American Neutrality, 1920-1941

American Neutrality, 1920-1941 American Neutrality, 1920-1941 - Start

2016-03-24 64K 64 0 0


Roots of Neutrality: Isolationism. Disillusionment w/ WWI. Disillusionment w/ League of Nations. Disclosure of War Profiteering . Nye Committee, 1933. US entry blamed on munitions industry!. Influenced Neutrality Acts. ID: 267838 Download Presentation

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American Neutrality, 1920-1941

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American Neutrality, 1920-1941


Roots of Neutrality: Isolationism

Disillusionment w/ WWI

Disillusionment w/ League of Nations

Disclosure of War Profiteering

Nye Committee, 1933

US entry blamed on munitions industry!

Influenced Neutrality Acts

Belief in geographic protection

Primary concern was economics


American Isolation, Post WW I

Belief that US involvement in WWI was a horrible mistakeEfforts by US to avoid future involvementPeace societies (conservative and radical)Washington Naval Conference, 1922Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928 (outlawed war!)Recognition of USSR, 1933Good Neighbor Policy (shift away from direct intervention in Latin America), 1933


American Isolation, Post WWI

Events of early 1930s showed America the agreements wouldn’t workJapanese invade Manchuria, 1931Hitler announced Germany’s rearmament, 1935Italian invasion of Ethiopia, 1935Spanish Civil War, 1936Rhineland militarized, 1936Axis military Pact, 1936Japan-China clash, 1937 (WWII began in Asia)


Totalitarianism v. Democracy

Totalitarianism’sbasic ideals

Individual serves the stateState is supremeState grants rightsMilitarism, force rule Major totalitarian rulersAdolf Hitler (Germany)Benito Mussolini (Italy)Josef Stalin (USSR)Francisco Franco (Spain)Hideki Tojo (Japan)

Democracy’sbasic ideals

State serves the individual

People are supreme

People have rights

Emphasis on debate

Major Democratic leaders


Neville Chamberlain (UK)

Eduard Daladier (France)


American Isolation in Action, Post WWI

American reactionJohnson Debt Default Act (no loans to WWI defaulters)Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936, 1937: Together, provided that if President said a foreign war was taking place, no sailing, sales, transportation of goods, or loans to any belligerent (would have kept US out of WWI)FDR: “Quarantine” speech, 1937 (called for economic quarantine of aggressors v isolationism)



Policy of European countries, towards threats to peace, despite strength of allied armies – why???Anschluss (Austria) 1938Hitler demanded Sudentenland (Czechoslovakia), 1938Munich Pact, Sept. 1938Neville Chamberlain (UK)Eduard Daladier (France)Hitler (Germany)Mussolini (Italy)“Peace in our time!”


US Response to Appeasement

Buenos Aires Conference, 1936 (threat to one country in Western Hemisphere a threat to all)

Canada was brought under Monroe Doctrine, 1938

Declaration of Lima, 1938: American nations agreed on common action, in crisis


European War, 1939

Hitler took rest of Czech, March 1939Italy attacked Albania, April 1939Germany & USSR sign Non-Aggression Pact, Aug. 1939Poland attacked by Germans, Soviets Sept. 1, 1939


American Response

Neutrality Act of 1939“Cash & carry” on munitions, for Allies (FDR influenced)Germany designated as the aggressorDeclaration of Panama, Oct. 1939300 mile “safety zone” declared around Western Hemisphere nationsSmith Act, 1940Illegal to advocate overthrow of US governmentDraft reinstated, Sept. 1940



US program to supply allies with war supplies, from March 1941 to 1945US shipped a total of $50.1 billion (almost $700 billion, in 2007 dollars) to Britain, USSR, France, ChinaIn return, US received about $7.8 billion (about $100 billion in 2007 dollars) worth of military bases in Newfoundland, CaribbeanUS received no other repayment - & did not seek any repayment


America’s Entry into the War

July 1941: Japan seized Indo-China

July 1941: America froze Japanese assets, established embargo on oil, gas, etc.Nov. 1941: Japanese peace missionDec. 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor attacked (2,896 casualties, over 2100 deaths; 8 BB sunk or heavily damaged)War declared on Dec. 8, retroactive to Dec. 7












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