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Good Neighbour Policy • Essentially it was: support for strong local leaders, the training of national guards, economic and cultural penetration, Export-Import Bank loans, financial supervision, and political subversion. • It meant that the United States would be less blatant in its domination - less willing to defend exploitative business practices, less eager to launch military expeditions, and less reluctant to consult with Latin Americans (Note the examples in the second full paragraph in the first column and the last paragraph on page 722). • However, Roosevelt promised more than he was prepared to deliver. His administration continued to support and to bolster dictators in the region, believing that they would promote stability and preserve U.S. economic interests. ("He may be an S.O.B.," Roosevelt supposedly remarked of the Dominican Republic's ruthless leader Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, "but he is our S.O.B.") • When a revolution brought a radical, anti-American government to power in Cuba in 1933, FDR instructed the American ambassador in Havana to work with conservative Cubans to replace the new government with a regime more friendly to U.S. interests. • With Washington's support, army sergeant Fulgencio Batista took power in 1934.
Good Neighbour Policy • During the Batista era, which lasted until Fidel Castro dethroned Batista in 1959, Cuba attracted and protected U.S. investments while it aligned itself with US foreign policy goals. • In return, the United States provided military aid and Export-Import Bank loans, got rid of the unpopular Platt Amendment, and gave sugar a favoured position in the U.S. market. • Because of this Cuba further incorporated into the North American consumer culture.
Isolationism • As Hitler and the Germans began to invade Europe by taking Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1939 the US watched this build up of tension with apprehension. • Because of the negative impact of WWI, including the damaging of reform movements, the undermining of civil liberties, the disruption of the economy, the dangerous expansion of presidential and federal powers and the accentuation of class and racial tensions, an isolationist perspective was embraced by many Americans. • This philosophy’s key elements included an abhorrence of war and an opposition to US alliances with other nations.
International Agreements • The US entered into a number of international agreements during the 1920’s. • The Washington Naval Conference was set up in 1921-1922 to discuss limits on naval armaments whose huge military spending endangered economic rehabilitation from WWI. • There was the Five Power (USA, UK, Japan, Italy and France) Agreement that put a moratorium on construction of battle ships and aircraft carriers and pledged not to build new forts in their Pacific possessions. There was no enforcement process established to ensure this happened. • The Nine Power Treaty re-affirmed the possessions many of the countries had in Asia and ensured the Open Door in China remained open. They provided no enforcement powers for the Open Door declaration. • The Four Power Treaty (US, UK, Japan and France) agreed to respect one another’s Pacific possessions. • The Kellogg-Briand Act had 62 nations agreeing to not resort to war in order to solve international conflicts. Though commendable, there was no tool of enforcement to ensure nations would abide by such an agreement.
Isolationism • The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) called for an end of US economic imperialism, which, the organization claimed, compelled the United States to intervene militarily in Latin America to protect US business interests. • WWI debts and reparations resulted the US being owed $9.6 billion. A triangular relationship developed: American investors’ money flowed to Germany, Germany paid reparations to the Allies, and the Allies then paid some of their debts to the United States. • Conservative isolationists feared higher taxes and increased executive power if the nation went to war. • Liberal isolationists feared that domestic problems would remain unresolved if the nation began to increase spending and focus on the military. • Because of the negative impact of WWI the fear was also there that as the US fought for freedom abroad they would lose their freedom at home.
Isolationism • Americans also felt that they did not have a responsibility to do what the Europeans themselves would not - block Hitler. • Adding to this isolationist view was the charge that business had unduly influenced the US entry into WWI. (Nye Committee hearings 1934-1936) • Isolationists were also very suspicious of any ties that might threaten American neutrality. • For example:- In 1937 26 of the top 100 hundred companies in the US had contractual ties with Nazi Germany. • In 1935, after fascist Italy’s conquering of Ethiopia American exports to Italy increased dramatically, despite calls for a moral embargo by President Roosevelt.
Neutrality Acts • Given the Isolationist movement and a general push towards neutrality amongst Americans, Roosevelt signed a series of Neutrality Acts. • These Acts were brought forward by Congress to protect the US by outlawing the kind of contracts that had compromised US neutrality during WWI. • The Neutrality Act of 1935 prohibited arms shipments to either side in a war once belligerency had been declared by the President. Interestingly, Roosevelt wanted to be able to name the aggressor in a war and place an embargo on them but Congress would not allow this. • The Neutrality Act of 1936 forbade loans to belligerents. • The Neutrality Act of 1937 introduce a Cash and Carry principle to wartime trade. • It stated that warring nations wishing to trade with the US were required to pay cash for non military purchases and pick up the goods on their own.
Building Towards War • As tensions mounted in Europe, Roosevelt was still publicly endorsing appeasement as late as 1938. • As Hitler carried out Kristallnacht and took over Austria and the Sudentenland, Roosevelt expressed outrage but refrained from breaking trade relations with Germany or loosen tough immigration laws. • Congress, for its part rejected all measures, including a bill to admit 20,000 children under the age of 14. Motivated by economic concerns and widespread anti-Semitism, more than 80% Americans supported this decision. • However, it was following this period of time that Roosevelt slowly began preparing the US for war by defeating a call for a referendum before a War declaration, asking for funds for building up the Air Force, and selling bombers to the French.
The US At The Start of The War • As Europe plunged into War in the September of 1939 with the German taking of Poland, Roosevelt declared American neutrality and called for the repeal of the Arms embargo, however, some argued that the United States could not be an arsenal for one belligerent without becoming a target for the other. • Congress did lift the embargo on contraband and established a cash-and-carry policy for weapons. • Roosevelt was thus able to help the allies using “methods short of war”. • Hitler’s response was to say that “a half Judaized and Half negrified US was incapable of conducting war”
US - Japanese Relations • During the thirties the Americans had a solid economic presence in China. The US had interests at stake in Asia which were being threatened by Japan’s increased dominance in the area. • These included, The Philippines and Pacific islands, religious missions, trade and investments, and the Open Door in China. • The Japanese sought not only to oust western imperialists from Asia but also to dominate Asian territories that produced the raw materials that their import -dependent island nation required. • The Japanese also resented the discriminatory immigration law of 1924, which excluded them from emigrating to the United States. • Although the US continued to ship goods to Japan their relationship had reached a stalemate while at the same time the US saw Germany as the real threat in the world at the time.
US - Japanese Relations • The Japanese invasion of Manchuria further soured relations as well as violating both the Nine Power Treaty and the Kellogg-Briand Act. The only response by the US was a declaration that they would not recognize any impairment of Chinese sovereignty or the Open Door Policy (The Stimson Doctrine). • The US provided China with arms to fight against the Japanese and declared a quarantine of Japan. • The US feared initiating sanctions because such pressure might spark a Japanese-American war at a time when Germany posed a more serious threat and the US was unprepared for war.
US Entry Into The War In Europe • As Germany conquered European nation after nation the US quickly began to shed their isolationist viewpoint. • In 1940 Roosevelt ordered the sale of old surplus military equipment to the British, including 50 destroyers. • He then passed the first peacetime military draft to provide troops for the allies. The Act called for the registration of all men between the ages of 21 and 35. • He also ensured that the Lend-Lease Act passed which allowed the US to lend to the British the needed funds and equipment to fight the Nazis. This amount reached 50 billion dollars by the end of the war. • Roosevelt felt he could stay out of the war by enabling the British to win. By the end of the war they appropriated more that $31 Billion to Britain. • See page 734 for a historiographical debate on the bombing of Pearl Harbour.
The Atlantic Charter • Roosevelt then entered into the Atlantic Charter with the British which set some aims for war: collective security, disarmament, self-determination, economic cooperation, and freedom of the seas. • As American vessels became engaged with German submarines, Congress scrapped the cash-and-carry policy and revised the Neutrality Acts to permit transportation of munitions to Britain on American ships. See the true story of the attack on the Greer on page 736-737)
US Entry Into The War In Japan • In 1940 Japan signed a pact to side with Italy and Germany and in July 1941 the Japanese took over French Indochina. • This caused the US to eventually cut off all economic trade with Japan, including aviation fuel, scrap metal and oil. • The Japanese refused American demands to leave Indochina, and Roosevelt encouraged his advisors to string out negotiations with the Japanese while they fortified the Philippines and the allies slowed the fascists in Europe. • Japanese attacked on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941. This attack all but wiped out the Pacific naval fleet. • The American public’s shift from isolationism to fervent support for the war was sudden and dramatic. • The day following the Pearl Harbour attack the Americans officially entered the war on the side of the allies.
General Causes of the War • A fundamental clash of systems explains why war came. • Germany and Japan preferred a world divided into closed spheres of influence. • The United States sought a liberal capitalist world order in which all nations enjoyed freedom of trade and investment. • American principles manifested respect for human rights; fascists in Europe and militarists in Asia trampled such rights. • The United States prided itself on its democratic system; Germany and Japan embraced authoritarian regimes backed by the military. • When the United States protested against German and Japanese expansion, Berlin and Tokyo charged that Washington was applying a double standard, Conveniently ignoring its own sphere of influence in Latin America and its own history of military and economic imperialism. • American rejected such comparisons and claimed that their expansionism had benefited not just themselves but the rest of the world. • So many incompatible objectives and outlooks obstructed diplomacy and made war likely.
America’s Military Role in Japan • One American role in WWII was to fight the Japanese in the Pacific. • By late spring 1942 the Japanese had taken most European colonies in Southeast Asia, including the formerly American colony of the Philippines. • The attack on the Philippines came right after Pearl Harbour and resulted in the destruction of the entire American fleet of B-17 bombers located there. • The Bataan death march followed. This resulted in the deaths of over 10,000 Filipinos and 600 Americans • These battles were fought primarily through the air early on. • A key battle was the Battle of Midway - a US Navel base that if lost would provide the Japanese a secure defensive perimeter and make victory in the Pacific very difficult for the Americans. In June 1942 the US won this battle which set in motion their eventual victory over Japan in the Pacific.
Victory in Europe • As the Americans perceived Germany as the real threat to US soil, their strategy (despite the gains in the Pacific) was “Europe first”. • Roosevelt felt that if Germany conquered the Soviet Union, they might directly threaten the US. • He was also afraid of the allies unity being broken- leading to separate peace negotiations amongst the conquered nations. • Because of this, US war plans called for the US to first work with Britain and the USSR to defeat Germany and then concentrate on an isolated Japan. • US forces joined with British to liberate North Africa and protect British oil interests, and gain control of the shipping lanes in the North Atlantic. • In early 1944 the Soviet Union promised to aid the Allies in Japan once Germany was defeated. • The allies finally took pressure off of the Russian Eastern Front by attacking Germany in France on June 6, 1944 - D-Day. • It was the largest amphibious landing in history, 200,000 Allied troops landed on the shores of Normandy in France. • Allied troops soon spread across the countryside, liberating France, Belgium and entering Germany in September. By May of the next year (1945) Germany had surrendered.
Victory in Japan • Since the Battle of Midway in June 1942, American strategy had been to “island hop” toward Japan, skipping the most strongly fortified islands whenever possible and taking the weaker ones, aiming to strand the Japanese armies on their island outposts. • To cut off the supply of raw materials being shipped from Japan’s home islands, American also set out to sink the Japanese merchant marine. • As they began to regain islands throughout Southeast Asia entered the toughest faze of the war in the Pacific as they fought for Iwo Jima and Okinawa in February and March of 1945. • View Victory in the Pacific • Read the moral debate surrounding the bombing of Japan, form page 762-764.
Prepared For War? • Before Japan overtly attacked the US, the US had already been involved in the war and seemed to be preparing for war. • These preparations included the peacetime draft, the creation of war mobilization agencies, and the creation of commissioned war plans for war both in Europe and the Pacific. • Despite these preparations, there was a general lack of readiness for war on the part of the US. • Because of the Depression and isolationist viewpoints, funding for the military was a low priority during the 1930s. • In September 1939 the US army ranked 45th in size amongst the world’s armies and could only fully equip 1/3 of its 227,00 men. • This made victory, as the Americans entered the war in 1941,far from assured, particularly as the Germans continued to steamroll through Europe.
The War at Home • Because of their relative lack of preparation for war there was a major need for manufacturing to step up production. • From 1940 on to the end of the war, military production took precedence over the manufacturing of civilian goods. • Examples of this were when automobile plants built tanks and planes instead of cars and dress factories sewed uniforms. • In 1942 Roosevelt established the War Production Board which allocated resources and coordinated production amongst thousands of independent factories.
Government and Business • With the shift in the economy from domestic to military concerns, the government became a key stimulant of the economy. • The Federal government paid for retooling expansions in factories, guaranteed profits to industry by allowing them to charge the government for the cost of producing items plus a fixed rate for profit. • The government also created generous tax write-offs and exemptions from antitrust laws. • Between 1939 and 1943 corporations doubled their net profits.
The Benefits of War • The war had a positive effect on the economy, but not without its drawbacks. • Most military contracts went to America’s largest corporations, which had the abilities to meet the need for a rapid increase in production. From mid-1940 through September 1944 the government awarded contracts totalling $175 billion, two-thirds went to the top one hundred corporations. General Motors alone received 8%. • This practice further led American industry to be controlled by a few giant corporations. • War also created a new relationship between the military and science. • With the outbreak of war came the need for better and more effective technology. • Millions of dollars were given to universities to develop technology. 117 Million was given to MIT alone.
The War at Home: Employment and Technology • These federally sponsored programs led to the creation of such technologies as radar and the proximity fuse. • The Government also spent more than $2 billion on the Manhattan project - a secret effort to build an atomic bomb in response to rumours that the Germans were working on the very same. • As the war progressed, so did the need for workers, eliminating the high unemployment brought on by the Depression. In fact, as the war progressed, the military took 16 million men out of the work force, creating opportunity for women and minorities to obtain employment.
The War at Home: Impact on Minorities • Despite this need for workers, obtaining work in the defence industry was still a challenge for African-Americans of the time. As one executive proclaimed, “The Negro will be considered only as janitors and other similar capacities” • A march on Washington was planned in 1941 to demand jobs for blacks in the defence industry. • Roosevelt, worried about the effects the march would have on civil order, made a deal with organizers, issuing Executive Order 8802 which prohibited discrimination in war industries and government. • With this guarantee of protection more than 1.5 million blacks migrated north to work in factories during the war. • Even though Mexicans also faced discrimination, approximately 200,000 seized the economic opportunities presented by the war, filling primarily agricultural jobs vacated by soldiers.
War At Home : Impact on Women • The labour shortage also provided women with an opportunity to work sectors in which they had never participated in previously. • The government’s War Manpower Commission glorified the invented “Rosie The Riveter”. However heavily, women were recruited to fill the void in the workforce, only 16% of women workers worked in defence plants and only 4.4% of jobs classified as “skilled” were held by women. • Nonetheless more than 6 million women entered the workforce during the war - increasing the number by 57% • Included in that 6 million were 400, 000 African American women who quit their jobs as domestic servants and moved into the industrial sector, enjoying the higher pay and union benefits. • Women in the war effort were very important, even if only 16% worked in factories, as they kept the American economy going and freed other workers for work in the war production factories.
War at Home: Labour • Another impact of the war was the development of such things as workplace childcare, subsidized housing, and healthcare, along side of higher salaries. • These benefits arose out of a need to have workers work ten days for every one off, and night shifts, to meet government war demands. In response to this companies provided workers with benefits to keep workers content in their work. • The Federal Government, wanting to avoid any costly strikes, also mandated a no-strike/no-lockout agreement with labour and management heads. • Roosevelt created a National War Labour Board that also reached a compromise concerning closed (all union labour) and open (non-union labour) shops by making it optional to be in a union but never compulsory. Unions had the option of recruiting as many members as possible. During the war union membership ballooned from 8.5 million to 14.75 million. • Any strikes that came about were quickly put to a stop by the War Labour Disputes (Smith-Connally)Act which gave the president authority to seize and operate any strike-bound plant deemed necessary to national security.
War at Home • Overall the industrial movement in the US during WWII was a great success as American factories turned out 300,000 airplanes, 102,000 armoured vehicles, 77,000 ships, 20 million small arms, 40 billion bullets, and 6 million tons of bombs. • By the war’s end, the United States was producing 40% of the world’s weaponry. • Although the quality of what was produced was not always of premium quality, American industry was able to help shift the balance of power to the allies.
The War at Home: Conservation • Civilians supported the war in many ways including the planting of victory gardens to free up food supplies for the armed forces. • Housewives saved fat from cooking and returned it to butchers, as the fat yielded glycerine for the powder in shells and bullets. • Clothing was re-designed in order to conserve materials for military uniforms and clothing • Scrap metal would be collected for war use - one old shovel blade was enough for four hand grenades. • Many consumer goods were rationed or unavailable at all. • The Office of Price Administration created by Congress in 1942, established a nationwide rationing system for consumer goods such as sugar, coffee and gas. Wool, silk and nylon products were all limited. • A points system was put in place for rationing food, allowing sugar to be used to produce to alcohol for weapons manufacturing and meat for feeding the soldiers.
The War at Home: Propaganda • In 1942 Roosevelt created the Office of War Information- an organisation in charge of homeland propaganda. They hired New York copy writers and Hollywood filmmakers to sell the war at home. • See “Donald Duck and WWII propaganda” clip • Citizens were encouraged by posters and ads to save and scrimp and support the war effort in these ways. • Overall the war was a positive for the average American. Between 1939 and the end of the war, per capita income rose from $691 to $1,515. • Wages and salaries increased more than 130% and inflation was kept in the single digits.
The Cost of the War • The war cost the US $304 Billion. This money was raised not through taxation, but primarily through deficit spending, borrowing money from individuals (in the form of war bonds) and banks. • This drove the national debt from $49 Billion to $259 Billion (this debt was not paid until 1970). • The war time did increase dramatically the number of Americans actually paying income tax and saw the introduction of this tax automatically being taken off of paycheques.
War at Home: Impact of Migration • The rapid influx of migrant workers into cities led to their own problems (migration of Americans from one area of the country to another was epidemic during the war). • Migrants crowded into substandard housing without proper sanitary facilities creating a situation ripe for disease and illness. • Racism also came to the forefront as people from different backgrounds dealt with difficult situations together. • In 1943 almost 250 racial conflicts took place in 47 cities.
Racial Conflict • An example of this was the zoot suit riots in LA. Zoot suits were worn by Mexican American gang members and were seen as a waste of material. • Whites began beating any Mexicans wearing zoot suits and wearing the suits became illegal.
Families in Wartime • Almost 3 million families were broken up during the war. • Between 1940 and 1944 the divorce rate doubled, as the rate of new marriages also went up. Taboos against unwed motherhood remained strong, however, and the percentage of babies born to unmarried women in the United States increased only from .7 percent to 1 percent. • Wartime mobility also increased opportunities for young men and women to explore sexual attraction to members of the same sex and gay communities grew in such cities as San Francisco • The birth rate also rose - many babies being “good-bye” babies - conceived to guarantee that the family would be perpetuated even if the father died in the war. • The war led to a redefinition of the family with men defending the nation and women “keeping the home fires burning”.
Racial Policies in WWII • An Alien Registration Act was passed in 1940 making it unlawful to advocate the overthrow the US government by force or violence or to join any organisation that did so. • During the war the government used this act to intern 14,426 Europeans in Enemy Alien Camps. • In 1942, Roosevelt also ordered all 112,000 foreign born Japanese and Japanese Americans living in California, Oregon, and Washington State, moved to “relocation centers” for the duration of the war. • No individual charges were laid - imprisonment was done solely on the basis of Japanese heritage.
Japanese Internment • Reasons for internment included the fear of a sneak attack on the US mainland, similar to Pearl Harbour, and blatant racism (“the Japanese is an enemy race” quote from General John DeWitt). • Those in economic competition with these Japanese also supported internment. • Japanese nationals were forbidden to gain US citizenship or own property. The relocation order forced Japanese Americans to sell property valued at $500 million for a fraction of its worth. • The camps were bleak and demoralizing - acting more as prison than anything else. • 6000 internees renounced US citizenship and demanded to be sent to Japan • The Supreme Court upheld the decision in Korematsu vs. U.S. • Some Japanese attempted to demonstrate their loyalty. The members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the most decorated unit of its size in WWII. • In 1988, Congress issued a public apology and largely symbolic payment of $20,000 to each of the 60,000 surviving Japanese-American internees.
African Americans and WWII • WWII provided opportunity for focus on racial issues both overseas and at home. • In the US, influential groups such as the NAACP saw the war as an opportunity to “persuade, embarrass, compel and shame our government and our nation…into a more enlightened attitude toward a tenth of its people.” • Their goals included drawing the attention of the American people to the parallels between the racist government policies of Nazi Germany and the United States of the 1940s.
Civil Rights Movement • Following the “Double V” campaign (victory at home and abroad), membership in civil rights groups soared throughout the war with the NAACP itself growing from 40,000 members in 1940 to 450,000 members in 1946. • CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) was also founded in 1942 and stressed a “non-violent direct action” course of protest such as staged sit-ins in segregated restaurants and movie theatres.
African Americans in the Military • Life for African-Americans in the military was a reflection of life in a segregated US. • Despite supposedly fighting a war for democracy, the US military remained strictly segregated. • Strong resistance was given to using blacks as combat troops, the marines refused to accept blacks altogether at the start of the war and the navy assigned blacks only to service positions in which they would rarely interact with non-blacks as equals or superiors.
Military life for Blacks • The military did not see their role as one of social justice- their task was to win a war not to change American racial policies through integrating the Armed forces. • Segregation was such a common part of American life that even donated blood plasma was racially kept separate by the Red Cross during the war. • There was resistance amongst blacks in the war to segregation. An example of this resistance was Lt. Jackie Robinson refusing to move to the back of a military bus and being court-martialed for it.
Military life for Blacks • Despite a policy of segregation African Americans did fight on the front lines and distinguish themselves. (For example one all-black flying unit won eighty Distinguished Flying crosses) • After the war, Blacks called on their wartime service to demand full rights as citizens. • These rights began to be recognized in this period with an example being found in the full veteran benefits given to African American men and women following the war.
The US and the Holocaust • The US was slow to act on behalf of European Jews in need of a place to flee. • As early of 1942 there were public reports of the atrocities taking place against the Jews and other “undesirables”. • Despite this knowledge the US used no military strategies to eliminate the camps or its supply lines and tied up Jewish immigration with extended bureaucratic delays. • “It takes months and months to grant the visa and then it usually applies to a corpse,”- Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. • In 1944 Roosevelt set up the War Refugee Board which helped save 200,000 Jews from death, but this action was seen as “too little, too late”.
Life in the Military • More than 16 million men and 350,000 women served in WWII. • 18% of American families had a father, son or brother in the armed forces. • More than 10 million of the soldiers who served in the war were drafted. • Almost 12% of the US’ total population served in WWII. • Women were given much less a role in the American military than that of the British or Soviet militaries where women were given roles in combat. • The Women Army Corps’ slogan was: “Release a Man for combat”
Life in the Military • Women were given roles such as nurses, in communications offices, as typists and cooks. • However, most American men didn’t serve in combat either, with one-quarter not even leaving the United States. Each American soldier was supported by eight or more support personnel. (Japan’s ration was 1:1) • 1/3 of US military personnel were in clerical positions. These positions went to well-educated men- the vast majority of combat positions were filled by lower-class, lower-educated white men.
Life in the Military • Service was for the duration of the war- there were no “terms”- only death, serious injury or victory brought an end to a soldier’s service. • Combat was an atrocious way of life- fewer than 10% of casualties were caused by bullets- most men were killed or wounded by mortars, bombs or grenades. • Seventy-five thousand American men remained missing in action at the end of the war because their bodies would have blown into bits too small to identify.
Life in the Military • In forty-five months close to 300 000 soldiers died and close to 1 million were wounded. • Although such developments as penicillin, and the use of blood plasma to prevent shock, helped more wounded survive the overall toll on American society was high- both physically and psycologically.