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Lecture 3 (2)

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20th century

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Lecture 3 (2)

  1. 1. Franklin D. Roosevelt ● In the 1932 election, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the USA. Optimistic and a commanding public speaker, Roosevelt, a former governor of New York State, was able to inspire public confidence. ● In 1935, the Social Security Act established contributory old-age and survivors` pensions, as well as a joint federal-state program of unemployment insurance. Roosevelt’s programs did not end the Depression. Although the economy improved as a result of this program of government intervention, full recovery was finally brought before the Second World War.
  2. 2. In September 1939, war erupted in Europe. Roosevelt announced that the United States would be neutral, but not indifferent. On December, 7, 1941, Japanese bombers struck at Pearl Harbour naval base in Hawaii. The surprise attack sank or damaged eight battleships and destroyed almost 200 aircrafts. The United States immediately declared war on Japan. Four days later, Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declare war on the United States.
  3. 3. In 1941, Japan had a large navy and a greater number of aircraft. Prospects for a Japanese military victory depended on Japan’s being able to defeat the Americans before the United States could reconstruct its industrial complex to produce military equipment. At this Japan failed, and the United States was soon producing huge numbers of ships, aircraft and weaponry.
  4. 4. The USA feared that Germany might develop a nuclear weapon, so the government spent $ 2 thousand million on the top-secret Manhattan Project, which produced and tested an atomic bomb in 1945.
  5. 5. American, British and Soviet war planners agreed to concentrate on defeating Germany first. British and American forces landed in North Africa in November 1942, then proceeded to Sicily and the Italian mainland in 1943, liberating Rome on June 4, 1944, after months of bitter fighting. Two days later, June, 6, “D-Day”, allied troops landed in Normandy. Paris was liberated on August, 24, and by September American units were across the German border. Finally, on April, 25, 1945, the western Allied forces met Soviet troops at the town of Torgau, Germany.
  6. 6. American forces wanted to invade the Japanese home islands. In the hope of bringing the war to a swift end President Harry Truman ordered to use the atomic bomb against Hiroshima (August, 6) and Nagasaki (August, 9). Japan agreed to surrender on August, 14. Nearly 200,000 civilians died in the nuclear attacks. After the war, tension quickly developed between the United States and the Soviet Union. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin promised free elections for all the liberated nations of Europe. The western Allies restored democracy in Western Europe and Japan, but Soviet forces imposed communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe.
  7. 7. In 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposed a massive aid program to help rebuild destroyed Europe. The USSR and the Eastern European nations were invited to participate in the Marshall Plan, but the Soviets rejected the offer. The Marshall Plan was a generous and successful program. Over four years it paid out $12,5 thousand million in aid and restored the economies of Western Europe.
  8. 8. At this time, Germany and Berlin were divided in two – a western zone under American, British and French occupation, and an eastern zone under Soviet domination. In April, 1949, the United States allied with Canada, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Portugal to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In May, 1947, the United States began sending military aid to the Greek government, which was fighting Communists, and to Turkey, which had a conflict about territory with the Soviets.

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