Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Chapter 16 WORLD WAR LOOMS & Chapter 17 THE U.S. IN WORLD WAR II.
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Woodrow Wilson had hoped that the Treaty of Versailles would provide a “just and lasting peace,” among the world’s most powerful nations. The peace settlement failed to make the world “safe for democracy” as Woodrow Wilson had hoped. New democratic governments, hurt by economic and social problems, floundered and turned to dictatorships. In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin came to power in 1924. He was a ruthless leader who let nothing stand in his way. Stalin focused on creating a model communist state. He wanted to stamp out private enterprise. He did away with private farms and created collectives, or huge state-owned farms. The state also took over industry. Stalin made the Soviet Union into a leading industrial power. But he also made it into a police state. Anyone who criticized him or his policies was arrested by the secret police. Many were executed. Millions of others died in famines caused by Stalin’s restructuring of Soviet society. It is believed that Stalin was responsible for between 8 and 13 million deaths in the Soviet Union. Stalin created a totalitarian government — a government with complete control over its citizens. Individuals had no rights, and the government put down all opposition.
At the same time, Benito Mussolini was creating a totalitarian state in Italy. His political movement was called fascism. It was based on astrong, centralized government headed by a dictator. Fascism grew out of extreme nationalism. Mussolini, called Il Duce, or the leader, was known for his efficiency in running all aspects of Italian life.
In Germany, another fascist party came to power under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s political philosophy was called Nazism. He hoped to unite all German-speaking people into a new German empire, or Reich. He believed that Germans—especially blond, blue-eyed “Aryans”— were the master race. According to Hitler, Aryans were meant to have power over all “inferior races,” such as Jews and nonwhites. Nazism combined extreme nationalism, racism, and expansionism. It appealed to unemployed, desperate, and resentful Germans during the Great Depression. In the 1932 elections, the Nazi Party gained power. Hitler became chancellor in January 1933. He set up the Third Reich, or third German empire.
In Asia, military leaders had taken over Japan. They believed that Japan needed more land and resources. Japan attacked Manchuria, aprovince of China, in 1931. The League of Nations protested, but Japan left the League and kept Manchuria. The League’s failure to stop Japan made Hitler and Mussolini bolder. In Spain, the fascist general FranciscoFranco led a rebellion to overthrow the elected government. The governments of the Western democracies sent only food and clothing to democratic forces in Spain. Hitler and Mussolini supported Franco with troops and weapons. When Franco won in 1939, Europe had another totalitarian government.
Most Americans wanted the United States to stay out of foreign conflicts. Many people thought that the United States had made a mistake in getting involved in World War I. Anti-war rallies were held. Isolationismbecame more popular.Congress passed the Neutrality Acts. These laws banned loans or arms sale to nations at war.
Laws passed by Congress to ban the sale of arms or loans to nations at war.
Hitler decided that the new living space the German people needed would come from nearby nations. He would annex, or add, Austria and Czechoslovakia. And he was willing to use force to do it. Hitler claimed that the Czechs were mistreating German-speaking people in an area called the Sudetenland. He massed troops on the border. France and Britain promised to defend Czechoslovakia. Their leaders met with Hitler in Munich, Germany. Hitler promised that the Sudetenland would be his “last territorial demand.” France, Britain, and Germany signed the Munich Pact in September 1938. It gave the Sudetenland to Germany. Neville Chamberlain was the British prime minister who signed the Munich Pact. He called it “peace with honor.” Another British leader, Winston Churchill, disagreed. He called the Pactdishonorable appeasement. That means giving up your principles in order to pacify an aggressor. Churchill predicted that appeasement would eventually lead to war.
Then Hitler began to claim that Germans living in Poland were being persecuted. Many people thought Hitler would never attack Poland. They thought he would be afraid that the SovietUnion, on Poland’s eastern border, would then fight Germany. But Germany and the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact, an agreement not to fight each other. In a secret part of this treaty, Hitler and Stalin also agreed to divide Poland between them.
On September 1, 1939, Hitler launched World War II by attacking Poland. The Germans used a new strategy called a blitzkrieg, or lightning war. They used tanks and planes to take the enemy bysurprise and crush them quickly. Poland fell to the Germans in a month. Britain and France declared war on Germany.
Hitler launched surprise invasions of Denmark and Norway. Then he took the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Germany attacked France in May 1940—but not where the Allies expected. It cut off Allied forces in the north. The British sent all kinds of boats, from fishing vessels to yachts, to rescue nearly 340,000 British, French, and other Allied troops safely across the English Channel. Italy joined the war on the side of Germany. The Italians attacked France from the south. France surrendered quickly, in June 1940. Hitler now made plans to invade Britain. He began with air raids over England. The Germans bombed London night after night in August 1940. The British air force (RAF) defended Britain against these attacks. They used a new technology called radar, and shot down hundreds of German planes. This air war was called the Battle of Britain. The new prime minister, Winston Churchill, rallied the spirits of the British people and declared that Britain would never surrender. Hitler gave up the idea of invading Britain.
Hitler’s plan for Germany was to make thecountry racially pure. Hitler began an organizedpersecution of non-Aryans, particularly of Jews. This resulted in the Holocaust — the systematic murder of over 11 million people across Europe. Over half of the murdered people were Jews. Anti-Semitism, or hatred of Jews, had a long history in Germany and in other parts of Europe. Persecution of Jews increased under Hitler. In 1935, new laws took away Jews’ civil rights and their property. Jews were forced to wear yellow stars of David on their clothing.
In 1939, there were only about a quarter of a million Jews left in Germany. But other countries that Hitler occupied had millions more Jews. Hitler’s ultimate goal was to get rid of all of Europe’s Jews. He began implementing the “final solution.” This plan amounted to genocide, thedeliberate and systematic killing of an entire population.
In 1940, Germany, Italy, and Japan signed a mutual defense treaty. They became the Axispowers. The treaty meant that if the United States went to war against any one of them, all three would fight. That would put America at war on twofronts: in Europe and in Asia.
Roosevelt spoke to the American people. He said that the United States could not stand by and let Hitler conquer the world. America would become “the great arsenal of democracy.” Roosevelt suggested lending or leasing arms to any nation “whose defense was vital to the United States.” Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act in March 1941. Germany invaded its former ally, the Soviet Union. The United States gave lendlease support to the Soviets as well as to Britain.
Law that allowed president to give arms to any nation “whose defense was vital to the US.
In August 1941, Roosevelt met secretly with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Roosevelt did not actually commit the United States to war. But he and Churchill did sign the Atlantic Charter. That was a statement of the goals for fighting World War II. These goals included protecting peoples’ rights to choose their own form of government and building a securepeace. Later, 26 nations signed a similar agreement. These nations, called the Allies, were united in fighting Germany, Italy, and Japan.