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WFHS APUSH Unit 11 WWII Keyterms

Washington Naval Conference

A military conference called by the administration of President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington, D.C. from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. It resulted in three major treaties: Four-Power Treaty, Five-Power Treaty (more commonly known as the Washington Naval Treaty) and the Nine-Power Treaty and a number of smaller agreements. These treaties preserved peace during the 1920's but are also credited with enabling the rise of the Japanese Empire as a naval power leading up to World War II.

Kellogg-Briand Pact

Was signed on August 27, 1928 by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, and a number of other states. The pact renounced aggressive war, prohibiting the use of war as "an instrument of national policy" except in matters of self-defense.

Dawes Plan

A plan to revive the German economy, the United States loans Germany money which then can pay reparations to England and France, who can then pay back their loans from the U.S. This circular flow of money was a success.


the principle of complete and unrestricted power in government

Treaty of Versailles

the treaty imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1920 after the end of World War I which demanded exorbitant reparations from the Germans

Stab in the Back Theory

refers to a social theory popular in Germany in the period after World War I and before World War II, which attributed Germany's losing the war not to its aggressive and excessive igns, nor to its military defeats, but to the public's failure to respond to its "patriotic calling" at the most crucial of times, and to intentional sabotaging of the war effort, particularly by Jews, Socialists and Bolsheviks

Adolph Hitler

german leader of Nazi Party. 1933-1945. rose to power by promoting racist and national views


The doctrines of nationalism, racial purity, anti-Communism, and the all-powerful role of the State. The National Socialist German Workers Party, otherwise known as the Nazi Party; was advocated by Adolf Hitler in Germany.

Benito Mussolini

Fascist dictator of Italy (1922-1943). He led Italy to conquer Ethiopia (1935), joined Germany in the Axis pact (1936), and allied Italy with Germany in World War II. He was overthrown in 1943 when the Allies invaded Italy.


A political system headed by a dictator that calls for extreme nationalism and racism and has no tolerance for opposition

Hideki Tojo

This general was dictator of Japan during World War II. He gave his approval for the attack on Pearl Harbor and played a major role in Japan's military decisions until he resigned in 1944

Tanaka Memorial

a document published in China, in Chinese, that was a Japanese blueprint for conquest of Asia and the world, allegedly drawn up at the Eastern Conference. It was considered evidence of Japan's aggressive designs.

Joseph Stalin

Russian leader who succeeded Lenin as head of the Communist Party and created a totalitarian state by purging all opposition (1879-1953)

Munich Conference

1938 conference at which European leaders attempted to appease Hitler by turning over the Sudetenland to him in exchange for promise that Germany would not expand Germany's territory any further.


Satisfying the demands of dissatisfied powers in an effort to maintain peace and stability.

Good Neighbor Policy

FDR's policy in which the U.S. pledged that the U.S. would no longer intervene in the internal affairs of Latin American countries. This reversed Teddy Roosevelt's Big Stick Policy.

Reciprocal Trade Agreement

Activated the low tariff policies of New Dealers, aimed at both relief, recover, reversed the traditional high protective tariff; Sec. Hull

Neutrality Acts

Originally designed to avoid American involvement in World War II by preventing loans to those countries taking part in the conflict; they were later modified in 1939 to allow aid to Great Britain and other Allied nations.

Axis Alliance

alliance between Germany, Italy, and Japan because they all wanted empires and they were totalitarian

Munich Agreement

a symbol of the failed policy of appeasement, this agreement, signed in 1938 allowed Nazi Germany to occupy a part of Czechoslavakia. Rather than appease German aspirations, it was followed by further German expansions, which triggered WWII

Nazi-Soviet Pact

A secret agreement between the Germans and the Russians that said that they would not attack each other

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

Russian and German non aggression agreement, not to attack each other, also, divide up Poland

Selective Training and Service Act

Selective Training and Service Act of September 1940 provided for the registration of all American men between the ages of 21 and 35 and for the training of 1.2 million troops in just one year.

Tripartite Pact

Signed between the Axis powers in 1940 (Italy, Germany and Japan) where they pledged to help the others in the event of an attack by the US.

"The Arsenal for Democracy"

used in the 1940-41 period to describe US support fo Britain in their stand against the Nazis; Roosevelt administration provided aid in the form of supplies, ships,weapons, etc.

Lend-Lease Act

Approve by Congress in March 1941; The act allowed America to sell, lend or lease arms or other supplies to nations considered "vital to the defense of the United States."

Atlantic Charter

1941-Pledge signed by US president FDR and British prime minister Winston Churchill not to acquire new territory as a result of WWII and to work for peace after the war


German submarines

Pearl Harbor

United States military base on Hawaii that was bombed by Japan, bringing the United States into World War II. Attacked on December 7, 1941.

War Powers Act

Limits the ability of the president to commit troops to combat-48 hours to tell Congress when and why the troops were sent, they have 60-90 to bring them home if they disagree

National War Labor Board

During WWII it mediated disputes between management and laborers to prevent strikes

Servicemen's Readjustment Act (G.I. Bill)

$13 billion in aid for former servicemen, educational grants to housing and services to assist with the readjustment to society

"Four Freedoms" Speech

A speech that proposed lending money to Britain for the purchase of US war materials and justified such a policy because it was a defense of "four freedoms." (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, freedom from want) Addressed to the Congress on January 6, 1941.

Office of War Mobilization

Federal agency formed to coordinate issues related to war production during World War II

Office of Price Administration

WWII Office that installs price controls on essential items to prevent inflation

War Propaganda

Committee on Public Information called for censorship of press and developed materials (pamplets/posters/newsreels/etc) to make war look good and the enemy look bad


a limited portion or allowance of food or goods; limitation of use

Victory Gardens

Gardens that citizens planted to raise their own vegetables, so that food could be sent to the troops.

War Bond Drives

People bought them to support the war. Then you would turn them in after the war and get your money back

Rosie the Riveter

A propaganda character designed to increase production of female workers in the factories. It became a rallying symbol for women to do their part.

Double V Campaign

The World War II-era effort of black Americans to gain "a Victory over racism at home as well as Victory abroad."

Executive Order 8802

In 1941 FDR passed it which prohibited discriminatory employment practices by federal agencies and all unions and companies engaged in war related work. It established the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) to enforce the new policy.

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

Organization founded by pacifists in 1942 to promote racial equality through peaceful means

A. Philip Randolph

America's leading black labor leader who called for a march on Washington D.C. to protest factories' refusals to hire African Americans, which eventually led to President Roosevelt issuing an order to end all discrimination in the defense industries.

Tuskegee Airmen

all black unit of fighter pilots. trained in Tuskegee Alabama. won many awards for bravery and never lost a single pilot

Code Talkers

Indians who transmitted messages in their native languages; languages which the Germans and Japanese could not understand

1943 Repeal of Chinese Exclusion Act

This allowed Chinese to Immigrate for the first time since Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Zoot-Suit Riots of 1943

a series of riots in 1943 during World War II that exploded in Los Angeles, California, between white sailors and Marines stationed throughout the city and Latino youths, who were recognizable by the zoot suits they favored; the effect of the infamous Sleepy Lagoon murder which involved the death of a young Latino man in a barrio near Los Angeles; triggered other similar attacks in other places

Executive Order 8066

people ofJapanese ancestry, citizens or not, were herded to internment camps; Chinese were embraced as allies against a common enemy

Japanese-American Internment

An order for the removal of Japanese and Japanese-Americans to intern camps due to mistrust after Pearl Harbor.

Korematsu v. United States

1944 Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court upheld the order providing for the relocation of Japanese Americans. It was not until 1988 that Congress formally apologized and agreed to pay $20,000 to each survivor.

Battle of the Atlantic

Germany's naval attempt to cut off British supply ships by using U-boats. Caused Britain and the US to officially join the war after their ships were sunk. After this battle, the Allies won control of the seas, allowing them to control supply transfer, which ultimately determined the war. 1939-1945

Battle of Stalingrad

A 1942-1943 battle of World War II, in which German forces were defeated in their attempt to capture the city of Stalingrad in the Soviet Union thanks to harsh winter; turning point of war in Eastern Europe

North Africa Campaign

Attempt to get Germans out of North Africa; Patton vs. Rommell; pushed Germans out of Tunisia back up into Italy. Known as operation torch; allies won

Battle of Midway

U.S. naval victory over the Japanese fleet in June 1942, in which the Japanese lost four of their best aircraft carriers. It marked a turning point in th Pacific during World War II.

Battle of Okinawa

First Japanese Home island (only 340 miles from mainland Japan) to be invaded. Island of immense strategic value. Involving over 500,000 troops and over 1,200 ships. Battle showed Japanese determination to resist invasion. Allies win.

Island Hopping

the American navy attacked islands held by the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean. The capture of each successive island from the Japanese brought the American navy closer to an invasion of Japan.

Kamikaze Pilots

Japanese suicide pilots who would crash their planes into ships and military bases in order to cause lots of damage.


A methodical plan orchestrated by Hitler to ensure German supremacy. It called for the elimination of Jews, non-conformists, homosexuals, non-Aryans, and mentally and physically disabled.
literally: a large-scale destruction, especially by fire; a vast slaughter; a burnt offering

Nuremberg Trials

Series of trials in 1945 conducted by an International Military Tribunal in which former Nazi leaders were charged with crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes

The Big Three

Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin; leaders who met between 1943 and 1945 to coordinate attacks on Germany and Japan, and later to discuss plans for postwar Europe and settlement of Germany. After the war, their armies occupied Germany, each with a separate zone, although governed as a single economic unit.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Led the allied invasion of North Africa and planned and executed the D-Day invasion at Normandy and the Battle of the Budge

General Douglas MacArthur

commander of the US forces in the Philippine Islands who directed the Allied occupation of Japan

Adm. Chester Nimitz

Admiral in the Battle of Midway, He commanded the American fleet in the Pacific Ocean and learned the Japanese plans through "magic" decoding of their radio messages-led to his victory over them


June 6, 1944 - Led by Eisenhower, over a million troops (the largest invasion force in history) stormed the beaches at Normandy and began the process of re-taking France. The turning point of World War II.

Conference at Casablanca

a meeting between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the city of Casablanca, Morocco that took place from January 14-24, 1943; the finalization of Allied strategic plans against the Axis powers in 1943, and the promulgation of the policy of "unconditional surrender"

Conference at Teheren

a strategy meeting held between Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill from 28 November to 1 December 1943; the main outcome of the Tehran Conference was the commitment to the opening of a second front against Nazi Germany by the Western Allies. The conference also addressed relations between the Allies and Turkey and Iran, operations in Yugoslavia and against Japan as well as the envisaged post-war settlement. A separate protocol signed at the conference pledged the Big Three's recognition of Iran's independence.

Conference at Yalta

Roosevelt sought Soviet military help against Japan; Stalin offers military help for the possession of Sakhalin & Kurlie Islands & 2 warm-water ports and railroad rights in Manchuria; Churchill and Stalin accept Roosevelt's plan for a United Nations organization to avoid issues dividing them

Conference at Potsdam

1945 wartime meeting of FDR, Winston Churchill, Stalin, respectively—for the purpose of discussing Europe's postwar reorganization, intended to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe.

Manhattan Project

Code name for the secret United States project set up in 1942 to develop atomic bombs for use in World War II

Los Alamos

Location of Manhattan project (to create atom bomb) in New Mexico; collection of best scientists available to the US in scientific community dedicated to atomic weaponry research for use in WWII

Harry S. Truman

elected Vice President in Roosevelt's 4th term; became 33rd President of the United States on Roosevelt's death in 1945 and was elected President in 1948; authorized the use of atomic bombs against Japan


City in Japan, the first to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, on August 6, 1945. The bombing hastened the end of World War II.


a city in southern Japan on Kyushu; a leading port and shipbuilding center; on August 9, 1945 Nagasaki became the second populated area to receive an atomic bomb

The United Nations

An organization of nations that was formed in 1945 to promote peace, security, and international cooperation. The organization is located in New York City.

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