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The United States in the War

The United States in the War

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The United States in the War

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  1. The United States in the War 1941-1945

  2. Wartime Diplomacy • Get Germany First • America’s initial shock and anger were directed at JP • Outraged Americans demanded a strategy designed to first defeat JP and then crush Hitler • FDR realized that Hitler posed the greatest threat to America’s long-term security • If Hitler succeeded in defeating both the SU and GB he could transform Europe into an unconquerable fortress • The U.S. and GB therefore agreed upon a military strategy to defeat Hitler first

  3. Wartime Diplomacy • The Big Three • The Big Three referred to FDR, Churchill, and Stalin • The Big Three first met in Nov 1943 at Tehran, Iran • The meeting confirmed that the U.S. and GB would open a second front by invading FR • The Big Three also reaffirmed their demand for the unconditional surrender of Ger. and IT • The Big Three held their second and final meeting at Yalta in Feb 1945 • Churchill and FDR agreed to a temporary division of Ger. • In return Stalin agreed to join the war against JP 3/mo after the Nazis surrendered

  4. The Home Front • The production miracle • When Stalin met FDR in Tehran, the Soviet dictator offered this admiring toast: “To American production, without which this war would have been lost” • Stalin was right, U.S. industry crushed the Axis powers beneath a weight of weaponry • Prior to WWII, airplanes and ships had been built one at a time • Led by Henry Ford and Henry J. Kaiser, U.S. companies learned how to use assembly line techniques to mass produce these and other weapons • By 1944, round-the-clock shifts were turning out a new bomber every hour and a cargo ship every 17 days • 1940-1945, factories in the U.S. produced a 296,429 warplanes, 5,425 cargo ships, and 102,351 tanks and self-propelled guns

  5. The Home Front • Rosie the Riveter • WWII created new job opportunities for women • As their husbands left to serve in the military about five million additional women joined the nation’s workforce • The popular song “Rosie the Riveter” celebrated the women who worked in factories • Rosie the Riveter soon became more than a nickname for women who performed industrial work • For millions of American women, Rosie was a proud symbol of their patriotism and determination to contribute to the war effort

  6. The Home Front • The African American experience • About one million AAs served in the armed forces during WWII • These black soldiers and sailors continued to serve in segregated units

  7. The Home Front • The African American experience • During the war over one million S blacks moved to industrial cities in the N and W Coast but war industries continued to discriminate against black workers • In 1941 A. Philip Randolph, the head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, organized a March on Washington Movement to protest discrimination • FDR wanted to prevent a highly visible protest march • Supported by Eleanor, FDR issued an executive order banning discrim. in defense industries and gov’t agencies • The order established the Fair Employment Practices Commission to monitor and enforce the directive • AAs were keenly aware of the contradiction between fighting for democracy abroad while enduring racial discrimination at home • Blacks enthusiastically supported a “Double V” campaign to win victory over fascism and victory over discrimination in the U.S. • This new assertive attitude helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s

  8. The Home Front • The zoot suit riots • By the late 1930s about 3 million Mex-Am lived in the U.S. • LA had the highest concentration of Mexicans outside of MX • The pop influx created rising tension between Mex-Am and local authorities • Young Latinos in LA enjoyed a youth culture that included a distinctive zoot suit featuring a long coat and baggy trousers fitted snugly at the ankles

  9. The Home Front • The zoot suit riots • The armed forces’ demand for textiles led to shortages of wool and rayon • The War Production Board then issued ration orders restricting the yardage in clothes • Although the regulation effectively forbade the manufacture of zoot suits, bootleg tailors continued to manufacture the popular garments • Sailors and soldiers stationed in LA resented the baggy zoot suits • They accused Mex-Am youth of being unpatriotic by deliberately flouting the rationing regulations • In 1943, a series of incidents between young Mex-Am and off-duty servicemen escalated into riots that lasted a week

  10. The Home Front • The internment of Japanese Americans • Following the attack on Pearl Harbor frightened and angry Americans displaced their rage against JP to the 110,000 people of JP descent who lived on the West Coast • The army insisted that evacuation was a necessary precaution to prevent Jap-Am from posing a threat to nat’l security • On Feb 19, 1942 FDR issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the military to evacuate all people of JP ancestry from the West Coast • About 110,000 Jap-Am were interred, or kept confined, in 10 detention camps located on desolate lands owned by the fed gov’t

  11. The Home Front • The internment of Japanese Americans • No specific charges were ever filed against the Jap-Am and no evidence of subversion was ever found • Constituted the most serious violation of civil liberties in wartime in U.S. history • Fred Korematsu was a Jap-Am who knowingly violated the internment order • In Korematsu v. United States he argued that Executive Order 9066 deprived Jap-Am of life, liberty, and property without due process of law • In a controversial decision the SC upheld the constitutionality of the gov’ts evacuation policy citing the existence of “the gravest imminent danger to the public safety” • The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 granted reparations to Jap-Am who had been interned by the U.S. gov’t during WWII • The Act granted each surviving internee about $20,000 in compensation

  12. The Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb • The Manhattan Project • On Oct 11, 1939 FDR received a letter from the world famous physicist Albert Einstein explaining the destructive potential of nuclear fusion • Einstein warned that if the U.S. did not act quickly, the Ger. might develop an atomic bomb first • FDR responded by approving the $2 billion top secret Manhattan Project • Nuclear scientists constructed 3 atomic bombs in a laboratory at Los Alamos, NM • The scientists tested the first bomb on July 16, 1945 at a desolate stretch of desert called Alamogordo • The blast created a fireball with a core temperature 3x hotter than the sun

  13. The Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb • The decision to use the atomic bomb • FDR died on April 12, 1945 • 2 weeks later Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson informed President Truman about the new atomic bomb • Truman learned about the Manhattan Project as American forces closed in on the JP home islands • His generals warned that an invasion of JP would be a desperate struggle that would inflict heavy casualties on both U.S. forces and JP civilians • On July 26, 1945 Truman, Churchill, and Stalin issued the Potsdam Declaration calling upon JP to surrender unconditionally or suffer “the utter devastation of the JP homeland” • The JP gov’t ignored the warning as “unworthy of public notice”

  14. The Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb • The decision to use the atomic bomb • President Truman authorized the use of the atomic bomb on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki • At least 4 factors seemed to influence Truman’s decision • Avoid a costly invasion of JP • Shock the JP gov’t into an immediate surrender • End the war before SU could gain any influence over the postwar settlement with JP • Convince Stalin to be more cooperative in formulating postwar plans • The atomic bombs destroyed both Hiroshima and Nagasaki • Aghast at the horrible loss of life, Emperor Hirohito told his war council, “I cannot bear to see my innocent people suffer any longer” • The formal surrender ceremony took place on Sep 2, 1945 on the deck of the U.S. battleship Missouriin Tokyo Bay • WWII was now over, but the atomic age and the Cold War were about to begin

  15. Hiroshima Enola Gay and crew members. Paul Tibbets in the middle.

  16. Little Boy

  17. August 6th • Population: 350,000 • 4.7 square miles of the city were destroyed • 69% of the buildings were destroyed • Another 6-7% damaged • 70,000–80,000 people, or some 30% of the population of Hiroshima were killed immediately • Another 70,000 were injured • Over 90% of the doctors and 93% of the nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured • Some estimates state up to 200,000 had died by 1950, due to cancer and other long-term effects.

  18. Nagasaki The Bockscar and its crew

  19. Fat Man

  20. August 9th • Population: 240,000 • The radius of total destruction was about 1 mile, followed by fires across the northern portion of the city to 2 miles south of the bomb • Immediate deaths range from 40,000 to 75,000 • Total deaths by the end of 1945 may have reached 80,000

  21. Prompt #8 • In what ways did World War II change American society?