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The World Between the Wars 1921-1941
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The World Between the Wars 1921-1941

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  1. The World Between the Wars1921-1941

  2. How involved does the US want to be? • Isolationism – myth or reality • Interventionism – disarmament & negotiation • The men who would make policy:

  3. The pursuit of “independent internationalism” • War between US & Germany ends 1921 • Naval rankings: Great Brit., US, Japan • Washington Disarmament Conference, 1921 • “Hughes sank in 35 minutes more ships than all the admirals of the world have sunk in centuries”

  4. Five Power Treaty • A battleship ratio was achieved through this ratio:US Britain Japan France Italy 5 5 3 1.67 1.67 • Japan got a guarantee that the US and Britain would stop fortifying their Far East territories [including the Philippines]. • Loophole  no restrictions on small warships • Nine-Power Pact—a polite endorsement of the Open Door in China • Four-Power Act—abolished the Anglo-Japanese Alliance

  5. European Debts to the US

  6. Hyper-Inflation in Germany: 1923

  7. Dawes Plan (1924) • The problem of Germany • In 1923 Germany could no longer pay reparations • Hughes sponsored a meeting to deal with the crisis • The result was the Dawes Plan—Germany’s reparations payments were reduced, Germany was loaned $200 million • The limited initial commitment quickly mushroomed into a massive and ongoing obligation to keep the system working • War debts and loans could be used as diplomatic “tools”– in Europe and elsewhere

  8. Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) • 15 nations dedicated to outlawing aggression and war as tools of foreign policy. • 62 nations signed. • Problems no means of actual enforcement and gave Americans a false sense of security.

  9. Economic expansion in Latin America—our sphere of influence • The US military maintained a presence in many Latin American countries such as Haiti • US investments in Latin American doubled between 1924 and 1929 • Latin Americans had difficulty repaying the loans in the face of the US tariff barrier • Hoover and the world crisis—Latin America • Hoover’s goodwill tour • Removal of troops from Haiti • Repudiation of the Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

  10. Hoover and the world crisis—Europe • Hoover refused to cancel war debts • Instead the Hoover administration focused on disarmament • World Disarmament Conference 1932 resulted in frustration • European countries were worried about Germany and Italy

  11. Italy • Benito Mussolini and the rise of the Fascist Party • By the 1930s the regime became increasingly militaristic and nationalistic

  12. Germany • The rise of the Nazi Party • By the late 1920s the Weimar Republic had lost the support of the German people • Adolf Hitler swept into power by 1933 • He believed in the superiority of the Aryan race • He was committed to Lebensraum (Living Space) • He was pathologically anti-Semitic • He was passionately militaristic

  13. Japan • Coup & invade Manchuria (1931) • Militarists expand into China (1932) • China looking for outside help • Japan violates Kellogg Briand & leaves the League. • Hoover wanted no part in an American military action in the Far East.

  14. Failure of America’s Diplomacy in the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover years • Based on voluntary cooperation instead of military or economic actions • FDR’s departure from preceding policies • Ends circular system of repayment through loans • Rejected currency stabilization agreement@World Econ. Conference • Law forbidding Amer. banks from loaning to defaulting nations • w/in months war repayments stop for good (except Finland)

  15. FDR Recognizes the Soviet Union (late 1933) • FDR felt that recognizing Moscow might bolster US economy - trade with the USSR • Moscow hoping relations with US might ward off Japanese incursions in the southeast • Pretty much a distrustful strained relationship as neither side really got what it wanted

  16. Uniting the Western Hemisphere. • The Good Neighbor Policy • FDR was critical of American intervention in Latin America during the 1920s. • Because of prior American actions, Latin Americans distrusted his sentiments. • This strategy will continue to develop during war • Inter-American Conference (Montevideo-1933) • the United States accepted the principle of establishing inter-American relations on the principle of non-interference, which much improved hemispheric relations • US using econ. influence in region rather than military threats

  17. FDR's goals. • Halt Europe's drift to war • If war happens – keep US out of direct involvement • World disarmament would accomplish first goal, but Congress resistant to giving FDR right to selectively embargo belligerents and, more importantly, Hitler's desire to rearm Germany and Japanese cancellation of its adherence to the Washington Naval Treaty make war likely

  18. Relations with Great Britain and the Soviet Union • Collapse in disarmament accompanied by deterioration in American relations w/leading anti-Hitler powers, particularly Britain who toyed with the idea of a Japanese alliance (scuttled by extravagant Japanese rearmament demands). • Relations with the Soviet Union, renormalized in 1933, floundered over issues of the Comintern and Russian debts & treatment of American diplomatic personnel in SU

  19. Nye Committee Hearings (1934-1936) • The Nye Committee Iinvestigated idea WW I was needless & US entered so munitions owners could make big profits [“merchants of death.”] • The Committee did charge that bankers (House of Morgan)wanted war to protect their loans & arms manufacturers to make money. • Claimed that Wilson had provoked Germany by sailing in to warring nations’ waters. • Used influence on public sentiment to block FDR’s desire to join world court & move toward increasingly isolationist politics

  20. Neutrality Acts: 1935, 1936, 1937 • When the President proclaimed the existence of a foreign war, certain restrictions would automatically go into effect: • Prohibited sales of arms to belligerent nations. • Prohibited loans and credits to belligerent nations. • Forbade Americans to travel on vessels of nations at war • Non-military goods must be purchased on a “cash-and-carry” basis  pay when goods are picked up. (in response to arguments that true neutrality was aiding nondemocratic forces – helped GB & Japan because of their merchant marine & hurt Germany & China) • Banned involvement in the Spanish Civil War. • Essentially banning all the “things” that dragged US into WWI

  21. The Quarantine Speech (October 1937) • Roosevelt warned of the threat to US security by Nazi expansion &Japanese aggression in China. • He compared them to an epidemic & urged they be "quarantined" from international community. • Probable purposes of the speech • alert American people to the dangers of the international situation • Explore the readiness of the American people to support some form of boycott against the aggressors--whether moral, diplomatic, or economic. • Reaction to the Quarantine Speech • Overseas: British reaction was positive • Mixed domestic reaction -vociferous & organized condemnation from isolationists - recession & hatred of war outweighed hatred of dictators among Americans

  22. Panay Incident (1937) • Japan bombed USS Panay gunboat & threeStandard Oil tankers onthe Yangtze River. • river was an international waterway • Japan apologized, paid US an indemnity, and promised no further attacks. • Most Americans were satisfied with the apology • Showed American public commitment to avoiding war

  23. Fascist Aggression • 1935: Hitler denounced the Versailles Treaty & the League of Nations [re-arming!]Mussolini attacks Ethiopia. • 1936: German troops sent into the Rhineland. Fascist forces sent to fight with Franco in Spain. • 1938: Austrian Anschluss. Rome-Berlin Tokyo Pact [AXIS] Munich Agreement  APPEASEMENT • 1939: German troops march into the rest of Czechoslovakia. Hitler-Stalin Non-Aggression Pact. • September 1, 1939: German troops march into Poland  blitzkrieg  WW II begins

  24. 1939 Neutrality Act • In response to Germany’s invasion of Poland. • FDR persuades Congress in special session to allow the US to aid European democracies in a limited way: • The US could sell weapons to the European democracies on a “cash-and-carry” basis – Neutrality ‘37. • FDR was authorized to proclaim danger zones which US ships and citizens could not enter. • Results of the 1939 Neutrality Act: • Aggressors could not send ships to buy US munitions. • The US economy improved as European demands for war goods helped bring the country out of the 1937-38 recession. • America becomes the “Arsenal of Democracy.”

  25. “America First” Committee • On September 4, 1940, a group of prominent American Patriots formed an organization known as the America First Committee • Dedicated to the simple proposition that neither private financial interests, nor foreign governmental influences should come before the welfare of America. • The struggle was to prevent America from being dragged into another war for another nation's benefit, that of Great Britain.

  26. The Election of 1940 • The Third Term • Republicans: despite basically isolationist sentiment nominated an internationalist candidate, Wendell Willkie. • With no heir apparent in the wings (either by happenstance or design), New Deal Democrats defeated opposition led by Vice-President Garner to block a third nomination for FDR (Henry A. Wallace was chosen to replace the "treasonous" Garner). • Wilkie tries to paint FDR as leading us to war (WW didn’t come out against Selective Service Act,Aug. ’40) • Popular vote: 54.8% FDR 44.8% WW • “Four Freedoms” inaugural address

  27. War is Progressing Blitzkrieg Poland, 1940Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940France Surrenders, 1940Hitler Tours Paris, 1940Battle of Britain, 1940The Siege of Leningrad 1941

  28. The Lend-Lease Act • Cash and Carry was nearing the limits of its effectiveness in 1940, because British dollar reserves were nearing exhaustion and the effectiveness of the German submarine campaign against the British • In response, FDR proposed "Lend-Lease" in January 1941. The measure authorized the President to sell, transfer, exchange, lend, lease, or otherwise dispose of war equipment or other material to foreign governments whose defense the president deemed vital to American national security • The proposal brought a bitter isolationist response, but Congress still passed the bill in March 1941

  29. “Lend-Lease” Act (1941) • Great Britain.........................$31 billionSoviet Union...........................$11 billionFrance......................................$ 3 billionChina.......................................$1.5 billionOther European.................$500 millionSouth America...................$400 millionThe amount totaled: $48,601,365,000

  30. Consequences. • Lend-Lease committed the United States economically to the defense of Great Britain, but also a naval commitment to insure the safe arrival of supplies. • FDR sent American forces to Greenland and Iceland to bolster the North Atlantic lifeline and strengthen Western Hemisphere defenses. • FDR's sentiment that Britain still might defeat the Nazis without American military intervention and lack of preparedness dictated his course

  31. Tripartite Pact, September 1940 • Loose defensive alliance • Emboldened Japanese aggression • Kurusu, Ciano, Hitler

  32. Atlantic Charter, August 1941 • No military commitment • “common principles” for “a better future for the world” • Right of determination • Access to raw materials & trade • Economic cooperation • “final destruction of Nazi tyranny” • disarmament

  33. Road to war • President Roosevelt had banned all exports of scrap iron, steel and oil to Japan. The reason for the embargo was the Japanese invasion of China. • Japan had lost more than 90% of its oil supply. This crippled their economy and military. • The belief that Western powers were hostile to Japan. • The United States wanted Japan to withdraw from Indo-China. • The US opposed Japanese expansion and Japan’s demands were not being achieved by diplomacy. • The Japanese were keen on expanding their empire and had to make a decision between surrendering or going to war with the United States. • They wanted the US to acquiesce to their expansion into Asia.

  34. Pearl Harbor – Dec. 7, 1941

  35. Pearl Harbor from cockpit of Japanese plane

  36. FDR Signs the War Declaration December 7th, a date that will live in infamy