World War II 1941-1945 American Responses to the Growing Threat of War

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World War II 1941-1945

  1. American Responses to the Growing Threat of War

  1. The Stimson Doctrine, 1932

1. In September 1931, the Japanese invaded and conquered the Chinese province of Manchuria

2. Proclaimed in 1932, the Stimson Doctrine declared that the United States would not recognize any territorial acquisitions achieved by force. Although the United States did not recognize the Japanese occupation, the Hoover administration refrained from taking any military action

3. The failure of the United States and other powers to take any concrete action marked the failure of collective security

B. The Neutrality Acts

1. The Neutrality Acts of 1930s were expressions of a commitment to isolationism.

2. During the 1930s, isolationists drew support for their position from Washington’s Farewell Address.

C. The Lend-Lease Program

1. Under the Lend-Lease program, President Roosevelt authorized the sale of surplus military equipment to the Allies.

2. The Lend-Lease program was used primarily to help Great Britain and the Soviet Union resist Nazi Germany.

  1. The Attack on Pearl Harbor and the Germany-First Strategy

  1. Pearl Harbor

        1. The Japanese war machine was dependent on shipments of oil, aviation gasoline, steel, and scrap iron from the United States. In late 1940, the Roosevelt administration imposed the first of a series of embargoes on Japan-bound supplies. In mid-1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the United States and halted all shipments of gasoline.

        2. The U.S. actions left Japanese leaders with two alternatives: 1) they could give in to American demands that they withdraw from Manchuria of 2) they could thwart the embargo by attacking the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor and then seizing the oil supplies and other raw materials in Southeast Asia.

        3. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred after diplomatic negotiations with the United States had reached a stalemate.

  1. Germany’s First

  1. The Japanese attack unified America. Angry Americans vowed to avenge the treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor.

  2. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States announced a strategy of first defeating Germany and then turning to a full-scale attack on Japan. Although at first unpopular, the get-Germany-first strategy prevailed. The United States could not allow Hitler to defeat Great Britain and the Soviet Union, thus transforming the continent into an unconquerable Fortress Europe.

  1. Diplomacy and the Big Three

  1. Latin America

        1. Based upon the principles of the Good Neighbor Policy, the Roosevelt administration formally renounced the right to intervene in Latin America.

        2. During World War II, the United States sought greater cooperation with the nations of Latin America, primarily to develop a hemispheric common front against fascism.

  1. The Philippine Islands

  1. In response to widespread anti-imperialist sentiments, the United States pledged to grant independence to the Philippine Islands

  2. The Philippines gained independence from the United States in 1946

  1. The Big Three

  1. The Big Three were Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin.

  2. The Big Three demanded the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan

  3. The Big Three held their final meeting at Yalta in February 1945

  4. The Presence of Soviet troops in Poland limited President Roosevelt’s options and the Yalta conference.

  1. Wartime Mobilization of the Economy

  1. Impact of Military Spending

        1. Military spending revived the U.S. economy.

        2. As American industry prepared for war, unemployment plummeted.

        3. The dramatic increase in military spending enabled the United States to finally emerge from the Great Depression

  1. Price Controls

  1. The government instituted direct price controls to halt inflation.

  2. The Office of Price Administration (OPA) established a nationwide rationing system for consumer goods such as coffee and gasoline.

  1. African Americans and Women

  1. African Americans

        1. The war years witnessed a continuing migration of African Americans from the rural South to urban centers in the North and West. Some 1.6 million African Americans left the South.

        2. President Roosevelt issued an executive order forbidding discrimination in the defense industries. The order was monitored by the Fair Employment Practices Commission

  1. Women and the Workplace

  1. “Rosie the Riveter” was a nickname given during World War II to American women who did industrial work in the 1940s.

  2. The war mobilization caused a significant movement of married women into the workforce

  1. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights During Wartime

  1. The Internment of Japanese Americans

        1. In March 1942, President Roosevelt ordered that all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast be removed to “relocation centers” for the duration of the war.

        2. Japanese Americans were sent to the internment camps on the grounds that they were, allegedly, a potential security threat

  1. Korematsu v. United States

  1. The relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II raised the constitutionality of the internment of Japanese Americans as a wartime necessity.

  1. The United States and The Atomic Bomb

  1. The Manhattan Project

        1. President Roosevelt authorized the Manhattan Project.

        2. President Truman authorized the use of the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

        3. The United States was the only country possessing atomic bombs in 1945

  1. Truman’s Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

  1. Continuing to use conventional weapons would result in the loss of thousands of American lives.

  2. Using the atomic bomb would persuade the Japanese to surrender.

  3. Ending the war against Japan as quickly as possible would prevent Soviet intervention

  4. Using the atomic bomb would convince the Soviet Union of the need to be more cooperative in formulating its postwar plans.

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