Role of the United States in the Cold War and World War II Discussion


How did the U.S. role in World War II and the Cold War affect our understanding and commitment to freedom and democracy?in international relationsat home within the U.S. in terms of freedom and equality Think about this question and then develop your thesis for both 1 and 2.

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● 1930s: refusal of U.S. to cancel war debt
● Rise of fascism in Italy and Germany
● Rise of Japanese militarism; invasion of Manchuria
● Failure of voluntary cooperation
● U.S. lack of interest in other nations
● FDR: not interested in stabilizing currency or war debts
● wanted reduction of tariffs, growth of trade
Good Neighbor Policy: non-intervention, use ec. influence in Latin America
Isolationism feeling in the U.S.:

Failure of international agreements
U.S. tricked into WWI
Neutrality Act of 1935, 36, 37
Arms embargo, travel at own risk
Cash & carry policy—nonmilitary goods
European Developments

1938 Hitler invaded Austria, demanded part of Czech
Munich accords: Britain & France accept German demands in return for
end of expansion
● 1939 Hitler occupied all of Czechoslovakia
● 1939 Stalin signed Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler
● 1939 Invasion of Poland; Britain & France enter war to support Poland
U.S. Neutrality
● FDR asks for revision of Neutrality Acts
● Arms for cash & carry
● 1940 German invasion of west, Italy joins, France falls
● Shift in U.S. public opinion: shock of Germans marching through Paris
● FDR requests money for defense
● 1st peacetime draft
● Lend-Lease, Am. ships patrol Atlantic–not the acts of a neutral!
● 1941 German invasion of Soviet Union
● Lend-Lease for Soviets
● U-boat campaign against U.S. ships: is it just a matter of time?
● Sept. 1940—Tripartite Pact: Germany, Italy, and Japan joined forces; an
attack against one would be an attack against all.
Asia: Japanese Aggression in the Pacific

1941 Vietnam
U.S. froze Japanese assets; embargo of key resources Japan needed
Japan: either restore relationship or get resources elsewhere
War imminent: but where? Most likely: the Philippines
7 Dec 1941, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Followed by the Philippines, Guam, British, Dutch possessions in South
Pacific Campaign:

North from Australia to Philippines
West from Hawaii
Coral Sea, Midway
Island struggle—turn by 1943
War in Europe

British plan: begin in Southern Europe, North Africa
Soviets: Allied invasion of France to draw pressure off of them in the east
1942 North Africa to 1943
1943 Soviet resistance at Stalingrad; huge casualties
Casablanca Conference: the Big 3 meet, but Stalin will be frustrated
1943 invasion of Sicily—postponed France invasion again
Economy & Labor: full employment returns with massive federal spending on the war;
the federal government leads and coordinates industrial production throughout the
African Americans
Mexican Americans
Native Americans
Industrial Production: The Arsenal of Democracy
Labor and War
Japanese-American Internment

Military officials told FDR of need to secure the west coast after Pearl
1942 Internment—100,000 Japanese Americans
1944 Korematsu v. U.S., Supreme Court ruled in favor of government
security powers in national emergency
early 1945 return
1988 reparations
1944 Allied bombing
June 6, 1944, D-Day: western front invasion of France
Battle of the Bulge: last attempt of Germans to make it to the English Channel
Allied and Soviet troops from east and west stop at Elbe River
Soviets: hold on to territory liberated from Germans,east Germany, Czech.
May 8, 1945, V-E Day
Pacific War
February 1944 Marshall Islands
U.S. goal: Economic circle of Japan
Island hopping toward Japan—October Philippines liberation
End of Japanese fleet: Battle of Leyte Gulf
February 1945 Iwo Jima
Okinawa June—kamikazes, elimination of Japanese air force
Bombing of Japan: fire bombing of Japanese cities, civilian casualties
Military leadership resistance to surrender in Japanese government
Manhattan Project
U.S. ultimatum to Japanese:
Unconditional surrender–no surrender forthcoming
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Emperor Hirohito intervenes in government and insists on unconditional surrender to
save his country.
September 2, 1945 V-J Day
Conclusion: millions dead around the world, 20 million in Soviet Union; destruction, end
of empires and new struggles for freedom and territory; nuclear age and the U.S. as
leader of the world. Rise of communism. The world will never be the same and many
issues set in motion that continue to this day.

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Cold War

Freedom and Equality

World War II

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