Fdr and the shadow of war: 1933-1941 (Chap 34)

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FDR AND THE SHADOW OF WAR: 1933-1941 (Chap 34)

I. London Economic Conference 1933, etc

A. FDR sent message not to concentrate on stabilizing currencies

1. few reforms or trade agreements resulted

B. Dipl recognition of USSR

1. FDR hoped to play off Russia vs Japan

2. possible trade w/USSR would benefit economy

3. conservatives criticized Bolshevik butchers

C. Promised independence for Philippines in 12 yrs (Tydings-McDuffie Act)

1. US kept navy bases

II. Good Neighbor Policy

A. FDR reached out to Latin America in friendship, promised nonintervention

1. troops removed from Haiti

2. Platt amendment removed from Cuban const.

B. Mexico seized US oil properties w/compensation

1. FDR popular on trip to Buenos Aires in 1936

III. Reciprocal Trade Agreements

A. Sec of State Cordell Hull favored low tariffs

1. new law of 1934 allowed lowering of rates w/o approval by Senate

2. Hull negotiated pacts w/21 countries by 1939

B. Attempt to undo damage of Hawley-Smoot tariff

1. led to much free trade after WW II

IV. Isolationism

A. Dictators in power in USSR, Germany, Italy in 1930s

1. Hitler most dangerous: Nazi, nationalistic, totalitarian, bitter vs

Britain and France, anti-communist, anti-Semitic

2. Japan became imperialist, expansionist, militaristic; wanted control

of resources in Asia; defied naval disarmament conference

3. Mussolini wanted to restore glory of Rome; attacked Ethiopia; League

of Nations powerless to act

B. Isolationism in US fed by disillusionment w/WW I

1. laws passed to prevent loaning money to Europe

2. movement to amend const to forbid decl of war by Cong w/o plebiscite

C. Books and Senate (Nye) Committee blamed WW I on munitions makers

and banks

1. people forgot about G subs and aggression

2. intense reaction vs US military and preparedness

D. Neutrality Acts

1. Americans could not trade with or loan $ to belligerent countries

2. Americans could not even travel on a ship of a belligerent country

3. no concern for freedom of the seas

4. US made no distinction between democratic and dictatorial nations,

between victims and aggressors

V. America Dooms Loyalists in Spain(?)

A. Spanish civil war 1936-39, dress rehearsal for WW II

1. Loyalists were popular front of the left, led Republic

2. Rebels were from army, land-owners, fascists led by Franco

3. USSR supported Loyalists, G and I supported Franco

4. US would not trade w/either side

5. some American volunteers went to fight on Loyalist side

6. Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls

B. Franco won civil war, ruled as dictator for over 30 years

VI. Appeasement of Germany and Japan

A. Japan invaded China 1937

1. FDR urged “quarantine” of Japan, repudiated by isolationists

2. J. sank US gunboat Panay in China, but apologized

B. Hitler flouted Treaty of Versailles, rearmed his country

1. invaded Rhineland, 1935

2. began persecution of Jews, took away their citizenship

3. built up army and navy

4. Anschluss w/Austria, 1938, took Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia

5. Munich conference, 9/38: Chamberlain said it was “peace in our time”

6. Hitler took all of Czechoslovakia in March 1939

7. “appeasement” = Munich

C. Hitler-Stalin pact promised non-aggression for G and USSR

1. Aug 1939, western Europeans now worried

2. G. invaded Poland Sept 1939, Russia took the eastern part of P.

3. Br and Fr needed US help, weapons, etc vs G

4. Congress debated, allowed “cash and carry” policy for trade w/Br

5. officially neutral, most Americans began to side w/Br and Fr

D. Fall of France and aftermath

1. USSR attacked Finland

2. Hitler overran Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France

3. Fr surrendered June 1940

4. Br evacuated Dunkirk, saving much of its army

5. Churchill became p.m., inspired his people to resist

6. FDR called on Congress to build planes and ships, $37 billion

7. conscription law passed, troops trained

8. FDR promised defense of L.A., reaffirmation of Monroe Doctrine

VII. Bolstering Britain

A. RAF saved Br in air war (“Battle of Britain”)

1. US supporters of Br formed propaganda groups

2. isolationists joined America First, led by Lindbergh

B. FDR gave Br 50 old US destroyers in return for 8 navy bases from

Newfoundland to Georgetown (Br Guiana)

1. done w/o consulting Congress

2. most knew this violated official neutrality

VIII. FDR ran for 3rd term, 1940

A. Rep’s nom’d Wendell Willkie, IN lawyer and businessman

1. complete political newcomer

2. liberal, but with a few criticisms of New Deal

3. not an isolationist, did not attack FDR’s foreign policies

B. FDR made a promise he couldn’t keep: “Your boys are not going to

be sent into any foreign wars”

1. won 449-82; Dem’s kept control of Congress

2. “Don’t change horses in the middle of a stream”

VIII. Cong passes Lend-Lease Law

A. like loaning a neighbor your garden hose when his house is on fire

1. guns, tanks, etc.

2. “Send guns, not sons”

3. US would be “arsenal of democracy”

4. allies would pay us back when war was over

B. in effect from 1941-1945: $50 billion worth of arms and equipment

1. no more pretense at neutrality

2. Hitler knew US would join war sooner or later

3. G sub sank Robin Moor unarmed US merchant ship May 1941

IX. Hitler’s attack on USSR spawns the Atlantic Charter

A. June 1941 G. invaded USSR, US extended lend-lease to USSR

1. Red Army, Gen. Winter stopped G. advance short of Moscow

2. Atlantic Conf FDR and WC Aug 1941, off coast of Newfoundland

B. Agreement known as Atlantic Charter: goals of Br and Fr

1. freedom of seas, disarmament, self-determination, security

2. similar to 14 points, idealistic

3. condemned by isolationists

C. US destroyers escorted Br ships in convoy to Iceland

1. G. subs attacked US destroyers, including Reuben James

2. Cong voted to arm merchant ships Nov 1941

X. Pearl Harbor

A. Japan trading for US oil, steel, and scrap metal

1. US declared embargo 1941 on such materials to Japan

2. negotiations to demand that Japan leave China

3. Japan would have to attack other Asian nations to get supplies

B. Japan decided to destroy US Pacific fleet to make it easier to control

China, SE Asia, Dutch East Indies

1. FDR and US leaders expected attack on Philippines, not HI

2. attack on Dec 7, 1941 “Day of Infamy” from aircraft carriers

3. 8 US battleships, other ships, many planes destroyed; 2400 Americans


4. 3 US aircraft carriers were out to sea at the time

C. FDR asked Cong for declaration of war, US turned to active support of war

1. even some isolationists turned in favor of war

2. Hitler declared war on US

3. US had no choice but to fight; appeasement did not work

4. dictators believed right makes right; negotiated phony treaties

to lull countries into false sense of security

5. Americans determined to stay firm and fight the dictators

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