The ideological war
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The Ideological War. The Four Freedoms (1941). War and the American State. Mass mobilization Unemployment plummets Massive expansion of govt Founding of military-industrial complex. Trouble Brewing. Japan invades China (1931) Mussolini invades Ethiopia (1935) League of Nations powerless

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War and the american state
War and the American State

  • Mass mobilization

  • Unemployment plummets

  • Massive expansion of govt

  • Founding of military-industrial complex

Trouble brewing
Trouble Brewing

  • Japan invades China (1931)

  • Mussolini invades Ethiopia (1935)

  • League of Nations powerless

  • Fascist Francisco Franco leads rebellion against democratic govt in Spain


  • French for “revenge”

  • Hitler wants to reunite Germanic peoples, annexes Austria

  • Flouts Treaty of Versailles by pursuing massive rearmament

  • Supports Mussolini and Franco

  • UK and France want to avoid war, follow policy of “appeasement” toward Hitler

  • Takes over Czechoslovakia (1938-9)


  • Americans believed WWI was mistake

  • Many companies did business with Germany and Japan

  • Some Italian and German-Americans supported fascists

  • Irish-Americans still hated Britain


I sit in one of the divesOn Fifty-second StreetUncertain and afraidAs the clever hopes expireOf a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the brightAnd darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives;The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night.

W.H. Auden

Last straw
Last Straw

  • Hitler invades Poland (1939)

  • UK, France declare war

  • Nazis overrun Scandinavia, Belgium, Netherlands

  • Occupy Paris by 1940

  • Germany, Italy, Japan join forces (the Axis)

Arc de capitulation
Arc de Capitulation

  • “Vichy” govt collaborates with Nazis in France

  • UK stands alone

  • Battle of Britain

  • Winston Churchill

    • Conservative Prime Minister

Pearl harbor
Pearl Harbor

  • Japan attacks US base in Hawaii

  • Dec 7, 1941: “a day that will live in infamy”

  • Destroys US battleships and kills 2000 Americans

  • FDR declares war

  • Germany declares war on us next day

Two theatres
Two Theatres

  • Most American troops in Pacific

  • Need to reverse Japanese advance

  • Japan took Philippines, Guam, etc.

  • US and UK invade North Africa to fight Germans and Italians

The battle for europe
The Battle for Europe

  • D-Day (6/6/1944) – huge invasion of France

  • 200k American, British, Canadian troops land on beaches of Normandy

  • 1 million follow

  • Biggest land-sea operation in history

  • Paris liberated by August

The war at home
The War at Home

  • Govt workers quadruple to 4 million

  • High taxes to support war

  • Govt coordinates war production

  • Car plants converted to making tanks, planes

Rosie the riveter
Rosie the Riveter

  • 15 million men in military

  • Women = 1/3 of workforce

  • Some wanted to stay working after war

  • But men saw this as temporary

War for freedom
War for Freedom?

  • Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps

Civil rights
Civil Rights

  • Labor leader Randolph plans March on Washington (1941) to protest discrimination in war industries, military

  • FDR issues executive order

  • Fair Employment Practices Commission

  • 1st federal agency since Reconstruction to seek equal opportunity for African Americans

Malmedy Massacre, 1944


  • Allies setback at Battle of the Bulge (late 1944)

  • Bloodiest battle for US

  • Allies press advantage in 1945

  • Soviet and Polish troops capture Berlin and Germany surrenders

  • “V-E Day” – 5/8/45

Defeating japan
Defeating Japan

  • US retakes Philippines and other islands (1945)

  • Firebombs Japanese cities and cuts off imports with submarines

  • Shocks world by dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (8/6/45 and 8/9/45)