Ayana World War II Vocabulary

53 terms by AmericanStudies 

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Totalitarianism

a political system where a country where a single party controls the government and every aspect of people's lives. The individual is under the control of the state, and opposing political/cultural expression is suppressed

Fascism

rooted in miliarism, extreme nationalism, and blind loyalty to the state; dictators vowed to create new empires

aggression

warlike act by one country against another without a just cause

scapegoat

a person or group of people on whom is blamed for others' problems (like in WWII, Jews for Germany)

Nazis

member of the National Socialist German Worker's Party; under Hitler's command

concentration camp

prison camp for civilians who are considered enemies of the state

appeasement

practice of giving in to aggression in order to aviod war

Nazi-Soviet Pack

agreement signed between Hitler and Stalin in 1939 in which the two dictators agreed not to attack each other

blitzkrieg

"lightning war"; swift attacks launched by Germany in WWII during the night

Axis

WWII military alliance of Italy, Japan, Germany, and 6 other countries

Allies

WWII military alliance of Britain, France, Soviet Union, China, the U.S., and 45 other countries

Battle of Britain

Germany's failed attempt to subdue Britain in 1940 in preparation for invasion (Germans bombed Britain continuously but Britain resisted with fighter pilots and Hitler gave up invasion)

Battle of Midway

a 1942 battle in the Pacific during which American planes sank 4 Japanese aircraft carriers (protected Hawaii)

D-Day

day of the invasion of Western Europe by Allied forces-June 6, 1944 (Allied forces landed at France, freed Paris; slowly advanced to Germany)

Battle of the Bulge

German counter-attack in December 1944 that temporarily slowed the allied invasion of Germany

island hopping

during WWII, Allied strategy of capturing Japanese-held islands to gain control of the Pacific Ocean (American ships shelled an island; troops waded ashore; hand-to-hand fighting occurred until island was captured)

Navajo code-talkers

during WWII, Navajo soldiers who used their own language to radio vital messages during the island-hopping campaign

kamikaze

WWII Japanese pilots trained to make a suicidal crash attack, usually upon a ship

Potsdam Declaration

message sent by the Allies in July 1945 calling for the Japanese to surrender

Nuremberg Trials

Nazi war crime trials held in 1945 and 1946

Communism

a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Democracy

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Internment camp

a prison camp for the confinement of enemy aliens, prisoners of war, political prisoners

Adolf Hitler

German dictator, leader of the Nazis (1935-1945) who believed in the superiority of the Aryan race and brought on World War II in his quest to conquer Europe

Joseph Stalin

Soviet political leader, 1941-53.

Benito Mussolini

Italian leader: premier of Italy 1922-43. Facist

Hiroshima

a port in SW Japan, largely destroyed on August 6, 1945, by the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare, dropped by the US, which killed over 75 000 of its inhabitants.

Aryan

(in Nazi ideology) a Caucasian of non-Jewish descent, esp of the Nordic type

Hirohito

emperor of Japan 1926-89.

Imperialism

the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.

Holocaust

the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime from 1941 until 1945

Pearl Harbor

a harbor on Oahu to the west of Honolulu; location of a United States naval base that was attacked by the Japanese on 7 Dec 1941

decolonization

the action of changing from colonial to independent status

Neutrality Act of 1939 (Cash & Carry)

Banned US ships from carrying goods or passengers to belligerent ports but allowed US sales of munitions on a "cash-and carry" basis.

Lend-Lease Act

The program under which the United States of America supplied many of the allied nations with vast amounts of war material

Isolationism

A form of national policy that refrains from relations with other countries

Interventionism

The policy of intervening (getting involved) in affairs of another sovereign state.

Nuremburg trials

a series of trials for the prosecution of the prominent leaders of Nazi Germany

Executive Order 9066

February 19, 1942. Authorized the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. The order also authorized transporting these citizens to assembly centers hastily set up and governed by the military. Also applied to smaller numbers of residents of the United States who were of Italian or German descent. 3,200 residents of Italian background were arrested and more than 300 were interned. About 11,000 German residents—including some naturalized citizens—were arrested and more than 5000 were interned.

Atom Bomb in Hiroshima

By the time the United States had a usable atomic bomb, the war in Europe was over, but thousands of American soldiers remained in the Pacific fighting the Japanese. Although some historians argue that the war could have been ended without the dropping of the bomb, in the summer of 1945 President Harry Truman made the fateful decision to proceed. In this dramatic radio address, Truman told the nation that a bomb had been dropped on the city of Hiroshima on August 6. Truman inaccurately described Hiroshima as a "military base." It was the base of the Second General Headquarters of the Imperial Army, but civilians outnumbered army personnel by about six to one.

Atom Bomb

a bomb whose violent explosive power is due to the sudden release of energy resulting from the splitting of nuclei of a heavy chemical element (as plutonium or uranium) by neutrons in a very rapid chain reaction (Also known as atomic bomb)

Franklin Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States; elected four times; instituted New Deal to counter the Great Depression and led country during World War II

Roosevelt & African Americans

This relationship presented something of a paradox. On the one hand, Roosevelt never endorsed anti-lynching legislation; he accepted segregation and disenfranchisement; and he condoned discrimination against blacks in federally funded relief programs. On the other hand, Roosevelt won the hearts and the votes of African Americans in unprecedented numbers. African Americans who supported left-wing parties, however, were more likely to be critical.

Langston Hughes

an American playwright, poet, and novelist, became a socialist in the 1930s

Ballad of Roosevelt

In Hughes's "Ballad of Roosevelt," which appeared in the New Republic in 1934, the poet criticized the unfulfilled promises that FDR had made to the poor. Hughes's style in this poem showed his distinctive merging of traditional verse with black artistic forms like blues and jazz.

the New Deal

a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936 during the first term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Focused on what historians called the "3 Rs"

3 Rs

New Deal programs that were created because of the Great Depression. Relief, Recovery. Reform. (Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression.)

Tuskegee Airmen

Black servicemen of the U.S. Army Air Forces who trained at Alabama's Tuskegee Army Air Field in World War II. The first African American flying unit in the U.S. military. The USAAF's only escort group that did not lose a bomber to enemy planes. In all, the Tuskegee Airmen flew 1,578 missions, destroyed 261 enemy aircraft, and won over 850 medals.

Eleanor Roosevelt

First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women. She was a humanitarian and civic leader. She worked for the welfare of youth, black Americans, the poor, and women, at home and abroad. She also helped to develop the United Nations.

Code Talkers

young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of WWII. At a time when America's best cryptographers were falling short, these modest sheepherders and farmers were able to fashion the most ingenious and successful code in military history

Ethiopia

Ethiopia had been occupied by Italy in 1936-37 (which caused problems for the League of Nations). After WW2 started, Ethiopian forces combined with British troops from Sudan to try to liberate Ethiopia, Eritrea and British Somaliland. They re-took Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1941, and Britain recognized Ethiopia's independence in 1944.

Haille Selassie

Imperial leader of Ethiopia. Modernized Ethiopia and led the resistance against Italian invasion (1935). Selassie was exiled in 1936, but restored to power in 1941 with the assistance of the Allies in World War II. By the 1970s the region's droughts and famines had taken their toll and Selassie began to lose popular support. He was deposed in a military coup in 1974 and died while under arrest. Selassie condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people. His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations.

Hideki Tojo

Initiated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Held extreme right-wing views and was a supporter of Nazi Germany. He also feared the long-term plans of Joseph Stalin and in 1938 he advocated pre-emptive air strikes on both China and the Soviet Union.
Advocated an aggressive foreign policy and strongly opposed plans to remove Japanese troops from China and Korea.
Became prime minister on 16th October 1941. Ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Aware that Japan was unable to win the war, resigned from office after the loss of Saipan in July 1944. He shot himself in the chest just before he was arrested by the US Military in 1945. He survived and after being nursed back to health was tried as a war criminal. Hideki Tojo was executed on December 23, 1948.

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