ROOSEVELT AND THE
SHADOW OF WAR—
The London Conference
Roosevelt’s willing to be an isolationist if it would
help the domestic economy.
66 nations meet. Purpose and primary goal
Roosevelt pulls out. Why?
Roosevelt pulls the rug out from underneath the
conference and nothing is accomplished
World depression gets worse and everyone pursues
their own policies.
Leads to an increase in nationalism.
Reduces chances for international cooperation on
Philippines and Russia
Why was US ready to give up the Philippines?
Tydings-McDuffie Act in 1934—Provided for
the independence of the Philippines after a
twelve-year period of economic tutelage.
Gave up army bases, but keep Naval bases
1933 US recognized the Bolshevik regime in
Anticommunists and Catholics objected.
Becoming A Good Neighbor
Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor
Impact in Latin America.
Reasons were somewhat
Policy receives a test in 1938
when Mexicans seize
American oil properties.
Policy was a great success
Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (1934)
Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
Aimed at both relief and
Whittled down the worst parts
President had authority without
Rationale for Act ?
Get agreements with 21
Failures of WW1 Peace
Treaty of Versailles:
anger and resentment over terms
Germany at Fault
Stripped of land and
New government –
Rise of Hitler in Germany
Germans economically crushed
by Versailles treaty. Desperate
Hitler a powerful orator and
Germany has a potent
industrial base and
US made things worse by
refusing to ratify the league of
nations, thus eliminating the
moral strength of that body.
Nazis Take over Germany
Adolf Hitler WW1 vet,
sent to jail for treason writes Mein
Extreme Nationalism all
German speaking people should
Expansion of empire
Depression leads to
Nazi party rallies.Brown Shirts or
Third Reich would last 1000 years
Joseph Stalin, man of steel,
transforms Soviet Union
industrial and agricultural growth #1
five year plan: all economic
activity controlled by the state
1937 # 2 economic power
8-11 million direct deaths
millions more died from famine
The Rise of Fascism in Italy
Italy in depression
Fascist; nationalism and
“Il Duce” crushes
opposition 1922 takes control
Militarist Gain Control of
natural resources invade
League of Nations
Japan and Italy
Japan also a growing threat.
Growing increasingly militaristic
Lusted after space and resources of
1934 terminated the naval Treaty and
started aggressively building navy.
1935 Mussolini attacks Ethiopia.
Easily crushes it.
Seeking glory and empire for Italy in
League of Nation reaction? Reason?
Japan seizes Korea and much of
Manchuria in 1905, after defeating
Russia in the Russo-Japanese War.
In 1931, Japan invades and claims
the rest of Manchuria
Aggression in Asia, Europe and
Africa Europe and Asia.
Europe notices League of
Nations lack of Response
1935 Germany with draws
from League of Nations and
violates T of Ver.
Mussolini takes Ethiopia
“come on in. I’ll treat you right. I used to
know your daddy
The United States
Two Views on
Why didn’t America Act?
Distracted by the depression
Vividly recall the losses of
feel safe behind the protection
of two oceans,
largely believed that what
happened in the rest of the
world didn’t effect them.
Rise of fascists increased
desire to avoid
Johnson Debt Default Act.
Better Keep to the Old Channel
Congress Legislates Neutrality
Who does the public
now blame for WWI?
Neutrality Acts in
1935, 36 and ’37
Effect of Neutrality Acts
Is an abandonment of Americas traditional policy
of freedom of the high seas and the right of
Americans to ship to both sides in a war.
Effectively removed America from the arena as
an agent that can stop or blunt war and
aggression. Made America reactive and at the
mercy of world events.
Encouraged totalitarian regimes and hurt
democratic ones, because they received no aid
America Dooms Loyalist Spain
The Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
shows fallacy of Neutrality policy
Franco and other fascist rebels tried
to overthrow the left-leaning but
democratic government of Spain.
Franco is aided by Hitler and
Congress prohibits aid to EITHER
Condemns democratic Spain to slow
Dictators believe that Democracies
will not take action to stop them.
Francisco Franco leads
Fascist revolt in Spain
react to try and stop Franco
Franco; create friendship
1939 Franco wins
Fascist ALLIANCE is formed Rome-
Whittling Down the Big Stick
State of American military compared to
Germany and Japan.
Americans attitude toward navy.
Effect of depression
Reaction to FDR’s call for increased
1937 Japan invades Manchuria with the
intent of making it a Japanese colony.
Roosevelt refuses to call this a war.
Fall 1937 Roosevelt makes famous
What does he call for?
How does Congress and Country react.
Dec. 1937, USS Panay.
Japan abuses Americans in China.
Thinks US wimpy
Hitler on the Rise
1935 breaches Versailles treaty by reintroducing the
1936 marches troops into the demilitarized Rhineland
Britain and France reaction.
Hitler begins to persecute and discriminate against the
1937 starts building the military at an aggressive pace,
March 1938 Hitler marches without resistance into
Hitler then begins making demands for the Sudetenland
War In Europe Austria and Czechoslovakia Fall
Union with Austria
Allies desperate to avoid
Munich Conference 9/38
Democracies have no real
Sudetenland. What does
“Peace in our time”
Bargaining for the
Nazi's use propaganda to stir
France and Great Britain pledge
support for Czech.
France and G.B meet with
Hitler in Munich Germany.
Peace in our time declared
by Chamberlain. Angers
France-England attempt to negotiate a
mutual defense pact with Stalin.
Why don’t they get one?
August, 1939, Stalin-Hitler sign a non-
Seals the fate of Europe.
Hitler’s demand on Poland.
Poland refuses and
Germany marches in
unleashing its Blitzkrieg
WWI has begun.
Stalin moves into Eastern
England and France
declare war, but can’t do
much about Poland,
which surrenders in three
Poland's fate is sealed! Blitzkrieg in Poland
starts. France and Britain
declare war on Germany
Use fast overwhelming force, 3
weeks Poland is done. (U.S.S.R
also attacks Poland ; takes the Baltic
States and Finland in the next few
US Reaction to Fall of Poland
Roosevelt issues proclamation of
US attitude toward war.
Roosevelt wants to amend Neutrality Acts
Knows that European democracies are
woefully unprepared and will not win on their
Wants to lift the arms-sale restrictions entirely.
But, knows that neither the nation nor
Congress is ready for that.
The United States Sleeps
while the Phony War
goes on for several
Cash and Carry
FDR calls a special session of Congress;
passes Neutrality Act of 1939
Selling point of Cash and Carry?
Purchases from England and France help
lift US economy
Hitler Runs Amok
April 1940 Hitler attacks Denmark and Norway.
May attacks Netherlands and Belgium, then
June 1940 France is forced to surrender
Miracle of Dunkirk
Very significant because saves a huge chunk of
US shocked by quick fall of France
Impact on public attitude
Threat to US of German domination Europe
US Starts to Arm
FDR calls for building of huge air fleet and a two-
ocean navy that would check both Germany and
Congress approves 37 Billion
More than the cost of WWI and 5-times larger than
any annual budget for New Deal.
Congress passes a conscription law, Sept. 1940.
America’s first peace-time draft.
Havana Conference of 1940
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on
to the end. We shall fight in France, we
shall fight on the seas and the oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence
and growing strength in the air, we shall
defend our island, whatever the cost
We shall fight on the
beaches, we shall fight on
the landing grounds, we
shall fight in the fields and
in the streets, we shall fight
in the hills; we shall
Winston Churchill, the new prime minister
summed up the British attitude:
Battle of Britain
August 1940 Battle of
Battle rages for
British planes chew
Battle of Britain in US
Edward R. Murrow.
Impact of radio reports on
Battle of Britain on US
Hitler eventually indefinitely
Issue: Whether to
provide scarce resources
to GB or to husband all
resources so that
available to US
What do supporters of aid
What do those against
British in desperate need of destroyers.
Destroyer Deal. Details
Is a clear departure from neutrality
But public opinion supported all aid to GB
short of war.
In 1940 Republicans
nominate Wendell Wilkie.
Why such a surprise?
Attitude toward New Deal
Wilkie does not exploit
resentment against FDR
FDR keeps the country in suspense, but
decides to run for a third term.
FDR pledges that “Your boys are not
going to be sent into any foreign wars.”
FDR wins easily, but not as triumphantly
as the first two times.
FDR might not have won if not for war.
Also might not have run.
By late 1940 Cash and Carry not
working for Britain. Why?
FDR knows that Congress will not
approve cash loans to allies.
Proposes Lend-lease. How does it
FDR proposes making the US the
arsenal of democracy.
This bill is vigorously debated
throughout the nation.
Passes in March, 1941. Was a clear
declaration of hostility to Hitler.
May, 1941 Germans sink first US
June 1941 Hitler invades the Soviet Union and
opens up a second front in his rear.
Takes the pressure off GB and divides his army.
What is he thinking?
Soviets are on the edge of defeat.
Roosevelt extends lend-Lease to Soviets. Extends 1
Bill. of what will eventually be 11 Billion.
Atlantic Conference-8/41. First of a series of
meetings between Churchill and Roosevelt.
Leads to 8-point plan for
post-war world. Atlantic
Charter. Similar to
Wilson’s 14 points
Pledges that countries will
not have borders changed
Self determination and
return to pre-war
League of nations type
U.S. Destroyers And Hitler’s U-boats
Lend-Lease to GB was faltering. Why?
Clashes with Subs—
9/41—Greer attacked without damage
10/41—Kearny attacked but not sunk
10/41—Reuben James sunk with loss of more
Congress pulls Neutrality legislation and
authorizes the arming of Merchant ships.
In the meantime……out in the Pacific
Japan is mired in China. US is pressuring them to get
Japan is heavily dependent on US steel, oil, gasoline
and other war supplies. If US cuts them off, Japan is
FDR reluctant to impose sanctions. Why?
Late 1940 US does impose sanctions.
1941 freeze Japanese assets and ends all oil shipments.
US has broken code and knows that Japan plans to
Warnings from US to Pearl Harbor are late in arriving.
December 7, 1941 Japanese aircraft carriers
launch waves of attack planes. Destroy most of
US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.
8 battleships, most of aircraft, 3000 casualties.
But, three US carriers were out to sea and were
Japanese failed to destroy repair facilities, allowing
US to stay at Pearl and repair the fleet. Big mistake.
Next day—Congress declares war.
Japan and Germany are allies—Germany and
Italy then declare war on US. U.S. declares war
on Germany. We are in.