America at War - Faculty Access for the Web

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Transcript America at War - Faculty Access for the Web

US Enters the Fight
The Road to War
• U.S. remained at peace 1939–1941
• Popular sympathy for Allies, distaste for
Germany and Japan
• Roosevelt openly expressed favor for
Allies, moved cautiously to avoid outcry
from isolationists
From Neutrality to
Undeclared War
• 1939–1941: FDR sought help for England
without actually entering the war
• November, 1939: Belligerents may buy
U.S. goods on “cash and carry” basis
• 1940: German occupation of France
• America First forms to protest drift toward
• White Committee wanted to aid Britain
Neutrality Erodes…
• Neutrality Act of 1939 – allows “cash-and-carry”
• 1940 – Japan, Germany, and Italy announce
alliance of Axis Powers
• $37 billion approved for military build-up
• 9/2/1940 - 50 destroyers for bases swap with UK
• 9/6/1940 - Conscription law approved
FDR v. Wendell Wilkie (1940)
The Election of 1940
OF 1940:
A Slumbering Giant Stirs…
3/1941 – Lend-Lease Act passed
6/1941 –Germany attacks “friend” USSR,
FDR extends Lend-Lease to USSR
Mid-1941 - US freezes Japanese Assets
7/1941 – US Navy accompanies convoys to UK
8/1941 – Atlantic Charter (US, UK -later
G.I. Roundtable Series
From Neutrality to Undeclared
War: Increased Aid to England
• U.S. greatly increased military spending and
began a first-ever peacetime draft
• U.S. ships transported war supplies
• Eventual consensus that a Nazi victory in
Europe would threaten western civilization
• Lend Lease
• U.S. Navy told to shoot submarines on sight
G.I. Roundtable Series
Wartime Partnerships
• U.S.-English alliance cemented by personal
friendship between FDR and Churchill
• Soviet Union unsatisfied with alliance
• Soviet Union often perceives itself alone in
• Wartime tensions persist after victory
Roosevelt and Churchill at Atlantic Charter Meeting, 1941
Roosevelt and Churchill at Atlantic Charter Meeting, 1941
President Franklin D. Roosevelt (left) and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874–
1965) confer on board a ship near Newfoundland during their summit meeting of August, 1941.
During the conference, they signed the Atlantic Charter. Upon his return to Great Britain,
Churchill told his advisers that Roosevelt had promised to "wage war" against Germany and do
"everything" to "force an incident." (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library) Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
First Blood
• Fall 1941 – German U-boats sink 2 US destroyers and
several merchant ships
• US arms its merchant ships
• Fall 1941 – US cuts off oil to Japan after Japan invades
French Indochina
• 11/1941 - Hideki Tojo prepares Japan for war with US
• US knows Japan will strike, but not where
• 12/7/1941 – Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor
• 12/11/1941 – Italy and Germany declare war on US
Showdown in the Pacific
• 1937: Japanese occupation of coastal China
• U.S. limited exports to Japan of strategic
• 1940: Japan allied with Germany, Italy
• Japanese invasion of Indochina prompted
U.S. to end all trade
Showdown in the Pacific:
1941: U.S.–Japanese negotiations
• Japan’s demands
Free hand in China
Restoration of normal trade relations
• U.S. demanded Japanese troops out of China
• December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor attacked
• December 8: War declared
He CAN'T Forget Pearl Harbor--Can You?
He CAN'T Forget Pearl Harbor--Can
This World War II poster encourages
support for the U.S. war effort by
pointing to one soldier's disabilities that
resulted from Japan's attack on Pearl
Harbor. (Library of Congress)
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The U.S.S. West Virginia, Pearl Harbor
The U.S.S. West Virginia, Pearl Harbor
The stricken U.S.S. West Virginia was one of the eight battleships caught in the
surprise Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i, on December 7, 1941. In this
photograph, sailors on a launch attempt to rescue a crew member from the water as
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
oil burns around the sinking ship. (U.S. Army)
Site: Pearl Harbor Remembered
America at War: 1941-1945
1. Attack Germany first: save USSR and UK
2. Attack Japan second: give ground in Pacific
PROBLEM: Will America arm itself (and its
Allies) in time?
CONCERN: Were totalitarian warriors better than
Turning the Tide
Against the Axis
• December, 1941: Axis on the offensive
• 1942–1943: U.S., England, Russia fought to
seize the initiative
• 1944–1945: Offensive to crush Axis