Start of WWII: America’s
Analyze America’s involvement in
Standard 11.7.1/11.7.4
Prior Knowledge
• Prior to United States entry into World War II,
Congress passed the Cash-and-Carry Act of
1939 and the Lend-Lease Act of 1941. These
foreign policy actions showed that the United
– gave equal support to both the Allied and Axis
– attempted to contain the spread of communism
– maintained a strict policy of isolationism
– became increasingly drawn into the war in Europe
Analyze America’s involvement in
Post WWI - Germany
• crushed due to war and to the
Treaty of Versailles
• Made Germany weak
Lost Colonies
Lost industrial centers
Lost Army
Must accept the blame for WWI
• Fined Germany $6 billion over a
50 year period
• For a total of $60 billion.
Treaty of Versailles
"Only National Socialism will free
Germany from the lie of sole guilt!"
The negative influence of the Treaty of
Versailles can be seen clearly in the first
three points of the NAZI Party Platform:
1. We demand the union of all Germans
in a Great Germany on the basis of the
principle of self-determination of all
peoples. (Refer to the map)
2. We demand that the German people
have rights equal to those of other
nations; and that the Peace Treaties of
Versailles and St. Germain shall be
abrogated (ended).
3. We demand land and territory
(colonies) for the maintenance of our
people and the settlement of our surplus
The Nazi’s and Adolf Hitler use the common
disgust over the Treaty and poor economic
conditions in Germany to build up support of
their party
Old Imperial Cross
incorporated into
the new Nazi
German flag.
This was supposed
to remind Germans
of the past when
they were strong.
The Nazi’s Begin to Rebuild the German
• Rhineland,
March, 1936
• Germany and
Austria united,
March, 1938
• Anschluss
• Sudentenland
(added) to
October, 1938
• Czechoslovakia
, March, 1939
Appeasement and the Munich Conference
• Britain and France were preparing for war
• Mussolini called for a meeting to settle the
• Britain, France, Italy and Germany met in
Munich to decide the fate of Czechoslovakia
– the Czechs were not invited
• British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
British Prime Minister, Neville
– believed that by giving in to Hitler, War would be
– this policy is called appeasement
• Hitler promised to be satisfied with the
• In less than six months, Hitler occupied the
rest of Czechoslovakia
Nazis and Soviets at Peace?
• In August of 1939, Hitler and Stalin
signed a public 10 year Nonaggression
Pact promising not to attack one
• Poland was divided between the two.
• Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland
are given to the Soviet Union for
future conquest
• Now Germany only has to worry
about a single front (the West)
• Germany invaded Poland one week
later. France and England declared war
on Germany two days after that (Sept.
3, 1941)
The Blitz Continues
• Germany invaded Holland,
Belgium and Luxembourg in
April, 1940
• The French relied on the
strong Maginot Line in its
center and right flank…
– An 87 mile long series of
forts with tank traps,
barbed wire, 10 ft thick
concrete walls, huge gun
towers, underground
• The British Army helped out
in the West
Analyze America’s involvement in
Italy Expands
• Jealous that Hitler has gain
so much without firing a
• Kicked out King Zog of
Albania (one of the poorest
nations in Europe), became
a part of Italy
Mussolini attacks Ethiopia,
• Ethiopian army was no match
for Italian tanks, airplanes and
poison gas
• Haile Selassie, Emperor of
Ethiopia, asks League of
Nations for help
• League (League of Nations)
does next to nothing, Selassie
warns “It is us today. It will be
you tomorrow.”
Analyze America’s involvement in
Japan’s Democracy Fails
• 1920s Japans signed agreements
to not use war as a policy tool
• But Japan’s Government had little
control over the military
• Government was blamed for
depression and military leaders
took control of the nation
• Many Japanese wanted control to
go back to their Emperor
Emperor Hirohito
Japan 1930s
• Ultra-Nationalistic
• Militaristic
• Wanted to conquer
neighbors (China) to
end economic crisis
• Wanted room for the
Japanese people at the
expense of others
• Asia for Asians
Japan Expands
• Invaded Manchuria and
set up a Puppet
Government, 1932
• Rich in Coal and Iron
• League of Nations
protested this violation of
international peace but
did nothing to stop Japan
• 1933 Japan withdrawals
from the League of
• Manchuria,
Northern China,
• China, 1936-1937
• South Asia, 1942
The Rape of Nanking
• Japan absolutely brutalized
• 10’s of thousands of women
raped and mutilated
• Japanese officers had
beheading contests
• Mass executions
• Hundreds of thousands of
dead within a year
• Don’t look at the following
slides if you are squeamish
Analyze America’s involvement in
-Americans did not want anything to do with European wars.
- Great Depression caused own own problems
- Believed in Isolationism
 In the late 1930s, the U.S.
passed three Neutrality Acts
 1st NA, banned weapons
sales to fighting nations
 2nd NA, banned loans to
fighting nations
 3rd NA, permitted trade in
nonmilitary goods as long as
the nations paid cash and
transported them
• Congress passes 4th
Neutrality Act
– Repeals arms embargo
against France & England
Steps to War
Steps to War
 This Act was later
amended to allow U.S.
ships to take the goods
to Europe
 Loans and credit were
still illegal
 In Sept 1940, the U.S.
traded 50 old destroyers
to Britain in exchange
for permission to build
bases on British territory
in the Western
Steps to War
 That same month (Sept
1940), Congress passed
the first peacetime
draft in the nation’s
 In January 1941, FDR
proposed to provide
war supplies to Great
Britain without any
payment in return
 Later on, significant aid
to Russia was also given
“If your neighbor’s house is on fire, you
don’t sell him a hose. You lend it to him
and take it back after the fire is out.”
4 Freedoms Speech
• Proposed four
fundamental freedoms
that people "everywhere in
the world" ought to enjoy:
– Freedom of speech and
– Freedom of religion
– Freedom from want
– Freedom from fear
Japan’s Gamble: Pearl Harbor
• US stated that Japan must withdraw from China or risk
• US cuts off all supplies of resources (tin, rubber, oil) to
Japan and encouraged other countries to do the same
• Japan was unwilling to give up land that it had
conquered in the past 4 years, decided to attack the US
• Most experts believed that the attack would be
centered at the Philippines.
• Japan sent 60 ships, including 6 aircraft carriers, and
360 airplanes, 3,000 miles to attack Pearl Harbor,
“A day that will live in infamy”
• Early December 7th, 1941 a surprise Japanese attack
struck the US Pacific Fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor,
• Two waves of Japanese planes wreaked havoc and
sunk or damaged 18 ships (including 8 battleships),
188 airplanes and killed 2,400 sailors and wounding
over 1,100
• Luckily, the aircraft carriers were out on maneuvers
and were not hit
• Roosevelt then asked Congress to declare war on
Japan. Germany was Japan’s partner, so now the
U.S. was also at war with Germany.
• Which of the following events during World
War II brought the United States into the war?
– The D-Day invasion of Normandy.
– Germany's invasion of Poland.
– Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor.
– Nazi Germany's treatment of the Jewish people.
• The actions of which country finally forced the
United States to enter the war?
– Italy
– Japan
– Germany
– The Soviet Union
• Which of the following statements most
accurately reflects Roosevelt's feelings toward
joining the war?
– He agreed with the isolationists and promoted an
isolationist policy.
– He wanted to help the Allies but had to appease
U.S. citizens who opposed entering the war.
– He wanted to avoid the war because he did not
see it as a threat to the United States.
– He did not understand the position of isolationists
and was eager to join the war.
• Which statement best describes the
relationship between the United States and
Japan at the time of the attack on Pearl
Harbor in 1941?
– Their ships had engaged in several naval battles in
the Pacific.
– They did not have diplomatic relations and had
not formally talked for several years.
– They shared control of military bases on the island
of Midway.
– Diplomats on both sides had agreed to talk to
avoid conflict.
• Prior to United States entry into World War II,
Congress passed the Cash-and-Carry Act of
1939 and the Lend-Lease Act of 1941. These
foreign policy actions showed that the United
– gave equal support to both the Allied and Axis
– attempted to contain the spread of communism
– maintained a strict policy of isolationism
– became increasingly drawn into the war in Europe
• President Roosevelt is telling the free world
that America
– will enter the war.
– stay out of the war until they are attacked.
– will provide the weapons to protect freedom and
– remain completely isolated from WWII.
• Why was the United States called the “arsenal
of democracy” in 1940?
– The leaders in the democratic nations of Europe
were educated in the United States.
– Most of the battles to defend worldwide
democracy took place on American soil.
– The United States supervised elections in
European nations before the war.
– The United States provided much of the weaponry
needed to fight the Axis powers.
• President Franklin D. Roosevelt's goal in
supporting the Lend-Lease Act of 1941 was to
– encourage Japanese Americans to relocate
– use foreign investment as a way of stimulating the
American economy.
– assist Britain's war effort without violating United
States neutrality laws.
– maintain an isolationist stance by providing only
limited aid to both sides in the European conflict.