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FDR and the Shadow of War The epidemic of world lawlessness is spreading. When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of disease…There must be positive endeavors to preserve peace. FDR 1937 The London Economic Conference • Roosevelt’s willing to be an isolationist if it would help the domestic economy. • LEC purpose- international coordinated attack on global depression (stabilize values of nation’s currencies) • FDR pulls out- because agreeing to stabilize currencies could affect the dollar, could be sacrificing US recovery for international cooperation • US pull out results in- global trend of nationalism, which further hurts international trade. Freedom for the Filipinos • Global depression slows down US imperialism • Tydings-McDuffie Act in 1934-Provided for the independence of the Philippines after a twelve- year period of economic tutelage. – Gave up army bases, but keep Naval bases • Imperialistic Japan rejoices Recognition of Russia • US recognizes Bolshevik regime, despite protests from anti communists factions and Roman Catholic factions. • Why was this done? – 1. Trade – 2.? Becoming a Good Neighbor • US and Latin America • In 1933, FDR renounced armed intervention in Latin America at the Seventh Pan-American Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the following year, U.S. marines left Haiti. • Mexico seizes US oil companies- FDR bargains with them rather than send military • Good Neighbor policy is huge success Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (1934) • Sec of State. Cordell Hull • Trade is a two way street • This act whittled down the most objectionable schedules of the Hawley-Smoot law by amending them, lowering rates by as much as half, provided that the other country would do the same toward the United States. • President had authority without consulting Congress. • Reverse high tariff policy in place since ACW • Paves way for Free trade movement (post WWII Rise of Dictators • Europe is in ruins, the state becomes more important then the individual • USSR- Joseph Stalin • Italy- Benito Mussolini • Germany- Adolf Hitler • AH biggest threat- best speaker, “big lie” • Rome Berlin Axis 1936- Germany and Italy are allies • Japan also a big threat- quit L of N in 1935 • 1936 BM attack Ethiopia, L of N fails to intervene American Isolationism • Why didn’t America Act? – Distracted by the depression – Vividly recall the losses of WWI – feel safe behind the protection of two oceans, – largely believed that what happened in the rest of the world didn’t effect them. • Rise of fascists increased desire to avoid entanglement • The 1934 Johnson Debt Default Act forbade any countries that still owed the U.S. money from borrowing any more cash. Congress Legislates Neutrality • WW 1- Nye Commission blames US bankers and arms dealers for problems • Congress passes Neutrality Acts in 1935, 36 and 37 • Which stated that when the president proclaimed the existence of a foreign war, certain restrictions would automatically go into effect: no American could legally sail on a belligerent ship or sell or transport munitions to a belligerent, or make loans to a belligerent. American Dooms Loyalist Spain • Spanish Civil War similar to bleeding Kansas • Republican Government (Backed by Russia) vs. Francisco Franco (Backed by Germ and Italy) • Abraham Lincoln Brigade- American volunteers fighting against Franco • NA’s = arms embargo • US forces aren’t strong enough to deter aggressors- WHY? Appeasement: Japan • 1937- Japan attacks China – (Rape of Nanking) • US avoids calling it a declared war • 1937- FDR Quarantine Speech • Goes over terribly in US • 1937- American ship Panay shot down by Japan- Japan apologizes and pays money (think about the Maine) Appeasement: Germany • 1935 breaches Versailles treaty by reintroducing the draft. • 1936 marches troops into the demilitarized Rhineland • Hitler begins to persecute and discriminate against the Jews. • 1937 starts building the military at an aggressive pace, • March 1938 Hitler marches without resistance into Austria • Hitler then begins making demands for the Sudetenland Appeasement: Germany Munich Conference 1938 • Allies desperate to avoid war. • Democracies have no real leverage. Appeasement • Germany gets Sudetenland, promises not to take over any more lands • 6 months later, Hitler takes the rest of Czechoslovakia • Appeasement is a failure • Neville Chamberlain: “Peace in our time” British PM Hitler's Belligerency and US Neutrality • Hitler Stalin Pact- Rus and Germany are allies • Surprised World- ppl thought only thing from preventing more German expansion was the threat of Russia (two front war) • Hitler now wants Poland • In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, and France and Britain finally declared war against Germany, but America refused to enter the war, its citizens not wanting to be “suckers” again. The Neutrality Act of 1939 • Knows that European democracies are woefully unprepared and will not win on their own. • Wants to lift the arms-sale restrictions entirely. • But, knows that neither the nation nor Congress is ready for that. • European nations to buy war materials, but only on a “cash-and-carry” basis, which meant Europeans had to provide their own ships and pay for the arms in cash. (Favors France and GB because they control the Atlantic) • Huge boost to US economy- ( WWII will end the Great Depression, not the New Deals) Hitler Takes over Europe • April 1940 Hitler attacks Denmark and Norway. • May attacks Netherlands and Belgium, then France. • June 1940 France is forced to surrender Miracle of Dunkirk • Very significant because saves a huge chunk of British army. • US is shocked by quick fall of France • Now England is the only constitutional government in Europe • If Germany takes England, manufacturing power and naval will be un stoppable The US begins to Arm • FDR calls for building of huge air fleet and a two-ocean navy that would check both Germany and Japan. • Congress approves 37 Billion – More than the cost of WWI and 5-times larger than any annual budget for New Deal. • Congress passes a conscription law, Sept. 1940. – America’s first peace-time draft. • Havana Conference 1940- Newly conquered European states leave colonies in South America in trouble- US promises to uphold Monroe Doctrine Refugees from the Holocaust • Nazis promote Anti- Semitism • Kristallnacht- night of broken glass- basically the start of concentration camps • 1939- Ship St. Louis- has Jewish Refugees- denied entrance to Cuba, than go to US, denied there because of strict immigration laws and opposition from Southern Democrats Refugees from the Holocaust • 1942- US becomes aware of genocide • War Refugee Board- saves Hungarian Jews • 150,000 German and Austrian Jews find refuge in US Bolstering Britain • US starting to question neutrality • Battle of Britain- England defends British Isle, Hitler postpones invasion • Radio broadcasts from England- help change public sentiment • The big question- assume “fortress America” and take defensive position or aid Britain by all means short of war Bolstering Britain • Advocates for aid – Committee to Defend America by Aiding Allies – Appeal to both sides – “Britain is Fighting our Fight” and “ All methods short of war” • Isolationists – America 1st Committee – “England will fight to the Last American – Build up our defense only – Charles Lindbergh big spokesman Destroyer Deal • Britain was in dire need for destroyers, and on September 2, 1940, FDR boldly moved to transfer 50 old-model, four- funnel destroyers left over from WWI, and in return, the British promised to give the U.S. eight valuable defensive base sites stretching from Newfoundland to South America. • These would stay in American ownership for 99 years. • Caused some controversy, but FDR is sick of isolationism Shattering the 2 term tradition • Republicans select surprise candidate Wendell Willkie – magnetic personality • Platform- condemn dictatorship of FDR and costly confusing zig zags of New Deal • “The rich man’s Roosevelt” Shattering the 2 term tradition • FDR announces he will run for third term, wanted to retire, but awful situation required his experience • “Better a third term than a third rater” Election of 1940 • Both promise to say out of war, and strengthen nations defenses • Willkie could have made us divide much worse, but instead doesn’t attack FDR’s intervention, only his tactics • The US wants experience, not a rookie Lend Lease Law • “If your neighbor’s house is on fire, you don’t sell him a hose, you give it to him. Then, you take it back after the fire is out. This helps your neighbor and makes sure the fire doesn’t spread to your house.” Lend Lease Law • Brits are low on money • Roosevelt didn’t want all the hassles that came with calling back debts, so he came up with the idea of a lend-lease program in which the arms and ships, etc. that the U.S. lent to the nations that needed them would be returned when they were no longer needed. • The lend-lease bill was argued over heatedly in Congress, but it passed, and by war’s end, America had sent about $50 billion worth of arms and equipment. • Before, German submarines had avoided attacking U.S. ships, but after the passage, they started to fire upon U.S. ships as well, such as the May 21, 1941 torpedoing of the Robin Moor Joy for the Allies • 1940 France falls, 1941 Hitler attacks Russia • World is happy, hopes the two will kill each other off • US starts sending money to the Reds Atlantic Conference 1941 • The Atlantic Charter- US and England accept, USSR endorses it a year later • Similar to Wilson’s 14 points – Pledges that countries will not have borders changed – Self determination and return to pre-war governments – League of nations type organization. U.S. Destroyers And Hitler’s U-boats • 1941- FDR states that the navy will escort lend lease shipments to Iceland, British would have to pick them up from there • Clashes with Subs— – 9/41—Greer attacked without damage – 10/41—Kearny attacked but not sunk – 10/41—Reuben James sunk with loss of more than 100. • Congress pulls Neutrality legislation and authorizes the arming of Merchant ships. The US and Japan Japan is heavily dependent on US steel, oil, gasoline and other war supplies. If US cuts them off, Japan is toast. 1940 US does impose sanctions. 1941 freeze Japanese assets and ends all oil shipments. US has broken code and knows that Japan plans to attack somewhere. Warnings from US to Pearl Harbor are late in arriving. The US and Japan • Dec 7 1941- “A day which will live in infamy” • Surprise attack on pearl harbor – 8 battleships, most of aircraft, 3000 casualties. – But, three US carriers were out to sea and were spared. – Japanese failed to destroy repair facilities, allowing US to stay at Pearl and repair the fleet. Big mistake. • Japan and Germany are allies— Germany and Italy then declare war on US. U.S. declares war on Germany. We are in.
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