, signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as a tool of foreign policy The USA, England, Japan, Italy, & France signed the Five-Power Treaty & agreed to limit construction of battleships & aircraft carriers The Nine-Power Treaty reaffirmed the Chinese Open-Door Policy England, USA, Japan, France signed the Four- Power Treaty agreeing to collective security But, neither the Nine- or Four-Power Acts had provisions to enforce these agreements

5  These agreements did not last:  Japan needed raw materials to continue its industrial expansion  Japan began to create an Asian empire by attacking Manchuria in 1931 & China in 1937  In both occasions, the League of Nations reprimanded Japan but chose no punitive measures




9 “Peace in our time”


11  In the 1930s, FDR & Congress were preoccupied with the Great Depression to adequately plan for new world conflicts involving totalitarian dictators  The rising threat of war in Europe & Asia strengthened Americans’ desire to avoid involvement in another world war

12  The “merchants of death” charges were led by North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye from 1934 to 1936: Nye Committee  Reaction to the Nye Committee report led to popular support to avoid making the same mistakes that led America to enter WW1  Congress passed 3 neutrality acts to avoid future wars The Neutrality Act of 1935 banned arms sales to nations at war & warned citizens not to sail on belligerent ships The Neutrality Act of 1936 banned loans to any warring nation cash & carry The Neutrality Act of 1937 made the 1935 & 1936 acts permanent & required all trade to be on a cash & carry basis


14  As Europe headed toward war, FDR openly expressed his favor for intervention & took steps to ready the U.S. for war  In 1937, FDR unsuccessfully tried to convince world leaders to “quarantine the aggressors”  Everything changed in 1939 with the Nazi- Soviet Pact & the German invasion of Poland But…FDR was able to get $1 billion from Congress to expand the U.S. navy


16 cash & carry policy  When WW2 began in 1939, Congress imposed a cash & carry policy to aid the Allies:  The U.S. would trade with the Allies but would not offer loans  The U.S. would not deliver American products to Europe  In addition, FDR traded 50 old destroyers with England for 8 naval bases in Western Europe “The destroyer-for-bases deal is the most important action in the reinforcement of our national defense that has been taken since the Louisiana Purchase” —FDR FDR responded with all-out aid to the Allies but did not call for war Based upon the Neutrality Acts of 1935-1937

17 Isolationists  Were appalled by this departure from neutrality & FDR’s involvement of the U.S. in foreign war  Their “fortress of America” idea argued that Germany was not a threat to the U.S. Interventionists Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies  Groups like the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies called for unlimited aid to England  They argued that the events in Europe did impact the security of U.S. St. Louis Dispatch headline: “Dictator Roosevelt Commits Act of War” “The future of western civilization is being decided upon the battlefield of Europe” —CDAAA chair, William Allen White

18  By 1940, “interventionists” had the majority of American public sentiment on their side:  in 1940, Congress appropriated $10 billion for preparedness  FDR called for America’s first ever peacetime draft  In the election of 1940, FDR was overwhelmingly elected for an unprecedented 3 rd term

19  By 1940, England remained the only active opposition to Hitler but was running out of money Lend-Lease Act  FDR called for a Lend-Lease Act:  U.S. can sell or lend war supplies to Allied nations  Congress put $7 billion to allow England full access to U.S. arms U.S. Cash and Carry Program

20  England desperately needed help escorting U.S.-made supplies through the u-boat infested Atlantic  FDR allowed for U.S. patrols in the western half of the Atlantic  German attacks on U.S. ships in 1941 led to an undeclared naval war between USA & Germany U.S. Cash and Carry Program

21 Atlantic Charter  In 1941, FDR & Churchill met to secretly draft the Atlantic Charter:  The U.S. & Britain discussed a military strategy if the USA were to enter the war  They discussed post-war goals of free trade & disarmament  In 1941, Germany broke the Nazi-Soviet Pact & invaded Russia

22  FDR brought U.S. to the brink of war & opened himself to criticism:  In Sept 1941, polls showed 80% of Americans supported remaining neutral in WW2  FDR had to wait for the Axis to make a decisive move…which Japan delivered on Dec 7, 1941


24  Japan took full advantage of the European war to expand in Asia:  Attacked coastal China  Seized French & Dutch colonies in East Indies & Indochina Tripartite Pact  Signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany & Italy in 1940  FDR retaliated against Japan with fuel, iron, & oil sanctions The U.S. now faced a possible 2-ocean war… …but Germany was still seen as the primary danger

25  In 1941, the U.S. & Japan were unable to diplomatically resolve their differences, so the USA:  Froze all Japanese assets in USA  Banned all oil sales to Japan  Hideki Tojo sent an envoy to negotiate for a resolution…but secretly ordered an attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor U.S. wanted the Japanese removed from China Japan wanted an end to sanctions & a free hand to China This was really a stall tactic intended to hide Japanese military preparations for an attack on Pearl Harbor

26 On Dec 7, 1941, the U.S. naval fleet in the Pacific was crippled by the attack; 8 battleships were sunk & 2,400 Americans were killed

27  After Pearl Harbor:  Congress declared war against Japan on Dec 8, 1941  Italy & Germany declared war on the U.S. on Dec 11, 1941  American public opinion was now fully behind the war effort to defeat the fascist threat in Europe & to seek revenge against Japan


29  WW2 impacted all aspects of American life:  FDR hoped the U.S. would be the great “arsenal of democracy”  The boost of wartime industry ended the Great Depression  The war altered the lives of women, African- Americans, Japanese-Americans, & Mexican- Americans

30 ■ To win wars in Asia & Europe & meet civilian demands, the U.S. gov’t grew to its largest size ever: War Powers Act – The War Powers Act gave the president unprecedented power – New bureaucracies were formed to direct the economy, create propaganda, sell war bonds, & prevent enemy subversion The power to create new gov’t agencies to censor the press to limit civil liberties & seize personal property The Office of War Mobilization coordinated the draft, consumer prices, & the labor force The Office of War Information directed press, print, radio, & film propagandafilm propaganda The Office of Strategic Services gathered enemy intelligence & conducted espionage This is 2x as much as all previous gov’t spending combined The U.S. gov’t spent $250 million per day from 1941 to 1945


32 War bonds helped raise $187 billion to support the war effort Buy, Buy, Buy, Buy a Bond: It Will Lead to VICTORY!





37 ■ The most decisive factor for Allied victory was America’s ability to outproduce both Germany & Japan War Production Board (WPB) – Heavy industry was converted to war & was directed by the War Production Board (WPB) – 15 million U.S. soldiers fought but 60 million workers & farmers supplied them with supplies U.S. made 2x more goods than Germany & 5x more than Japan

38 Ford made one B-24 bomber every hour


40  The war presented new economic opportunities for women:  Dramatic rise in employment (14 million to 19 million by 1945)  Most new female workers were married, many middle-aged  Entered “exclusively male” fields  Temporarily redefined “woman’s sphere” from “just at home”

41 “Rosie, the Riveter”

42 S..t..r..e..t..c..h That Food!

43 Women’s Army Air Corps Pilots Join the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES)

44 ■ 1 million blacks served in U.S. military but few saw combat Fair Employment Practices Committee ■ Discrimination in the workforce led A. Philip Randolph to pressure FDR to create a Fair Employment Practices Committee ■ Continued black migration into the North & West made race relations a national issue Banned discrimination in defense industries & gov’t

45 Segregated units…again Tuskegee Airmen

46 A. Philip Randolph threatened a “March on Washington” to protest war time discrimination Other groups, like the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), staged sit-ins in restaurants in major cities to protest discrimination

47 ■ Mexican-Americans: – Served in quasi-segregated military units, often in the most hazardous branches – Mexican-American workers found jobs in SW agriculture & west coast industry – Faced discrimination, especially during the Zoot Suit Riots


49  Due to Pearl Harbor, many in the U.S. feared Japanese-Americans were helping prepare for a Japanese invasion in the West  Civil liberties were restricted:  Issei had their assets frozen  Used racial stereotypes (“Japs”)  In 1942, FDR ordered 112,000 Japanese- Americans moved to internment camps Japanese who were not American citizens living in the U.S.

50 Families were given one week to close their businesses & homes

51  In 1944, FDR used the war to strengthen his leadership:  “Mr. New Deal” had shifted to “Mr. Win the War”  Opponent Thomas Dewey made communism & FDR’s health the focus of the election  FDR switched VPs from liberal Henry Wallace to moderate Harry Truman to gain appeal


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