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United States of America by Rissa Lee and Rachel Lim

IB History of the Americas

Rachel Lim

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of United States of America by Rissa Lee and Rachel Lim

United States of America
During The Interwar Period
Rissa Lee & Rachel Lim
Political: Type of Government
2 major parties
Presidential Elections
electoral college
President is in charge for four years
checks and balance system
three branches
Judicial (Supreme Court)
Legislative (Senate/House of Representatives)
Executive (President)
can be vetoed out of office
Founding fathers created to have system different from Europe's (monarchy)
still intact
Political: WWI Impact
Progressive Movement
Idea of Progress that asserts that advances in science, technology, economic development, and social organization, can improve the human condition
People began to doubt the success and ideals of the movement after surviving the Great War
pushed for "normalcy"
isolationist tendencies
focus on domestic issues
non-involvement in European/Asian conflicts or international affairs
Political: Woodrow Wilson
28th president of the U.S.
born in Virginia
grew up in post-Civil War south in South Carolina and Georgia
influenced by Presbyterianism of his father
attended Princeton University
taught at several colleges and eventually became president of Princeton
Political: Woodrow Wilson
post-World War I
14 points
creation of League of Nations
was not supported by majority of countries
Domestically unsupported
Republicans did not agree with Wilson
miffed not a single Republican was taken to the Treaty of Versaille conference
citizens (isolationist) also did not favor joining
congress did not join League of Nations
Democrats became increasingly unpopular
Woodrow Wilson's reputation declining
defection of Irish and German democrats over Wilson's war policies
slow embrace to women's suffrage
Political: Domestic Issues
divide between rich and poor grew due to rapid industrialization
large corporations saw enormous profits
uneven labor and management pay
increased work hours
child labor, unsafe conditions
National Labor Board (1918)
workers who refuse board decisions could lose draft exemptions
promoted 8-hour work day, safety inspections, bans on child labor (earlier Progressive)
Women’s Suffrage
women’s role in industrial workforce opened them up for new opportunities
prohibition was big reason why women were not allowed
already in place by then because alcohol banned during WWI
1920 women were allowed to vote
Mass movement of Southern blacks to North
industrialization in the north brought opportunities for jobs
Political: Domestic Issues
Economical: Type of System
Capitalistic (uncontrolled and volatile nature)
different from Europe’s
less dependent upon foreign commerce and much less integrated into the world economy
protectionist-inclined (especially in agriculture) rather than free-trading
fluctuating wildly in booms and busts
politicians much more directly influenced by domestic lobbies
major flaws in system
does not have World Bank to rely on, unlike European economic structure
Economical: Recession
economy grew during war due to rapid industrialization and exports
modest economic retreat in 1918-1919
Depression of 1920-1921
global economy fell sharply
more severe recession than before
characterized by extreme deflation
possible factors:
returning troops creating surge in labor force
decline in labor union strife
changes in fiscal and monetary policy
changes in price expectations
Economical: Rise of the 20's
United States emerged as world’s leading economy
only major country to benefit from the Great War
greatest financial and creditor nation, largest producer of manufactures and foodstuffs
high standard of living, ready availability of investment capital spurred heavy investments in manufacturing industry
1929, U.S. produced over 4.5 million motor vehicles
France: 211,000
Britain: 182,000
Germany: 117,000
fantastic leaps in import (as well as export) to support this industry
Economical: Rise of the 20's
"a larger output that that of the other six Great Powers
taken together"
Economical: Rise of the 20's
ironically, citizens did not want leading role
besides raw material, people did not view outside world as that important to American prosperity
international affairs did not suggest much threat to American interests
decade where U.S. could remain economic giant but military middle-weight
Economical: The Great Depression
structural inadequacies of the economy revealed themselves in 1928
depended on a “lender of last resort” to offer long-term loans for infrastructural development of world economy and stabilizing temporary disjunctions in international accounts
stock market crash
United States’s leading economic role affected rest of the world
subsequent depression and tariff wars
Smoot-Hawley Tariffs of 1930 (protectionism)
breakup of world trading order would hurt exporters
GNP plummeted from 98.4 billion in 1929 to barely half that three years later
value of manufactured goods less than ¼ than it was 1929
nearly 15 million workers lost jobs with support
American exports decreased by 69%
was harder to make recovery compared to other countries
Economical: Recovery
by 1937-1938 Roosevelt worried about fascist threats and pressed for large scale increase in defense expenditures
even these measures scarcely disturbed economy as big as U.S.
American economy 1930s greatly underutilized
unemployment still around 10 million 1939
however industrial productivity per man-hour vastly improved
solution to underutilization
despite suffer still remains a sleeping giant
Foreign Policy
"her overwhelming productive strength was further underlined by the fact that the gross value of manufactures produced per head of population in the United States was twice as high as in Great Britain or Germany, and more than ten to eleven times as high as in the USSR or Italy"
Immediately following WWI...
In the 1920's, United States opted out of taking a leading role in international affairs
Little reason to get involved
American commercial interests not at risk
Decade following 1919:
Congress was urged to establish a permanent Regular Army of 500,000
Congress and American public opinion reject
Till 1936, American policy maintained a goal of minimum defensive military strength
US reduced its army to a very small size (140,000)
Wanted to promote international peace
limit armaments
Washington Naval Conference in 1922
first disarmament conference in history
Four-Power Treaty
maintain status quo in Pacific
controlled naval supremacy race momentarily
National and Military Policy
Scheduled military occupation of Rhineland
US withdrew early in January of 1923
US not in League of Nations
international security system
The Cipher Bureau
Generals and admirals complained about receiving insufficient funds from Congress
Cipher Bureau was US's first peacetime cryptanalytic organization
In 1929, Secretary of State Henry Stimson eliminates Cipher Bureau
budget considerations
good faith in international relations
US lacks security body to consider strategic issues
"Gentlemen do not read other gentlemen's mail"
The Japanese Threat
Japanese seizes Manchuria in 1931
diplomatic efforts to end occupation by the League and US are denied
leaves League in 1933, no longer bound by arms control treaties
Beginning 1935, armed forces begin receiving larger funds
army development over next 3 years reflect critical international situation
1936, Congress expands army to 165,000
most funds put into Army Air Corps
defense of nation's seaports
1/3 of Army dedicated to coast artillery
By 1938, with rising fascist threats, Roosevelt wants greater increases in defense expenditures
Naval Act of 1938
massive expansion in fleet
Advancements in Technology
Wanted to train units for mobile operations
Mobile 105-mm howitzer
Light/medium tanks (M4 Sherman)
faster than older models
"mechanically reliable and produced in great numbers"
Infantry weapon
Garand semiautomatic rifle in 1936
Improved mobility of infantry divisions
reduced to three infantry regiments
"triangular division"
Air Force improvements (Boeing B-17 Bomber)
Strengths and Weaknesses
Policies now fueling military production
US spent less on armaments than Britain or Japan
yet aircraft production virtually doubled between 1937 and 1938
By 1940...
authorization to double navy's combat fleet
Army Air Corps plan to create 84 groups with 7,800 combat aircraft
army of close to 1 million men
At break of war, these resources not so readily available
overall better prepared for total warfare
International affairs in decade after 1919 not a threat to American interests
seemingly stable international system established early 1920s
US does not join League of Nations
retreat into diplomatically isolated form after 1920
seemed contradictory of perhaps the most powerful nation in the world
US Senate never ratifies the Treaty of Versailles
treaty asked for collective security of League
France loses special Anglo-American military guarantee
Following WWI...
Disillusionment with the Great War
The people wanted to return to peacetime pursuits
dealing with serious economic uncertainty
To prevent such a catastrophe from occurring again:
avoids diplomatic and military commitments
prevent arms race
Desired to abandon Wilsonian idealism
called for much interaction with foreign nations
Why Become Isolationist?
During WWI war effort, European allies became in debt to Britain and France, while they were heavily in debt to the US
US waiting for return of loaned money
nations in debt waited on defeated foe to pay back reparations first
tensions arise
The Dawes Plan of 1924
re-float Weimar Germany's economy
The Young Plan of 1929
reduced reparations
112 billion Gold Marks: approx $8 billion
Wall Street Crash of 1929
US can no longer offer financial support
Smoot-Hawley tariffs put into place 1930
June 1931, German reparations suspended
Money Matters
US, Britain, France, Italy, Japan (and other nations) meet in 1922
discuss reduction of naval armaments
emerging aggressor in Pacific (Japan)
Five Power Pact
ratio of naval tonnage for US and Great Britain (500,000 tons each)
Japan (315,000)
France and Italy (172,000)
Four Power Pact
nations agree to maintain status quo, respect possessions, consult if possible conflict occurs
Nine Power Pact
agree to respect independence of China
help China set up stable government
The Washington Conference
Up till this point, the American public continued to demand for an isolationist form
Attack on Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941
finally convinces majority of populace that US should enter war on side of the Allies
Germany declares war on the US (December 11, 1941)
US declares war on Germany only hours later
Entering World War II
Neutrality Act of 1935
embargo on trading arms, ammunition, and implements of war
prohibited Americans from loaning to belligerent nations
Neutrality Act of 1937
influenced by Spanish Civil War in 1936 and the rise of fascism in Europe
President given authority to gate all belligerent ships from US waters
Neutrality Act of 1939
lifted arms embargo, trade with belligerent nations now "cash-and-carry."
ban on loans still in effect
The Neutrality Acts
Invasion of Manchuria
Japan invades Manchuria in 1931
Stimson Doctrine
the US will not recognize territory gained by aggression in violation of international agreements
Despite FDR's attempts to be more active on the global scale, the American public was not prepared
outbreak of war in Europe 1939
Lend Lease Act of 1941
Atlantic Charter 1941
only led to supporting limited U.S aid to the Allies
"That the U.S.'s political influence in the world was in no respect commensurate with her extraordinary industrial strength"
After Progressive Movement and World War I, people wanted return to normalcy
Rejected 14 points and League of nations
Democratic Nomination for Governor of New Jersey
Progressive agenda
protecting public from exploitation by trusts
Democratic Nomination for Presidency
"New Freedom" platform
domestic focus (isolationism/neutrality)
United States benefited from the war
economic boom (Roaring 20's)
stock market crash (Great Depression)
bounced back again through arms industry
The US originally intended on remaining diplomatically isolated
Due to threats to international stability,
US slowly regained military power in preparation for potential battle
began supporting the Allies from the outside
isolation > non-belligerency > Allied forces
Kennedy, Paul M. "The Coming of a Bipolar World and the Crisis of the "Middle Powers": Part Two, 1919-1942." The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. New York, NY: Random House, 1988. 275-343. Print.

"1937–1945: Milestones." US Department of State, Office of the Historian. Bureau of Public Affairs, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013. <http://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945<.

"Between World Wars." Between World Wars. US Army Center of Military History, 10 July 2006. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. <http://www.history.army.mil/books/AMH-V2/AMH%20V2/chapter2.htm>.


London Naval Conference (1930 & 1935)
unsuccessful Geneva Naval Conference (1927)
set limits above current capacity
Other policies...
1933 Good Neighbor Policy
bans armed intervention in others affairs
1933 Soviet Union recognized
strategic interest in limiting Japan's expansion in Asia
Immigration Act of 1924
preserve ideal of a homogenous American society
1929 Kellogg-Briand Pact
declared war to be illegal
first 15 nations signed (including Japan)
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