WORLD WAR II American Foreign Policy in the 1930s Europe in the 1930s America Enters the War(s) The Home Front: Effects of the War at Home Women, Minorities, and the War The Manhattan Project and War’s End
American Foreign Policy of the early 1930s • Isolationist mindset of the 1920s still prevailed • FDR’s “Good Neighbor Policy” renounced intervention in Latin America
Nye Committee • US Senate investigative committee • blamed US entry into WWI on a close relationship between the govt. and industries that benefited financially from the war • Significance?
Rise of Fascism • Italy, 1922 • Benito Mussolini • “Il Duce” Fascism = totalitarianism and extreme nationalism without socialist economy
Adolf Hitler • Jailed after unsuccessful coup in 1924 • wrote Mein Kampf • elected Chancellor in 1933 • quickly dissolved the Reichstag (German parliament)
Spread of Fascism: Ethiopia • Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1934 • widely condemned, but . . . • US Response: Neutrality Act of 1935 • forbade arms sales to belligerent parties • advised against travel on belligerents’ ships
Spread of Fascism: Spain • Spanish Civil War (1936-37) pitted elected socialist govt. (Loyalists) against Fascists under . . . • Francisco Franco • Franco’s Fascists were supported by Germany and Italy • Loyalists supported by USSR
US Response • Some Americans went to Spain to fight for the Loyalist cause, but . . . • Neutrality Act of 1937 • extended arms embargo to Spain • forbade American travel on belligerents’ ships • limited non-military aid sales to a “cash and carry” basis
Path to War in Europe • March 1937: German annexation of Austria • Sept. 1937: Munich Conference gave Germany Sudetenland • March 1938: Germany occupied Czechoslovakia • August 1939: Nazi-Soviet Pact
World War II • Sept. 1939: German invasion of Poland prompted England and France to declare war • Sitzkrieg • Blitzkrieg:Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg • June 1940: Fall of France (all of Western and Central Europe under Fascist control)
Lend-Lease ActMarch 1941 • FDR, urged on by British PM Winston Churchill, proposed to “lend” Britain armaments • FDR’s way of gently moving America toward open involvement in the European war
Meanwhile, in Asia . . . • Japanese nationalism and militarism grew as well. • The Japanese initiated dramatic expansionism in a quest for international prestige and natural resources.
Japanese Expansionism/Aggression in Asia • Invasion of Manchuria (Chinese province), 1931 • A violation of the League of Nations Charter and the US Open Door Policy • The League condemned the invasion but did nothing more • Invasion of China, 1937 How did the US respond?
Stimson Doctrine, 1932 • Sec. of State Henry Stimson articulated the position that the US would refuse to recognize any regime established by force.
Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor • Close to 2500 Americans killed • Approximately 1000 dead on the USS Arizona alone (over 1/3 of total killed in attack)
Executive Order 9066 February 1942
Internment of Japanese-Americans • 110,000 Japanese-Americans, forced to leave their homes and livelihoods behind, were “relocated” to internment camps in the West. • The all-Japanese-American 442nd Combat Infantry Team, which fought in Europe, became the most decorated unit in the war.
Relocation Camp Future Residents
Japanese-American Business Japanese-Americans were quickly moved to internment camps. They were allowed to take few possessions, and, in most cases lost their livelihoods. Congress voted reparations in 1980s
“Evacuation Sale” (a common occurrence)
Korematsu v. US • The USSC upheld the internment of Japanese Americans during the national emergency of WWI. • Justice Robert Jackson dissented (see VOF 148): • “If any fundamental assumption underlies our system, it is that guilt is personal and not inheritable . . . . But here is an attempt to make an otherwise innocent act a crime merely because this prisoner is the son of parents as to whom he had no choice and belongs to a race from which there is no way to resign.”
Atlantic Charter, Aug. 1941 • FDR and Churchill met off coast of Newfoundland • Charter laid out rationale/goals for war: • Self-determination for all people • No territorial expansion • Free trade
American Industry and WWII:Cooperation with government • War Production Board (WPB) • Ensured that businesses profited from war-related contracts • National War Labor Board (NWLB) • Ensured that labor unions were able to negotiate favorable contacts in exchange for no-strike pledge • Office of Price Administration (OPA) • Set prices to prevent excessive inflation • Rationed scarce products
Financing the War • Income and corporate taxes! • Inflation • Debt The good news was that the US economy boomed and finally came out of the Depression.
Black Americans and WWII • Served in segregated units • White commanders • Often relegated to menial tasks instead of combat • Executive Order 8802 (June 1941) • Forbade racial discrimination by businesses in war-related industries • Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) established to enforce
“Rosie the Machinist” “Rosie the Signal-Flag Maker”
“Rosie the . . . Cotton Picker”? • Women moved into all sorts of jobs vacated by men during WWII. • The vast majority of these women worked before the war, however. • Temporary!
German Invasion of USSR (1941-42) • Hitler’s invasion of Russia may have been his undoing. • Fighting on the “Eastern Front” was the worst of the war. • As many as 30 million Russians died in WWII.
Siege of Leningrad It is estimated that as many as 100,000 civilians diedper monthin the German siege of the Russian city of Leningrad.
Opening a 2nd Front in Europe: US/British invasion of Italy, July 1943 • Approx. 250,000 total casualties were suffered in the month-long battle for Monte Cassino • Just one of many bloody engagements
D-Day: June 6, 1944 US Troops wade ashore on a Normandy beach
The US Cemetery at Normandy The cemetery holds the graves of nearly 10,000 US soldiers.
The Battle of the Buldge, Dec. 1944 • Final German counteroffensive in W. Europe, beaten back by freezing, poorly-supplied US troops in fierce fighting
V-E Day: May 7, 1945 • Russian forces took the German capital of Berlin, ending the War in Europe. • Hitler committed suicide.
“Island Hopping”: Iwo Jima 30,000 American casualties in 35-day battle for 8 sq. mile island (1/3 size of Manhattan)
“Island Hopping”: Okinawa • 82-day battle • 60,000+ US casualties (12,000+ killed) • 200,000+ Japanese killed (about half civilians)
“Uncle Joe” (w/Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov)
The “Big Three”at YaltaFebruary 1945 What were the contents of the Yalta Agreement?
A Letter from Albert Einstein to FDR (1939) In the course of the last four months it has been made probable — . . . that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future. This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable — though much less certain — that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.