Mobilization. On The. Home Front. US Neutrality. Building American Defenses. By 1940, France had fallen & Britain was under attack by the German Luftwaffe.
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By 1940, France had fallen & Britain was under attack by the German Luftwaffe.
In 1940, FDR asked Congress to increase spending for national defense. After years of Isolationism, the U.S. was militarily weak (18 countries had larger armies).
In response, Congress dramatically boosted defense spending.
It passed the nation’s first peacetime military draft. The Selective Training & Service Act (Draft) registered 16 million men between the ages of 21-35.
By 1940, Britain ran out of cash to spend on our arms, so FDR suggested replacing “cash-and-carry” with a new plan = Lend-Lease Act.
The act allowed FDR to lend or lease arms & and other supplies to any country whose defense was vital to the U.S.
The original act allowed for $7 billion in aide & the U.S. eventually spent $50 billion under the act.
Great Britain.........................$31 billionSoviet Union...........................$11 billionFrance......................................$ 3 billionChina.......................................$1.5 billionOther European.................$500 millionSouth America...................$400 millionThe amount totaled: $48,601,365,000
June 1941, FDR ordered the U.S. Navy to protect lend-lease shipments & gave American warships permission to attack German U-boats in self-defense
With each step Roosevelt took against the Axis powers, the roar among isolationists grew louder. FDR was not discouraged by the criticism, because his Army was provided for, and he began to prepare for an eventual war.
1941, FDR & Winston Churchill met secretly aboard a warship off the coast of Newfoundland. They agreed to principles for both the U.S. and Great Britain to follow.
Seek no territorial expansion.
Pursue no territorial changes without the consent of the inhabitants.
Respect the right of the people to choose their own form of government.
Promote free trade among nations.
Encourage international cooperation to improve people’s lives.
Work for disarmament of aggressors.
Establish a “permanent system of general security” = United Nations
Pearl Harbor from the Cockpit of a Japanese Plane
Pearl Harbor Memorial
2,887 Americans Dead!
Pearl Harbor – Dec. 7, 1941
A date which will live in infamy!
FDR Signs the War Declaration
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, eager young Americans jammed the recruiting offices.
5 million who initially volunteered for military services was not enough to fight a global war & the Selective Service System instituted the draft & eventually provided another 15 million soldiers to meet the Armed Forces’ needs.
1942, the nation’s industries had been shut down & re-opened after a few weeks producing tanks, planes, boats, & military cars. Across the nation, factories quickly converted to war production.
By 1944, 18 million workers were laboring in war related industries & more than 6 million of these new workers were women (faced sexism).
Defense plants hired more than 2 million minority workers during the war years. Minorities faced strong prejudice (before war 75% of defense contractors refused to hire AA’s).
To protest such discrimination in the military & industries, A. Philip Randolph (nations leading AA labor leader) organized a march on Washington to protest.
FDR backed down under pressure & issued an executive order calling on employers & labor unions to provide for the full equitable participation of all workers in defense industries, without discrimination.
1941, FDR created Office of Scientific Research & Development (OSRD) to bring scientists into the war effort.
The OSRD spurred improvements in both radar & sonar technology, & medical technology (penicillin)
The greatest scientific achievement of the OSRD was the secret development of a new weapon = Atomic Bomb
Interest began in 1939, after Albert Einstein & other German scientists succeeded in splitting the Uranium atom = (releases an enormous destructive power.
FDR responded by developing a program that could develop a bomb as quickly as possible = Manhattan Project
Congress worried about Inflation (incomes rose as a production of consumer goods fell) during the war created the Office of Price Administration (OPA). The OPA fought inflation by freezing prices on most goods. Congress also raised income taxes & the higher taxes left workers with less to spend. Americans with extra cash were encouraged to buy war bonds.
The OPA set up a system for rationing = allotments of goods deemed essential for the military. Under the system, households received ration books with coupons to be used for buying such scarce goods as meat, shoes, coffee, & gasoline.
Besides controlling inflation the government needed to ensure that the forces & war industries had enough resources.
The War Production Board (WPB) assumed responsibility of production & allocated raw materials to key industries.
The WPB also organized nationwide drives to collect scrap iron, tin cans, paper, etc.