World War II 1939-1945

World War II 1939-1945
Reasons for U.S. Involvement in World War II
Dictatorships and their aggression:
 Nazism in Germany under Adolph Hitler (1933)
 Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini (1922)
 Communism (Stalinism) in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin (1928) (also
in Spain, Poland, and most of eastern Europe)
 German expansion into Austria, Czechoslovakia and, finally, Poland (1939)
bring Europe into a second world war.
 Japan: Japan embarks on a campaign of expansion into Manchuria and China
Attack on Pearl Harbor:
 December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy” (President Roosevelt)
 A result of economic sanctions hindering their expansion campaign, Japan
attacks the US at Pearl Harbor.
Domestic and International Leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman
During World War II
Franklin Roosevelt
 Domestic (industry’s rapid mobilization) – Due to the Lend Lease program,
American industry began converting America’s industrial base to produce
armaments and other war material rather than civilian goods, mobilization
increased after 1941 when the U.S. declared war on the Axis powers
 International (relationship with allies)- Roosevelt’s relationship with Winston
Churchill led to the Lend Lease Act which allowed the U.S. to support
Britain’s war effort before the U.S. entered the war.
Harry Truman
 Domestic- Proposed his “Fair Deal” including full-employment and fairemployment- practices bills, federal control of the unemployment
compensation program, a large housing program, and the development of
natural resources.
 International (relationship with allies)- When Truman attended the Potsdam
conference at the end of WWII, he came suspicious of the Soviet intentions
under Stalin
Function of the U.S. Office of War Information
 Created to coordinate all propaganda for domestic and abroad
 Promoted patriotism
 Warned of spies
 Recruited women for war-related work
 Released the news about the war
Major Issues of WWII
 The internment of German, Italian, and Japanese Americans- an internment
camp is a large detention center created for political opponents, enemy aliens,
or other groups of people, usually during a war. During WWII, many German,
Italian, and Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps.
Executive Order 9066 – President Franklin Roosevelt authorizes the
relocation of Japanese in America; specific land was designated as military
Home Front and How American Patriotism Inspired Exceptional Actions by Citizens and
Military Personnel
 High levels of military enlistment
 Volunteerism- volunteerism was an essential part of line on the home front.
 The purchase of war bonds- the government sold war bonds and stamps to
provide funds for the war.
 Victory Gardens- as part of the war effort, the government rationed foods like
sugar, butter, milk, cheese, eggs, coffee, meat, and canned goods.
 Opportunities for women and ethnic minorities- as husbands and fathers, sons
and brothers shipped out to fight in Europe and the Pacific, millions of women
and minorities were able to work in factories, offices, and military bases in
roles traditionally reserved for non-minority men in peacetime.
 Obstacles for women and ethnic minorities- when the war ended it was
difficult for them to keep their jobs.
Reasons for Changes In Political Boundaries
 Dictatorships and their aggression:
 German expansion into Austria, Czechoslovakia and, finally, Poland (1939)
bring Europe into a second world war.
 Japan: Japan embarks on a campaign of expansion into Manchuria and China
Economic Effects of World War II on the Home Front
 End of the Great Depression
 Rationing
 Female employment
 Halting production of non-essential items, such as cars, and shifting of
African American workers to West and North.
 WW II brought economic prosperity and affluence to U.S>, but greatly
increased the national debt.
 Western migration; growth of suburbs; population movement to the Sun Belt.
Importance of Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients
 Vernon J. Baker- he fought in Italy earned a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and
the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1996, more than fifty years after the
assault on Castle Aghinolfi, he received a telephone call from a man working
on a federal grant to reevaluate the heroism of African Americans in WWII. It
was during this phone call he learned he was to be awarded the Medal of
Honor. He is the only living African American WWII veteran to earn the
Medal of Honor.