1930’s Political Ideologies Democracy viewed as weak, indecisive Fascism: (Bundle of Sticks) can’t break them



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1930’s Political Ideologies
Democracy viewed as weak, indecisive
Fascism: (Bundle of Sticks) can’t break them
Begins in France spreads to Europe

Established in Italy under Mussolini, 1922


Germany
Fascism attractive in Germany after WW1 to challenge struggling Weimar Republic-
1. Democracy was seen as a problem, not a solution.
Weimar viewed as weak and dysfunctional
Viewed human existence and nations in perpetual war/struggle
Hitler offers clear solution to this vision through remilitarization and conquest
2. Europeans feared Soviet style communist takeover
Fascism/Nazism was the answer
Fascist nations by 1939- Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Bulgaria, Japan, Romania

Nazism


  • Nazi short for National Socialists

  • Builds upon racist rhetoric of 1920s Austria

  • Aryans (Anglo-Saxons) considered most highly evolved humans

  • Jews (and others) considered racially inferior

  • Jews blamed for conspiring to control world through international finance- “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”

  • Hitler also viewed communism as a Jewish conspiracy



Communism

  • 1848 Karl Marx, German philosopher creates communist ideology

  • 1017, Lenin leads working class revolution in Russia

  • Solution: overthrow capitalism (business owners) and establish government/worker control of economy


Democracy/Capitalism

Britain, US, France


Pre-war US Diplomacy, Japan, and Pearl Harbor
US isolationist during 1930s
Examples:

Neutrality Act of 1935 imposed an embargo on trading arms with warring countries



Neutrality Act of 1936 banned loans to warring countries
US Intervention


  • Hitler invades Poland Sept. 1, 1939

  • 2 days later Britain/France declare war on Germany

“Phony War” ensues- lack of military action

  • April 1940, Germany launches Blitzkrieg or lightening war

  • Invasion of Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, France

  • Nazis sign nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union, 1939- Soviets neutralized

  • Britain and US left remaining

  • 1940 The London Blitz, 6 months of German bombing of London, killing 50,000 leaving 500,000 homeless- over 100 tons of high explosives

  • Neutrality reconsidered

  • Intervention #1- congress passes the Lend Lease Act, 1941

  • Provides arms to maintain British survival (later to Soviets after German invasion June, 1941)

  • US effectively enters war

  • Intervention #2 The Atlantic Charter- joint declaration between FDR and Winston Churchill



Pearl Harbor

  • Dec. 7, 1941

  • Marks official US WWII Involvement



Japanese Imperialism


  • Japan became imperial power; developed racist attitude against Asian neighbors

  • Invades Manchuria, China 1930- no action taken by League of Nations

  • Launch full scale invasion in 1937 known as the Rape of Nanking- horrific atrocities

  • Deaths disputed- 50,000-400,000

  • Japan refuses to accept responsibility or apologize to this day

  • Japan/China relations today- not good

  • Japan signed Tripartice Pact, 1940 Alliance of Japan, Germany, Italy

  • Prime Minister Hideki Tojo started war preparations Sept, 1941

  • US aware, didn’t know when

  • Dec. 7 Japan attacks

  • Killed 2,400 US Americans

  • Destroyed 8 battleships, 3 cruisers, 200 airplanes


Reasons for Japanese Attack


  • Demoralize US

  • Incapacitate US as Japan pursued oil elsewhere in south Asia

  • Draw US into war in Pacific to keep it out of Europe


Outcome


  • Bolstered US determination to fight

  • Tactical failure; no damage to repair facilities, oil reserves, aircraft carriers

  • Declaration war signed Dec 8

  • 2 days later Germany declared war on US

  • “I am afraid we have awakened a sleeping giant” Admiral Isoroku Yamamto, Japan


War Mobilization


  • WWII does more than end Great Depression

  • Economy takes off, full employment

  • Inflation, not depression era deflation, was a problem

  • GDP; 1940 $99 billion 1945 $211 billion

  • Production increased dramatically- the “sleeping giant” was awakened

  • 100 largest corporations got 2/3 of all military contracts

  • 86,000 tanks/296,00 airplanes built

  • Kaiser takes 17 days rather than 1 year for ship construction

  • War created demand for 7 million jobs

  • Most jobs filled by women as welders, riveters, drill press operators, blast furnace cleaners

  • Scientific developments spur postwar economy- nuclear, plastics, chemicals, synthetics

  • Sets in place historically unprecedented postwar economic growth

Financing


  • Revenue Act of 1942 raised taxes on all Americans- 43 million Americans pay income and/or payroll taxes

  • War bonds- patriotic act; also kept inflation low. Why” 7 bond drives oversubscribed



African Americans


  • Energized civil rights movement, black activism

  • Double “V” campaign; victory over Nazism abroad, victory against racism at home

  • FDR’s FEPC (1941) staved off “March on Washington”

  • Totalitarianism abroad questioned segregation at home


Support for War


  • US overwhelmingly supports war effort

  • High morale

  • Moral war (the good war) freedom over totalitarianism

  • Most sacrifice little; war viewed as a good time


Background:
Axis Powers and leaders

Germany- Hitler

Italy- Mussolini

Japan- Tojo


Allies and leaders

Great Britain -Churchill



US- FDR

Soviet Union- Stalin



Mobilization in Europe

1939-41

  • Invasion of Poland

  • 1939-1940 “phony war”

  • 1940 Hitler launches Blitzkrieg, controls Poland

  • June 22, 1941: Hitler attacks Russia in Operation Barbarossa, ending the nonaggression pact

  • Largest attack in military history


1942

  • German armies pushed deep into Soviet territory near Moscow and Leningrad

  • Hitler started North Africa offensive- capture Suez Canal


1943 Turning Point

  • Soviets halt German advance and win Battle of Stalingrad (present-day Ukraine

  • Germans lost 333,000; Soviets 550,000

  • Allies (mostly US) defeat Germans in North Africa fulfilling FDRs promise to Stalin for second front

  • Italy withdrawals

  • Allies attack German forces through Italy- Europe’s “soft underbelly”


1944

  • Soviets push Germany out of Russia by mid 1944

  • D-Day; June 6, 1944. 1.5 million troops cross English Channel to beaches of Normandy, France; aka Operation Overlord

  • Allies bomb German military and industrial installations- level Dresden, Cologne, Berlin, causing 1 million casualties- many civilian

  • Germans counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge, December. 1944. Germans defeated after 10 days fierce fighting


1945

  • FDR dies April 12, 1945 from cerebral hemorrhage, Truman takes over

  • Germans surrender May 8, 1945; V-E Day

War in the Pacific

1941

  • Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941

  • Within 3 month Japan invades; Guam, Hong Kong, Wake Island, Burma, Philippines, Malaya

  • Grim situation


1942

  • Summer 1942, us launches “island hopping” campaign

  • May 7-8 Battle of Coral Sea protects Australia

  • In June, Battle of Midway inflicts major damage on both sides


1943-44

  • 1943 Battle o Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

  • 1944 Reconquest of Philippines- Japan incurs major losses

1945

  • To attack Japanese mainland, US needed islands Iwo Jima (Feb.) and Okinawa (April)

  • Japan fiercely defends islands; 14,000 US killed

  • US bombing of mainland killed over 330,000 civilians, crippled economy

  • Japan starts suicide kamikaze missions and refuses to surrender

  • Aug. 6 and 9. US drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.


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