Only $2.99/month

Final Year Exam US History Mr. Bielecki

Terms in this set (108)

During FDR's second term, he was concerned with all of the old men on the Supreme Court bench. They stood in the path of progress. The Supreme Court was ultra conservative and six of the nine old men in black were over seventy years old. Not a single member had been appointed by FDR in this first term. Many of the "Old Guard" Supreme Court Appointees were holding on just to stop "socialism" from spreading to our country through FDR's New Deal policies. FDR asked Congress to let him add a new Justice to the Supreme Court for every member over seventy who would not retire. The maximum membership could then be 15. FDR pointed to the necessity of injecting vigorous new blood. This idea upset Congress and the American people. FDR's proposal to have Congress allow him to add more Supreme Court Justices was called his "Court Packing Plan". FDR was criticized for trying to break down our system of checks and balances between the three braches of government by having the legislative branch (Congress) allow the executive branch (President) to appoint additional people to the Judicial Branch (Supreme Court). No one knows why but at this time one of the old Supreme Court Justices, Justice Owen J. Roberts, went from voting conservative to supporting liberal laws. Now the Court was little more liberal and supported some of the New Deal programs, like the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) and Social Security. Congress also voted to allow Supreme Court Justices over the age of 70 to retire with full pay, so one of them did, and was replaced with New Dealer Justice Hugo Black. Congress did pass a court reform bill, but it did not apply to the Supreme Court so FDR did not get his way this time. Eventually, so many Supreme Court Justices died or retired that FDR was able to make NINE Supreme Court appointments which was more than any other President since George Washington. Unfortunately, he already angered too many people with the suggestion of "court packing" that very few New Deal reforms passed after 1937.
Hitler now demanded from Poland a return of the areas taken away from Germany after WWI. He sent his mechanized units crashing into Poland in 1939. Britain and France finally declared war, but they were powerless to help Poland which fell to Hilter in just 3 weeks. Stalin came in for his share of old Russlian Poland. WWII was officially launched, and the 1919-1939 truce had come to an end. President Roosevelt speedily issued proclamations of neutrality. Britain and France desperately needed the U.S. to get involved, with our airplanes and other weapons, but the Neutrality Act of 1937 forbid it. FDR summoned Congress for a special session after the invasion of Poland to consider lifting the arms embargo. After 6 weeks of debate a law emerged, with was the Neutrality Act of 1939. The Neutrality Act of 1939 provided that the European democracies might buy American war materials, but only on a "cash-and-carry basis' which meant that they would have to transport the munitions in their own ships after paying for them with only cash. America would avoid loans, war debts and torpedoing of American arms-carriers. FDR was also now authorized to proclaim danger zones where American merchant ships would be forbidden to enter. The new law hurt China, which was blockaded by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The new law clearly favored democracies (especially European ones) over the dictators. Since the British and French navies controlled the Atlantic ocean, the European aggressors could not send their ships to buy American munitions. Overseas demand for war goods helped the US economy out of the recession of 1937-1938 and ultimately solved the decade-long unemployment crisis.
FDR found a way to lend or lease American arms to the floundering democracies in Europe. FDR said you could get the guns and tanks back, Senator Taft said that lending arms was like lending bubble gum, you would not want it back once it was used. The Lend-Lease Bill, patriotically numbered 1776, was called an act to further promote the defense of the United States. It sprung up after the election was over. Was said to keep the nation out of war instead of in it. "Send guns, not our sons". America would be an "arsenal of democracy". It would send an unlimited supply of arms to the victims of aggression who would finish the job and keep the war in Europe. Accounts (cost) would be settled by returning the used weapons or their equivalents to the US when the war ended. Isolationists and anti-Roosevelt republicans hated this Bill. The Lend-Lease was one of the most momentous laws ever to pass Congress, and it was a challenge thrown at the Axis dictators. America had sent about $50 billion worth of arms and equipment to those nations fighting aggressors. The passing of the Lend-Lease was basically an economic declaration of war. Now a "shooting" declaration of war could not be far off. The Lend-Lease Bill marked the abandonment of neutrality. The Lend-Lease Bill also had some economic results, gearing U.S. factories for all-out war production. Saved America's own skin when the shooting war burst into America.Hitler recognized the Lend-Lease as an unofficial declaration of war. Until then Germany had avoided attacking U.S. ships. On May 21, 1941 the Robin Moor, an unarmed American merchantman was torpedoes and destroyed by a German submarine in the South Atlantic, outside a war zone. The sinking of American ships had started, but on a small scale at this point.
June 22, 1941 Hitler launched a devastating attack on Soviet Union. FDR sent assistance to the Soviets. Sent $1 billion in lend-lease, the first installment on an ultimate total of $11 billion. Russia halted Hitler at the gates of Moscow. With the surrender of the Soviet Union still a possibility, the Atlantic Conference was held in August of 1941. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, secretly met with FDR on a warship off of Newfoundland. This was the first of a series of history-making conferences between the two statesmen for the discussion of common problems, including the menace of Japan in the Far East. The Atlantic Charter: An eight-point charted accepted by FDR and Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of Great Britain) and endorsed by the Soviet Union that was similar to Wilson's Fourteen Points. It was the new covenant/agreement that outlined the aspirations of the democracies for a better world at the end of the war. It argued for the rights of the individuals rather than nations and laid the groundwork for universal human rights. The Atlantic Charter opposed imperialistic annexations and promised that there would be no territorial changes that went against the wished of the inhabitants (self-determination). It said that the people of a nation could choose their own government and regain governments that were abolished by the dictators. It declared for disarmament and a peace of security ( called for a New League of Nations)The Atlantic Charter was applauded by everyone except the U.S. were isolationists had issues with it.
Japanese military was dependent on steel, crap iron, oil and aviation gasoline from the United States. Such assistance to the Japanese aggressor was highly unpopular in America, but FDR had held off an embargo because he was afraid that if he put in place an embargo (stopped trade) then the Japandese would attack the oil rich but defenseless Dutch East Indies. In 1940 America finally imposed the first embargo on Japanese-bound supplies. A freezing of all Japanese assets in the United States and a cessation of all shipments of gasoline and other items of war. Japanese leaders were faced with two painful alternatives:One they could cave under the Americans They could break out of the embargo ring by attacking the oil supplies and riches of Southeast Asia.Late November and early December of 1941, things grew worse with Japan. The State Department insisted that the Japanese withdrawl fully from China. Japanese were unwilling to do this. Officials in Washington after cracking a secret Japanese code knew that Tokyo (Japan) was war.
America refused to shoot first and waited for the attack.
FDR misled by Japanese maneuvers, thought the attack was going to be in British Malaya or the Philippines. No one thought it was going to be Hawaii. Japanese bombers attacked without warning from distant aircraft carriers on "Black Sunday" morning, December 7, 1941. Date that will live "in infamy". About 3,000 casualties were inflicted on American personnel and many aircraft were destroyed. The battleship fleet was virtually wiped out when all eight of the craft were sunk or otherwise immobilized. Numerous small vessels were damaged or destroyed. Fortunately, three priceless aircraft carreris happened to be outside the harbor. An angered Congress the next day recognized the war that had been thrust on them. All but one Congressman voted for war. Germany and Italy, allies of Japan, declared war on December 11, 1941. War had officially begun for America.