Hitler created thefascist state of NaziGermanyStalin becamethe Communistdictator of theSoviet UnionHideki Tojo becamethe imperialist PrimeMinister of JapanMussoliniestablishedthe Fascistparty in Italy
Common Themes ofthese dictators:Hold power by forceand fearPass laws to forbidpolitical competitionAppeal to people’spride and prejudicesAll suffering from hardeconomic times afterWW1
How did the United Statesrespond to increasingtotalitarian aggression inEurope and Asia?What caused America’s gradualabandonment of its policy ofneutrality?
Attempts at Neutrality asmilitarism sweeps Europe:Congress passedNeutrality Actsin 1935“America First”was the catch-phrase ofisolationism!In May of 1941, Dr. Seuss publishedthis political cartoon. How did he feelabout the isolationists?
The War Begins!WW II began withHitler’s invasion ofPoland in 1939.Soviet Union invadedPoland from the east.Hitler’s and Stalin’sNon-Aggression Pactkept them from fightingeach other.France and Britain enterto defend Poland“The Appeaser” by Seuss makesreference to the Munich Pact-when Britain and France gave in toHitler in hopes of keeping peace.
The war in EuropeDuring the first two years ofthe war, the United Statesstayed officially neutral asGermany overran France,most of Europe, andpounded Britain from theair (the Battle ofBritain).In mid-1941, Hitler turnedon his former partner andinvaded the Soviet Union.Hitler in Paris, June23, 1940. France fellto the Nazi blitzkrieg ina matter of weeks!
The UnitedStates graduallyabandonedneutrality asevents inEurope and Asiapulled thenation towardwar.
The war in EuropeDespite strong isolationist sentiment athome, the United States increasinglyhelped Britain. It gave Britain warsupplies and old naval warships inreturn for military bases in Bermudaand the Caribbean.Soon after, the Lend-Lease Act gave thePresident the authority to sell or lendequipment to countries to defendthemselves against the Axis powers.Franklin Roosevelt compared it to"lending a garden hose to a next-doorneighbor whose house is on fire".
The war inEuropeThese political cartoons from 1941, pokefun at the America First supporters. Dr.Seuss illustrates the idea that Britain wasstanding alone.
The war in AsiaThe battle flag of the Empire of Japan-
The war in AsiaDuring the 1930s a militaristic Japaninvaded and brutalized Manchuria andChina as it sought military and economicdomination over Asia.The United States refused to recognizeJapanese conquests in Asia and imposed anembargo on exports of oil and steel toJapan.Tensions rose but both countries negotiatedto avoid war.
The war in AsiaWhile negotiating with the U.S.and without any warning,Japan carried out an air attackon the American naval base atPearl Harbor, Hawaii, onDecember 7, 1941.The attack destroyed much ofthe American Pacific fleet andkilled several thousandAmericans.U.S.S. West Virginia andU.S.S. Tennessee burn afterJapans attack on PearlHarbor, December 7, 1941.
Isolation No More!Roosevelt calledthe attack on PearlHarbor "a date thatwill live in infamy"as he askedCongress to declarewar on Japan.Franklin Roosevelt asks Congress todeclare war on Japan, December 8,1941.
Now we were in it!!!After Pearl Harbor, Hitler honored a pactwith Japan and declared war on theUnited States. The debates overisolationism in the United States wereover. World War II was now a true worldwar and the United States was fullyinvolved.
Did you like the Dr. Seuss cartoons?Did you realize that he was so political?Check out the book, Dr. Seuss Went to War for lots more information!You can also check out: http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspolitic/For more on-line information.