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America Moves Toward War

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  1. America Moves Toward War Mr. White’s US History 2

  2. Big Questions • As we discuss the steps the United States took to help its allies before going to war, think about the following: • Did the United States abandon its neutrality too late? Should the United States have done more to help its allies in the early stages of the war, or did FDR make the right decisions? • How did the sacrifices of the people of the United States help the war effort? Would you have been willing to make these sacrifices to help the United States? • What was the impact of racism on the United States’ war effort?

  3. The United States Musters Its Forces • President Roosevelt thought that the United States would eventually be involved in World War II, and so he took measures to prepare the United States • His decisions were controversial, but they did prepare the US for what was to come

  4. Early Steps • Cash-and-carry – US would sell weapons to England and France, as long as they paid for them up front and transported them in their own ships • Peacetime draft – Draft was used to enlarge the army, but these men could only serve in the western hemisphere • Third term – Roosevelt was elected President for a third straight term to keep the same president through the crisis

  5. The Axis Powers • Hitler, Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo formed a defensive alliance with each other • This alliance would be known as the Axis Powers • This alliance was formed to discourage the United States from entering the war; if US attacked any of them, the rest would come to help

  6. The Great Arsenal of Democracy • President Roosevelt thought that if the Great Britain fell to the Axis, the United States would not be safe • Decided to help Britain by becoming the “great arsenal of democracy” • Lend-lease agreement – US would lend war materiel to any country whose defense was important to protecting the US – Great Britain, Soviet Union, and eventually China

  7. Hitler Invades the Soviet Union • In June 1941, Hitler broke his non-aggression pact with Soviet Union and invaded it • Soon Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin will all be allies – Allied Powers

  8. Japanese Ambitions in the Pacific Ocean • Japanese started by invading China (Manchuria) and then started going after European colonies in Asia – Europeans busy fighting Hitler • Only United States lay in the way of Japan’s ambitions • US protested Japanese invasions – US cut off trade with Japan, including oil • If Japan couldn’t re-establish the flow of oil to its country, then they would lose the war without ever being defeated in battle

  9. War Is Coming… • Hideki Tojo promised to Japanese emperor that Japan would avoid war with United States if possible • November 5, 1941 – Tojo orders Japanese navy to prepare for an attack on the United States • US broke Japanese codes and was reading their messages • December 6, 1941 – US intercepts message to Japanese peace envoy to reject all American peace proposals • FDR – “This means war.”

  10. Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor • Pearl Harbor was largest US naval base in the Pacific Ocean • Early on December 7th, 1941, over 180 Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor • Pearl Harbor caught completely by surprise; not ready for the attack

  11. The Damage • In less than 2 hours, Japanese killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 • Sunk or damaged 21 ships, including 8 battleships (considered the most important ships in the fleet) • 300 aircraft severely damaged or destroyed • Luckily, at the time of the attack, 3 aircraft carriers were not in Pearl Harbor; these would be important as the war with the Japanese went on

  12. Reaction to Pearl Harbor • President Roosevelt hadn’t wanted to fight this war on two fronts; saw Germany as the greater threat, but now had to fight Japan, as well • Roosevelt, in a famous speech, asked Congress to declare war against Japan; Congress quickly did so • Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States • Very few people now saw isolationism as the answer; felt that the United States needed to go all-out to defeat the Japanese

  13. Americans Join the War Effort • Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, men began showing up to volunteer • Over 5 million would volunteer over the course of the war • Over 10 million others would be drafted using the Selective Service Act

  14. You’re in the army now… • After volunteering or being drafted, new recruits would enter basic training • Goal of basic training was to take an untrained recruit and make them into a soldier • Men would learn how to use their weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and other knowledge they would need in combat

  15. Women Join The Effort • Women couldn’t serve in combat roles, but could help in other ways • US0 – held dances, entertainment, social gatherings, showed movies • WAC – Women’s Army Corps; these women filled non-combat jobs such as office workers, etc., to free up men who could be in combat

  16. Discrimination in Recruiting • Black troops – Over 1 million served, but weren’t allowed to serve in combat roles until last year of the war • Over 300,000 Mexican Americans joined armed forces • Asian Americans, including many Japanese Americans, volunteered as well • Over 25,000 Native Americans served, some of whom were “code-talkers” that were used to keep Japanese from breaking code

  17. Industry Shifts to War Production • Industries quickly shifted over to war production after Pearl Harbor • Automobile production completely stopped; all auto factories turned to war production • Factories were putting out as many as one bomber every hour; some shipyards were putting out one cargo ship every four days

  18. Women in the Workforce • Of the 18 million people employed in defense industries by the end of the war, over 6 million were women • At first, people were reluctant to hire women; didn’t think they could handle factory work • However, women became widely sought after, since they worked for less money than men

  19. Scientists and the Manhattan Project • President Roosevelt created the Office of Scientific Research and Development to research new technologies • Radar • Sonar • Penicillin • Most significant achievement was developing the atomic bomb • Albert Einstein helped design this weapon that would help win the war

  20. The Federal Government Takes Control • Fewer consumer products were available as the war went on; most production was for the war • Prices started to creep upwards because of low supply • Federal government stepped in; froze prices on most consumer goods

  21. War Bonds • Americans were encouraged to purchase war bonds • War bonds were loans bought by citizens • Government got money to support the war, and Americans would get paid back that money with interest after the war

  22. War Goods Drives • War Production Board planned drives for many goods needed in the war – scrap iron, tin cans, paper, rags, and cooking fat • Children were sent out scouring for these materials

  23. Rationing • The federal government began to restrict the amounts of certain goods that people could buy • Ration books were issued, with coupons that allowed families to buy certain goods, but limited how much they could buy • Meat, shoes, sugar, coffee, and gasoline were rationed • Gas rationing was particularly hard on some people • This was used to free up materials for the war effort