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202 - America in World War II

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Kevin Grimm

on 11 October 2017

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Transcript of 202 - America in World War II

The Troubling 1930s

Threatening international environment:
- 1922 Italy goes fascist
- 1931 Japanese invade Manchuria
- 1937 Japanese invade rest of China
- 1933 Adolf Hitler comes to power in Germany - pursues rearmament, remilitarizes Rhineland
- 1935 Italy conquers Ethiopia
- 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War - fascist General Francisco Franco (w/German + Italian support) vs. democratic gov./socialists/anarchists (w/Soviet + independent American support)
- 1938 Germany takes Austria, part (then all) of Czechoslovakia
- Jews lose citizenship, property seized, already going to camps

U.S. reactions:
- 1935 Neutrality Acts - no travel on belligerent ships, no arms to belligerents
- arms embargo during Spanish Civil War (works in support of fascists)

The war begins:
- Sep. 1 1939 German-Soviet invasion of Poland
- June 1940 - France, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium in German hands
- Britain stands alone June 1940 - June 1941

Federal Government and the War
Growth:
- new agencies - allocation of labor, shipping industry, manufacturing quotas, fixed wages/prices/rents
- federal workers from 1 to 4 million - unemployment at 2% by 1943
- annual GNP more than doubles during war
- gov. spends double the money during war than spent in previous 150 years
- 1945 - 15 million in unions, 1/3 of non-farm labor force

Gov. propaganda:
- Four Freedoms - from fear, of speech, of religion, from want
- 1942 Office of War Information (OWI)


Women and the War
The workforce:
- OWI encourages women to work
- Hollywood films glorify independent woman
- advertising celebrates Rosie the Riveter, etc.
- 1944 make up 1/3 of civilian labor force
- 350,000 in military support units
- clerical/service jobs, but also industrial, professional, gov. ones
- first time that married women outnumber young single women in workforce

Postwar retraction:
- work had been in language of sacrifice/military victory, not rights, independence, or self-determination
- women lose better paying industrial jobs
- postwar vision of family as bedrock, with women in a house full of new appliances and consumer goods

America in World War II
Minorities and the War
Hispanics:
- 1942 Bracero Program brings 500,000 to U.S. from Mexico during war (4.5 million by 1964)
- hundreds of thousands in U.S. already work in industry, serve in army (500,000), not segregated
- discrimination in 1943 "Zoot Suit Riots" - white sailors attack Hispanic American youths in L.A.
- Chicano culture developed

Native Americans:
- "code-talking" Navajo part of 25,000 in army
- thousands leave reservations for war industries jobs
- many also use GI Bill for college

Japanese Americans:
- 110,000 in internment camps (2/3 are U.S. citizens)
- 20,000 in military

Other Groups:
- 50,000 Chinese/Korean/Filipino-Americans in military, in all-Asian units
- Chinese Exclusion Act ended, although only 105 let in annually
- vision of Chinese changes as they valiantly fight one million Japanese soldiers
African Americans and the War
Movement:
- Second Great Migration for industrial jobs - 700,000
- one million serve - often in non-combat roles as in WWI, but not all
- northern blacks on bases in South experience discrimination firsthand
- local administration of GI Bill means they are blocked from good colleges, limited in job training programs, could not get loans for farm purchases in South

Protests:
- 1941 A. Philip Randolph calls for March on Washington to protest discrimination in defense jobs
- FDR issues Executive Order 8802 - bans discrimination in defense industries that receive gov. contracts
- Fair Employment Practices Commission monitors this
- NAACP from 50,000 to 500,000 members
- 1942 Congress of Racial Equality using sit-ins to protest discrimination in north
- Feb. 1942 Pittsburgh Courier announces Double V Campaign - victory over fascism abroad and racism/segregation at home
- National War Labor Board bans different wages based on race
- 1944-1945 navy desegregates (army completes this under Eisenhower in 1950s)
World War II:
- U.S. wins, BUT.....
- new questions on role of gov., racial minorities, and in international arena (atomic weapons, Cold War, decolonization)
Americans in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain, 1930s
September 1943 ad
The 1920s Abroad
1922 - Washington Naval Arms Conference
- famous 5:5:3:1.67:1.67 naval ton ratio

Treaties Japan, China, Europeans to preserve status quo in Pacific/China

Foreign policy of private economic arrangements
- 1923 French seizure of Ruhr area of Germany
- 1924 Dawes Plan - reparations reduced/U.S. loans to Germany

U.S.-Soviet relations:
- no U.S. recognition of gov. until 1933
- 1920-22 civil war, USSR declared 1922, Lenin dies 1924
- U.S. goals - isolate Russia internationally, but engage economically
- U.S. aid during famine of 1921-22 - Am. Relief Admin.
- Ford, GE, Westinghouse invests millions
- 1930 - $100 million in trade (25% of goods entering Russia)
- Stalin's first Five Year Plan (1928) uses two thousand American engineers
U.S. and the War

U.S. involvement:
- 1940 "cash and carry"
- Sep. 1940 first peacetime draft
- 1941 Lend-Lease
- July-August 1941 FDR freezes Japanese assets, cuts off trade (oil)
- Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor
- does FDR intentionally force Japanese to turn south?

Precursors to Cold War
The War Years:
- Stalin angry over Western hesitancy to open second front
- Stalin insisted on fall 1939 borders (Nazi-Soviet Pact) - FDR refuses
- Framework for postwar global capitalist system:
Bretton Woods Conference, July 1944 - 45 nations
gold standard/U.S. dollar/other currencies
World Bank - backs up private loans
IMF - loans to stabilize currencies to avoid devaluation
remove trade barriers and avoid postwar depression
American vs. Soviet Motivations

United States:
- global economic system of free trade/open markets to prevent depression again
- democratic governments will ensure American security - "two moat" defense obsolete in era of massive air/naval/nuclear power
- Soviets threatened both of these goals - failure to stand up to dictators led to WWII
Divisions during Tehran and Potsdam conferences (1945)
- communist "Lublin" Poles vs. non-communist "London" Poles (overall makeup of Eastern Europe)
- Western vision of de-Nazified but economically reconstructed and democratic Germany vs. Soviet vision of prostrate Germany providing reparations
- atomic bombs - Stalin knows U.S. has bomb, but Truman won't admit it
USSR:
- recovery/reconstruction
- "friendly" governments in Poland, Germany, Eastern Europe
- fears of capitalist conspiracy/encirclement
- inevitability of inter-capitalist war - need to be ready to either fight or gain from it

Key:
Different ideologies, wartime experiences, goals for postwar world, personal fears/desires
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