Chapter 8: World War II and the Early Cold War Standard USHC-7: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of World War II on the United States and the nation’s subsequent role in the world. Enduring Understanding In defense of democracy, a government may need to confront aggression and ask its citizens for sacrifice in wars and providing foreign aid that, in turn, affects the practice of democracy at home. To make informed political decisions about when and how government should go to war, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:
Indicators USHC-7.1 Analyze the decision of the United States to enter World War II, including the nation’s movement from a policy of isolationism to international involvement and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. USHC-7.2 Evaluate the impact of war mobilization on the home front, including consumer sacrifices, the role of women and minorities in the workforce, and limits on individual rights that resulted in the internment of Japanese Americans. USHC-7.3 Explain how controversies among the Big Three Allied leaders over war strategies led to post-war conflict between the United States and the USSR, including delays in the opening of the second front in Europe, the participation of the Soviet Union in the war in the Pacific, and the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. USHC-7.4 Summarize the economic, humanitarian, and diplomatic effects of World War II, including the end of the Great Depression, the Holocaust, the war crimes trials, and the creation of Israel.
Chapter 8 Terms Adolf Hitler Appeasement Joseph Stalin Benito Mussolini Tojo Hideki Axis Powers Neutrality Act Lend-Lease Act Pearl Harbor Tehran Conference D-Day Big Three Yalta Conference Philippines Battle of Midway Island Hopping Atomic Bomb Manhattan Project Harry S. Truman Hiroshima Nagasaki Selective Service Act War Production Board War bond drives Victory gardens Rationing Rosie the Riveter WAC Tuskegee Airmen Code Talkers The 442th Double V Hispanic population Internment camps Concentration camps Holocaust Nuremberg Trials Nuclear age Nuclear arms race
Essential Questions Why did FDR want to see the United States get involved in the war? What was D-Day and what impact did it have on World War II? Rosie the Riveter was a symbol of what? Describe the Holocaust.
8.1 World War II Begins Foreign Aggression
Hitler and Germany During the 1920s and 1930s, totalitarian dictators rose to power throughout much of Europe. Hitler’s goal was to establish an empire he called the “Third Reich”. Hitler ruled Germany with an iron fist and he wanted to conquer other parts of Europe as well and in the end the Soviet Union. British and French leaders met with Hitler in Munich to express concern but instead of answering with military force they chose appeasement. Britain and France signed the Munich Pact which agreed to let Germany keep the territories it had taken in exchange for a pledge not to take anymore.
Stalin and The Soviet Union In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin gained control of the Communist Party and became the country’s leader, Stalin executed many of his rivals and political opponents. He tolerated no political opposition and strictly limited the Soviet people’s freedom.
Mussolini in Italy Benito Mussolini rose to power in 1922. Mussolini was a fascist. The government did not own all the businesses and property the way it would under a communist regime. Mussolini’s government certainly controlled all aspects of business and politics. Mussolini did not allow any political opposition. In 1935, Mussolini’s forces invaded what we know as Ethiopia and was condemned by the League of Nations. Mussolini withdrew Italy from the League of Nations and Italy and Germany became allies.
Tojo in Japan Beginning in the 1920s, Japan began expanding its territory. It used its military to conquer regions in China, Korea, and other parts of Eastern Asia. In 1941, a military officer named Hideki Tojo became Japan’s prime minister. Although the country had an emperor, Tojo and his fellow generals truly controlled the government. Under their leadership they continued to invade more Asian nations. Japan eventually signed an agreement with Germany and Italy. The three countries became allies and they formed an alliance called the Axis Powers.
The U.S. Remains Neutral As the Axis Powers became increasingly militaristic, the U.S. remained neutral. Many U.S. citizens still believed in isolationism. The devastation left many in the U.S. unwilling to become involved in another international conflict. With the Great Depression, many wanted the government to fix problems at home rather than abroad. Responding to this, Congress passed the Neutrality Act in 1935. This act prohibited the sale of weapons to warring nations.
Hitler’s Aggression THE FALL OF POLAND AND FRANCE On September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland starting world War II in Europe. In the Spring of 1940, Germany conquered Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and eventually France. On June 14, German troops entered the city of Paris. Hitler made France sign an armistice giving half of the country up to German control. The armistice was a symbol of redemption for Germany’s defeat in WWI.
Britain’s Resistance A few months later, Hitler’s air force launched an air attack against Great Britain. Hitler knew he had to destroy Britain's might royal air force before he could cross the English Channel and launch an invasion. During the nightly raids which happened almost every night, residents of London slept in subways for cover. Churchill proved to be a great leader who inspired the British people with a strong sense of nationalism. Thanks to the Royal Air Force, the British were able to fight off the Germans.
The United States Enters The War LEND-LEASE In 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the only U.S. president ever elected to a third term. Although the majority of the U.S. citizens favored neutrality, Roosevelt was already convinced that the U.S. could not afford to stay out of the war much longer. As Britain struggled against Germany, FDR proclaimed to the U.S. people if “Great Britain goes down, all of us in America would be living at the point of a gun. In March 1941, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act. Under this act, the president could send aid to any nation whose defenses was considered vital to the U.S. national security.
Pearl Harbor While Hitler steamrolled through Europe, the U.S. also had one eye on Japan. Japan had been hurt by worldwide depression, Japan also lacked many of the natural resources it needed. The Japanese military saw aggressive expansion as their answer to their problems. When the U.S. responded to Japan’s aggression by imposing an embargo on oil and steel, many in Japan’s government felt the time had come for Japan to take what it needed by force. Japan realized it could not make the advances it wanted without being threatened by the U.S. naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Although he doubted Japan’s ability to win the war with the U.S. Japanese Admiral Yamamota knew his country was determined to expand.
Pearl Harbor Yamamota developed a plan to sail 6 aircraft carriers across the Pacific undetected and launch a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Maintaining radio silence the entire way, the Japanese ships reached their destination as planned. U.S. intelligence knew that the Japanese were planning an attack of some kind. They just didn’t know where. They thought Pearl Harbor was to shallow for planes to drop torpedoes. A few minutes before 8am on December 7, 1941, Japanese airplanes began the first wave of bombings on the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor U.S. military personnel actually detected the incoming planes on radar but thinking it was U.S. planes they dismissed it. In less than two hours, the Japanese forces sank or seriously damaged a dozen naval vessels.. They destroyed almost two hundred warplanes, and killed or wounded nearly 3000 people. The next day, President Roosevelt emotionally described December 7th as “a day which will live in infamy.”
8.2 The Course of The War DISAGREEMENTS AMONG ALLIES Serious disagreements arose between the Soviet Union and its Western Allies, the U.S. and Great Britain. The Americans and the British did not want to launch an invasion of Western Europe until enemy forces were driven from north Africa. Stalin resented his allies reluctance to invade France and create a western front. He even accused the two countries later of stalling because they wanted to see the Soviet Union weakened because it was a communist nation.
8.2 The Course of The War D-DAY Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin finally met for the Tehran Conference in December 1943. Stalin desperately wanted the allies to launch an invasion of France and create a second front for Hitler. On June 6, 1944, the western allies launched the D-Day invasion. Hitting the beaches in Normandy, France, the first soldiers ashore received overwhelming gunfire. Despite heavy losses, it took the allies less than a week to get over 500,000 troops ashore. They liberated Paris on August 25, 1944.
8.2 The Course of The War VICTORY IN EUROPE Anticipating Germany’s defeat, the Big Three (Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin) met in February 1945 at the city of Yalta and conducted the Yalta Conference. There, they discussed military strategy and postwar policies. Because of the tremendous losses inflicted on the USSR by the war. Allies agreed that the Soviet Union would receive half of the war reparations from Germany. The resolution also stated Germany would be divided up into four zones. In the face of certain defeat, Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 as Soviet troops over ran Berlin. Sadly Roosevelt died on April 12th and never saw the day of victory. After many long years of war, people in the Allied countries finally celebrated V-E-Day on May 8, 1945.
War in The Pacific BATTLE OF MIDWAY AND THE U.S. OFFENSIVE Admiral Yamamota was considered a military genius for orchestrating the attack on Pearl Harbor. He also thought the remainder of the U.S. Pacific fleet must be destroyed if Japan had any hope of winning the war. The Battle of Midway in June, 1942 proved to be the turning point in the war. This time it was the Japanese who failed to detect the location of its enemy’s aircraft carriers. The U.S. victory at Midway forced the Japanese to assume a more defensive war strategy.
War in The Pacific ISLAND HOPPING The U.S. began a process of island hopping. Its forces attacked and conquered one group of islands, then moved onto the next as its forces made its way to Japan. In the South, General Douglas MacArthur retook the Philippines. Meanwhile forces under Admiral Nimitz won key battles at Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
War in The Pacific THE ATOMIC BOMB Soon after entering the war, the U.S. began to work on developing the atomic bomb. The top secret endeavor was called the Manhattan Project. It was headed by J. Robert Oppenheimer. On July 16, 1945, scientists tested the new weapon in the desert of New Mexico. The flash was blinding and the explosion so great it shattered windows 125 miles away. President Harry S. Truman, while at the Potsdam Conference discussed postwar policies with the allied leaders and restated their policy of “unconditional surrender.”
War in The Pacific THE ATOMIC BOMB On August 6, 1945, a specially equipped B29 bomber called the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The blast leveled the city, killing thousands of civilians and military personnel Many more died from radiation released from the blast, Two days later the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria. When Japan delayed in issuing its surrender, the U.S. dropped another bomb on August 9 on the city of Nagasaki. Japan finally surrendered on August 14, 1945.
8.3 The War At Home Most U.S. citizens never experienced any fighting in World War II first hand . However the war still impacted people in the U.S. in many ways. In 1940, Congress authorized the first peacetime draft in U.S. history when it passed the Selective Service Act. Following Pearl Harbor, a large number of volunteers enlisted in the military.
National Morale, War Industry, And Citizen Sacrifice NATIONAL SUPPORT The government realized it needed to maintain strong public support for the war effort. The government paid artists to design patriotic war posters and movie theatres started playing newsreels depicting the U.S. war effort in a positive light. Ads depicting patriotic themes in magazines and on radio broadcasts also became common.
National Morale, War Industry, And Citizen Sacrifice ECONOMIC IMPACT War meant that the U.S. economy had to switch from peacetime to wartime as quickly and efficiently as possible. President Roosevelt established the War Productions Board to oversee this. The economic result was that the U.S. economy boomed and people’ standard of living increased. Unemployed men began finding jobs and migrating to northern cities and out west to fill jobs needed for wartime production.
National Morale, War Industry, And Citizen Sacrifice CITIZEN SACRIFICE In order to have money for the war, the U.S. called on sacrifices from citizens. The government introduced the idea of withholding income tax. The idea was that employers would withhold taxes and give it to the government immediately. Another means of raising money was through the sale of war bonds. By buying bonds, citizens were actually loaning money to the government in return for interest. People also sacrificed resources, growing victory gardens for their own food so more food could be sent to soldiers. The government also started a program of rationing, certain items were assigned points. Once you used up your points, you had to wait till you received more points to obtain the items.
The Role of Women “ROSIE THE RIVETER” With so many U.S. men going off to fight, women became an important part of the workforce at home. Women of all racial and cultural backgrounds stepped forward to take on jobs traditionally held by men. A popular song of the day was called Rosie The Riveter. The song described a woman who worked in the factory as a riveter while her boyfriend served in the military. Rosie The Riveter became the symbol of those women who entered the workforce.
The Role of Women WOMEN IN UNIFORM It was not just white males who served in WWII, women and minorities also served with honor. Although nearly every branch had a division for women, the WAC was by far the largest. Women served at home and abroad in every role but combat.
African Americans in Uniform Minorities played a crucial role in the U.S. war effort. Nearly one million African Americans volunteered or was drafted. At first they were prohibited from combat roles , eventually the number of causalities led to a change in this policy. The Tuskegee Airmen served as an all black squadron of fighter pilots. They successfully protected every bomber they escorted during the war.
Native Americans and Mexicans Native Americans also served in WWII. The Marines even developed a code for communicating based on the Navajo language. This code proved effective and the Japanese were unable to break it. Some 300 Navajo Marines served as radio operators known as code talkers against Japan. Meanwhile Mexican Americans who served in the U.S. military won 17 congressional medals of honor.
Japanese Americans Finally there were the Japanese Americans who served. Originally they could not enlist, but this changed in 1943. One Japanese American unit, the 442nd, served so valiantly in Europe that it became the most decorated unit in U.S. history. Their contribution was remarkable considering the racism and discrimination that many families endured at home during the war.
Minorities at Home The boom in war industry revived African American migration. Large numbers of blacks moved to the cities and out west. The increased access of blacks to the nation's available jobs, as well as black fighting men and dying overseas just like white men, fueled cries for social justice. Many African Americans advocated what they called the double V – victory at home and victory abroad. As a result, the period marked the beginning of more open and bold challenges on the part of African Americans to the racial injustices that existed in U.S. society.
Internment of Japanese Americans The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor fueled suspicion and fear of Japanese people in the U.S. On Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, ordering all Japanese Americans from military facilities. Under this order more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes and businesses and place in internment camps. The camps tended to be in remote areas owned by the federal government. In 1944, the executive order was challenged, but the Supreme Court ruled the government internment of the Japanese Americans was not unlawful because of the military situation.
8.4 The Aftermath of World War II THE HOLOCAUST AND WAR CRIME TRIALS The invasion of Europe by the allies also exposed the horrible atrocities committed by the Nazis against people labeled as socially inferior and unfit to live. Among the groups so targeted, the Jewish people suffered the most. Hitler ascended to power in large part due to Anti-Semitism. The Nazi’s set about attempting to exterminate the Jewish race through mass genocide. Under Hitler’s regime, the Jews were rounded up, separated from their families and either killed or shipped to concentration camps.
8.4 The Aftermath of World War II THE HOLOCAUST AND WAR CRIME TRIALS cont… As allied soldiers began liberating areas of Europe, formally held by the Nazis, they encountered the camps that housed tortured and starving people. They found gas chambers for conducting mass executions and ovens for burning the bodies. Troops uncovered mass graves where victims had been thrown after they had been killed or left to die in camps. Roughly six millions Jews died during this horrible episode known as the Holocaust.
8.4 The Aftermath of World War II THE HOLOCAUST AND WAR CRIME TRIALS cont… When the world became aware of the Holocaust, there was an outcry for justice. Hitler was dead but there were others in the Nazi regime who could be punished. The Nuremburg trials began in November 1945 and place more than 20 Nazi leaders on trial for crimes against humanity. The court sentenced several of the defendants to death, while others received long prison terms. The Japanese also treated prisoners harshly, as a result, the Allies executed seven Japanese leaders including Tojo Hideki. Over 2000 total war crimes took place.
Lasting Impact of Scientific and Technological Discoveries THE NUCLEAR AGE The war years produced advancements in technology, the greatest change was the introduction of the nuclear age. Not only did the atomic bomb end the war, but it changed how future wars would be fought. Truman chose to use the bomb as much to intimidate Stalin as to defeat Japan. When Truman told Stalin of the bomb, Stalin calmly expressed hope it would end the war. Stalin was concerned and determined to see his own country develop a similar weapon. As a result, a nuclear arms race between the U.S. and the USSR began.
Lasting Impact of Scientific and Technological Discoveries RADAR AND SONAR Another invention that had great military importance was radar. Radar uses sound waves to detect the approach of enemy planes while they are still a long way off. It was invented by the British and helped them defeat the Germany’s air force by giving them advanced notice of the attacks. The war also saw advances in sonar which uses similar technologies to detect objects under the water.
Lasting Impact of Scientific and Technological Discoveries MICROWAVE TECHNOLOGY An American engineer discovered microwave technology by accident. While working on radar technology for the war effort Percy Spencer noticed his candy bar had melted in his pocket. He discovered the technology he was working with could be used to cook foods faster. By the 1950s, the first home unit microwave oven was on the market. By the 1970s, affordable countertop models were available.
Lasting Impact of Scientific and Technological Discoveries COMPUTERS During the war,, the need for devices that could make fast calculations and decode enemy messages became critical. Computer technology proved to be important. The first computers were huge and took up an entire room. Within a short time, technological advances led to their size decreasing as their abilities increased.
Lasting Impact of Scientific and Technological Discoveries ADDITIONAL INNOVATIONS World War II saw other inventions and innovations as well. New medical technology appeared in the form of antibiotics, such as penicillin to treat bacterial diseases. Advances in agriculture also took place as farmers enjoyed a rise in demand for their products. Radios became smaller and portable, thereby making them more popular.