American Neutrality, 1920-1941
Roots of Neutrality: Isolationism
• Disillusionment w/ WWI
• Disillusionment w/ League of
Nations
• Disclosure of War
Profiteering
– Nye Committee, 1933
– US entry blamed on munitions
industry!
– Influenced Neutrality Acts
• Belief in geographic
protection
• Primary concern was
economics
American Isolation, Post WW I
• Belief that US involvement in
WWI was a horrible mistake
• Efforts by US to avoid future
involvement
– Peace societies (conservative
and radical)
– Washington Naval Conference,
1922
– Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928
(outlawed war!)
– Recognition of USSR, 1933
– Good Neighbor Policy (shift
away from direct intervention
in Latin America), 1933
American Isolation, Post WWI
• Events of early 1930s
showed America the
agreements wouldn’t work
– Japanese invade Manchuria,
1931
– Hitler announced Germany’s
rearmament, 1935
– Italian invasion of Ethiopia,
1935
– Spanish Civil War, 1936
– Rhineland militarized, 1936
– Axis military Pact, 1936
– Japan-China clash, 1937
(WWII began in Asia)
Totalitarianism v. Democracy
Totalitarianism’s
basic ideals
•
•
•
•
Individual serves the state
State is supreme
State grants rights
Militarism, force rule
Major totalitarian rulers
–
–
–
–
–
Adolf Hitler (Germany)
Benito Mussolini (Italy)
Josef Stalin (USSR)
Francisco Franco (Spain)
Hideki Tojo (Japan)
Democracy’s
basic ideals
•
•
•
•
State serves the individual
People are supreme
People have rights
Emphasis on debate
Major Democratic leaders
– FDR (USA)
– Neville Chamberlain (UK)
– Eduard Daladier (France)
American Isolation in Action, Post
WWI
• American reaction
– Johnson Debt Default Act (no
loans to WWI defaulters)
– Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936,
1937: Together, provided that
if President said a foreign war
was taking place, no sailing,
sales, transportation of goods,
or loans to any belligerent
(would have kept US out of
WWI)
– FDR: “Quarantine” speech,
1937 (called for economic
quarantine of aggressors v
isolationism)
Appeasement
• Policy of European countries,
towards threats to peace,
despite strength of allied
armies – why???
– Anschluss (Austria) 1938
– Hitler demanded
Sudentenland
(Czechoslovakia), 1938
– Munich Pact, Sept. 1938
•
•
•
•
•
Neville Chamberlain (UK)
Eduard Daladier (France)
Hitler (Germany)
Mussolini (Italy)
“Peace in our time!”
US Response to Appeasement
• Buenos Aires Conference,
1936 (threat to one
country in Western
Hemisphere a threat to all)
• Canada was brought under
Monroe Doctrine, 1938
• Declaration of Lima, 1938:
American nations agreed
on common action, in crisis
European War, 1939
• Hitler took rest of Czech,
March 1939
• Italy attacked Albania, April
1939
• Germany & USSR sign NonAggression Pact, Aug. 1939
• Poland attacked by
Germans, Soviets Sept. 1,
1939
American Response
• Neutrality Act of 1939
– “Cash & carry” on munitions,
for Allies (FDR influenced)
– Germany designated as the
aggressor
• Declaration of Panama, Oct.
1939
– 300 mile “safety zone”
declared around Western
Hemisphere nations
• Smith Act, 1940
– Illegal to advocate overthrow
of US government
• Draft reinstated, Sept. 1940
Lend-Lease
• US program to supply allies with
war supplies, from March 1941
to 1945
– US shipped a total of $50.1 billion
(almost $700 billion, in 2007
dollars) to Britain, USSR, France,
China
– In return, US received about $7.8
billion (about $100 billion in 2007
dollars) worth of military bases in
Newfoundland, Caribbean
• US received no other repayment
- & did not seek any repayment
America’s Entry into the War
• July 1941: Japan seized IndoChina
• July 1941: America froze
Japanese assets, established
embargo on oil, gas, etc.
• Nov. 1941: Japanese peace
mission
• Dec. 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor
attacked (2,896 casualties,
over 2100 deaths; 8 BB sunk
or heavily damaged)
• War declared on Dec. 8,
retroactive to Dec. 7