FDR and the Shadow of War
London Economic Conference
 66 nations meet. Purpose and primary goal
 Roosevelt pulls out. Why?
 Results:
 World depression gets worse and everyone pursues their
own policies.
 Leads to an increase in nationalism.
 Reduces chances for international cooperation on other
FDR’s Foreign Policy
 Increased isolationism
 Withdrew from Asia
 Tydings-McDuffie Act – independence of the
 1933 – recognized the Soviet Union
“Good Neighbor Policy”
 Renounced armed intervention in Latin America.
 Marines left Haiti in 1934;
 Cuba, under the Platt Amendment, was released from
American control
 Mexican government seized American oil properties
in 1938,
 FDR held to his unarmed intervention policy and a
settlement was worked out in 1941
Dictators: Joseph Stalin
 1922: Control of Communist USSR
Dictators: Benito Mussolini
 1922: Italy
Dictators: Adolf Hitler
 Nazi Party (Germany) – 1921
 Rome-Berlin Axis (1936)
Isolationism: Dr. Seuss
Neutrality Acts
 1935, 1936, 1937
 No American could legally sail on a belligerent ship,
sell or transport munitions to a belligerent, or make
loans to a belligerent.
 Provoked agression
Japan invades China
 In 1937, the Japanese militarists touched off an
explosion that led to the all-out invasion of China.
 President Roosevelt refused to call the "China incident"
an officially declared war.
 The Japanese, as a result, were able to continue to buy
war supplies in the United States.
 In 1937, Japanese planes sunk an American gunboat,
the Panay.
 Tokyo was quick to make apologies and the United
States accepted.
Hitler’s violation of the Treaty of
 1935 - mandatory military service in Germany. I
 1936 - took over the demilitarized German Rhineland.
 In March 1938, Hitler invaded Austria.
 (Note: Austria actually voted for the occupation, fully
aware that if it resisted, Germany would forcefully take
over Austria.)
 At a conference in Munich, Germany in September
1938, the Western European democracies, unprepared
for war, gave away Sudetenland to Germany.
 In March 1939, Hitler took control of
WWII in Europe Begins
 Hitler-Stalin Pact (1939)
 Pact of Steel (1939)
 Italy and Germany
 Hitler invades Poland on Sept 1, 1939.
 Blitzkrieg – “Lightning War”
 Britain and France declare war on Germany
 Neutrality Act of 1939.
 European scould buy American war materials as long as
they would transport the munitions on their own ships.
Other territorial gains
 Soviet Union took Finland
 Germany took Denmark and Norway (1940)
 Germany took Netherlands and Belgium
Fall of France
 May 10th , 1940
 The battle consisted of two main operations.
 Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armored units pushed
through the Ardennes to cut off and surround the Allied units
that had advanced into Belgium.
 Fall Rot Case Red), executed from June 5th, German forces
attacked the larger territory of France across the Maginot line.
 Italy declared war on France on June 10th.
 The French government fled to Bordeaux and Paris was
occupied on June 14th.
 France surrendered on June 25th.
German occupation
U.S. Reaction
 Roosevelt moved with tremendous speed to call upon
the nation to build huge air fleets and a two-ocean
 Congress approved spending of $37 billion.
 On September 6, 1940, Congress passed a
conscription law;
 First peacetime draft was initiated
 provision was made for training 1.2 million troops and
800,000 reserves each year.
 At the Havana Conference of 1940,
 responsibility of upholding the Monroe Doctrine.
Germany v. Britain
 August 1940 - The Battle of Britain
 Air battle
 radio broadcasts brought the drama from London air
raids directly to America homes.
 On September 2, 1940, President Roosevelt agreed to
transfer to 50 destroyers left over from WWI to
 Violated neutrality agreements
 In return, Britain agreed to hand over to the United
States 8 valuable defensive base sites.
Battle of Britain
Election of 1940
 Republican – Wendell Willkie
 Dictatorship of FDR
 Inefficiency of the New Deal
 Democrat – FDR
 experience
 Both
 Stay out of war
 Strengthen defenses
 Voters felt FDR more prepared for war
Lend-Lease Bill
 Passed fearing the collapse of Britain
 American arms could be leased to democracies who
needed them.
 Abandoned neutrality
 Hitler – “unofficial declaration of war”
 Robin Moor – merchant ship destroyed by German
Germany v. Soviet Union
 June 22, 1941, Hitler attacks the Soviet Union.
 Roosevelt made military supplies available.
 Atlantic Conference: August 1941.
 Roosevelt and Churchill
 8 points
no territorial changes contrary to the wishes of the
it affirmed the right of a people to choose their own form of
declared for disarmament and a peace of security,
Atlantic Conference
Repeal of Neutrality Act
 U.S. escorts the shipments of arms to Britain by U.S.
warships in July 1941.
 In September 1941, the U.S. destroyer Greer was
attacked by U-boat
 Roosevelt a then proclaimed a shoot-on-sight policy.
 Congress voted in November 1941 to repeal the
Neutrality Act of 1939, enabling merchant ships to be
legally armed and enter the combat zones with
munitions for Britain.
U.S.S Greer
“A Day That Will Live in Infamy.”
 Japan had been allied with Germany.
 Washington imposed the first of its embargoes on
Japan-bound supplies in 1940.
 Asked Japan to move out of China
 On "Black Sunday" December 7, 1941, Japanese
bombers attacked Pearl Harbor, killing 2,348 people.
 On December 11, 1941, Congress declared war.
Kamikaze Pilots
Declaration of War
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