Chapter 19 Sec. 4 America Enters the War After England and France declared war on Germany,President Roosevelt declaredthe United States neutral. Yet he was determined to help the 2 countries in their fight against Hitler.
• Although opponents characterized American foreign policy during the 1920’s as isolationist, the United States in fact played a more active role than at almost any other time in its history up to that point.• --expand the nation’s influence abroad
Neutrality Act of 1939• Although the US was neutral, FDR was determined however, to do all he could to help, so he asked Congress to revise the neutrality laws.• Neutrality Act of 1939—warring nations could buy weapons from the US only if they paid cash and carried the arms on their own ships.
The Election of 1940• No President had ever run for 3 terms before but FDR decided to. He steered a careful course between neutrality and intervention but in the end, voters re elected him in a wide margin, preferring to stick with a president they knew during this crisis period.
The Lend-Lease Act• FDR warned that if Britain fell, an “unholy alliance” would keep trying to conquer the world, and then, “all of us in all the Americas would be living at the point of a gun”. FDR argued that the US should become the “great arsenal of democracy”.• This act sent weapons to Britain if Britain promised to return or pay rent for them after the war.
Japan Attacks the United States• America Embargoes Japan: Japan depended on the US for many key materials-iron, steel and oil, 80% of Japan’s oil came from the US. But the Japanese were threatening the British territories in the Pacific so:• --FDR first blocked the sale of airplane fuel and iron to Japan• He started to send aid to China
• Japanese were furious—they positioned themselves to attack Hong Kong and Singapore.• FDR then froze all Japanese assets in the US and reduced the amount of oil being shipped to Japan.
FDR sent Gen. Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines to build up America defenses there.
• FDR made it clear he would lift the oil embargo if Japan withdrew from Indochina and made peace with China. With the war with China in jeopardy because of a lack of oil and other resources, the Japanese military began making plans to attack the resource rich British and Dutch colonies in southeast Asia. Also seize the Philippines and attack the American fleet at Pearl Harbor.
Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor• While Japanese officials were in Washington negotiating in good faith, they were planning an attack at Pearl Harbor. US knew an attack was coming just not sure where. Although some clues pointed to Hawaii most officials doubted it because it was too long a distance.
Results of the Attack• December 7, 1941• 21 ships sank or damaged• 8 battleships sank• 3 cruisers• 4 destroyers• 188 airplanes• Killed 2,403 and 1,178 injured
• The next day FDR makes a speech to declare war on Japan• “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy”• Germany declares war on the United States