Postwar mood of detached indifference to global affairs and official neutrality towards foreign entanglements.
Payments by the vanquished to the victors after conflict.
Washington Armaments Conference
Leaders of nine world powers met in 1921-22 to discuss the naval race; resulting treaties limited to a specific ratio the carrier and battleship tonnage of each nation (Five-Power Naval Treaty), formally ratified the Open Door to China (Nine-Power Treaty), and agreed to respect each other's Pacific territories (Four-Power Treaty).
Charles Evans Hughes
Secretary of state who participated in the Washington Armaments Conference, 1921-22, and announced that the only way out of an armaments race "is to end it now," one of the most dramatic moments in American diplomatic history.
Five-Power Naval Treaty
Treaty resulting from the Washington Armaments Conference of 1921-22 that limited to a specific ratio the carrier and battleship tonnage of each nation.
Representatives of sixty-two nations in 1928 signed the pact (also called the Pact of Paris) to outlaw war.
Good Neighbor Policy
Proclaimed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural address in 1933, it sought improved diplomatic relations between the United States and its Latin American neighbors.
Memorandum drawn up in 1928 by Undersecretary of State J. Ruben Clark that denied that the Monroe Doctrine justified American intervention in Latin America; published in 1930 by President Hoover.
In reaction to Japan's 1932 occupation of Manchuria, Secretary of State Henry Stimson declared that the United States would not recognize territories acquired by force.
Dictator who seized power in Italy in 1922 and organized the fascist movement, a hybrid of nationalism and socialism; entered World War II in June 1940 as Germany's ally.
Trade Agreements Act
1934 act that authorized the president to lower tariff rates as much as 50 percent for countries that made similar concessions on American products; agreements were made with fourteen countries by the end of 1935, reaching a total of twenty-nine by 1945.
General who initiated the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and established a fascist dictatorship with help from Hitler and Mussolini; Franco's overthrow of the Spanish democracy was completed in 1939.
Senator from North Dakota and progressive Republican who led the Senate inquiry from 1934 to 1937 that concluded that bankers and munitions makers had made scandalous profits from World War.
merchants of death
Derogatory term for bankers and munitions makers who made scandalous profits from World War I.
Series of laws passed between 1935 and 1939 to keep the United States from becoming involved in war by prohibiting American trade and travel to warring nations.
Term for the President's discretionary authority to require that warring nations who purchased goods other than arms or munitions had to pay in cash and then carry them away in its own ships, an ingenious scheme to preserve a profitable trade without running the risk of war.
Proposed constitutional amendment that would have required a public referendum for a declaration of war except in case of attack on American territory; measure was tabled in 1938 under severe pressure from the White House.
Battle of Britain
Term for the summer of 1940, during which the Royal Air Force, with the benefit of the new technology of radar, outfought the numerically superior German Luftwaffe and forced the Germans to postpone plans to invade England.
Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies
Nonpartisan committee formed in 1940 and composed of "internationalists" who believed that national security demanded aid to Britain during World War II.
America First Committee
Largely midwestern isolationist organization supported by many prominent citizens, 1940-41.
Wendell L. Willkie
Dark-horse Republican candidate who ran against President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, in a race that produced Roosevelt's narrowest victory.
Feisty British prime minister who defied the German invasion of Britain in World War II.
arsenal of democracy
Term introduced by President Franklin Roosevelt for America's role in World War II giving supplies to the British war effort.
Act of 1941 that permitted the United States to lend or lease arms and other supplies to the Allies, signifying increasing likelihood of American involvement in World War II.
Issued August 12, 1941, following meetings in Newfoundland between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill, the charter signaled the allies' cooperation and stated their war aims.
Group of Nations that formed in 1937 with the "Anti-Comintern Pact" between Italy, Germany, and Japan, but expanded when Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were forced into the Axis fold, allowing Hitler to control nearly all of Europe.
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
Term used by Japanese militarists for the territories they coveted in 1940: French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), British Malaya (Malaysia), and Burma (Myanmar).
Export Control Act
Act of July 2, 1940, which authorized the president to restrict the export of arms and other strategic materials to Japan.
Pact between Japan, Germany, and Italy, signed on September 27, 1940, by which each pledged to declare war on any nation that attacked any of them.
Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle that occurred on May 7-8, 1942 in which American forces stopped a fleet convoying Japanese troop transports toward New Guinea.
Battle of Midway
Battle that was the turning point on the war in the Pacific between the US and Japan that demonstrated that aircraft carriers were the decisive elements of modern naval warfare.
War Powers Act
Act in 1941 that gave the president the right to reshuffle government agencies and to allot materials and facilities as needed for defense, with penalties for those who failed to comply.
War Production Board
Created in 1942 to coordinate industrial efforts in World War II; similar to the War Industries Board in World War I.
Revenue Act of 1942
An Act created to cover the war's huge cost, this provided for only about $7 billion in increased revenue, and greatly broadened the tax structure by making everyone a taxpayer.
Office of Price Administration
Created in 1941 to control wartime inflation and price fixing resulting from shortages of many consumer goods, the OPA imposed wage and price freezes and administered a rationing system.
State laws enacted to prevent imposition of the closed shop; any worker, whether or not a union member, could be hired.
Organized labor term which means requiring that all employees of a company be union members.
"Rosie the Riveter"
A model dressed in overalls who became the cover girl for the intense publicity campaign that was launched by the government to draw women into traditional male jobs.
A. Phillip Randolph
The head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters who organized a March on Washington Movement to demand an end to racial discrimination in defense industries.
March on Washington Movement
March that led to an executive order forbidding discrimination in defense work and training programs by requiring a nondiscrimination clause in defense contracts.
Fair Employment Practices Commission
Created in 1941 by executive order, the FEPC sought to eliminate racial discrimination in jobs; it possessed little power but represented a step toward civil rights for African Americans.
"Double V" campaign
Slogan that stood for victory at home and abroad that became immensely popular in black communities.
Program created in 1942 that offered seasonal farm workers from Mexico yearlong contracts, wages at the prevailing rate, and transportation from the border to their job sites.
"zoot suit" riots
In 1943, when several thousand off-duty Mexican American sailors and soldiers, joined by hundreds of local white civilians, rampaged through downtown Los Angeles streets, assaulting Hispanics, blacks, and Filipinos.
Japanese Americans; literally, "second generation".
War Relocation Camps
Internment camps where Japanese Americans were held against their will from 1942 to 1945.
An announcement by Roosevelt with Churchill's endorsement that the war would end only with this.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
General who led Operation "Overlord" to victory in WWII and eventually became president in 1953.
The cross-Channel assault on Hitler's "Atlantic Wall" that is known as the greatest military invasion in the annals of warfare, and the climactic battle of World War II .
June 6, 1944, when an Allied amphibious assault landed on the Normandy coast and established a foothold in Europe from which Hitler's defenses could not recover.
General Douglas MacArthur
General who led troops in WWII whose proposal to move westward along the northern coast of New Guinea toward the Philippines was accepted by Combined Chiefs of Staff.
This term refers to a tactic of US forces in WWII that involved sinking Japanese troopships and warships bringing reinforcements, thereby, neutralizing Japanese strongholds and moving on, leaving them to die on the vine.
Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle fought mostly in the air that secured the Marianas and led to the resignation of Japanese General Tojo.
Battle of Leyte Gulf
The largest naval engagement in military history in which Japan lost most of their remaining sea power and the ability to defend the Philippines.
Admiral Chester Nimitz
Commander of the central Pacific, who led troops to victory in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
Thomas E. Dewey
Republican and New York governor who ran against Roosevelt and lost in the 1944 election.
Meeting of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin at a Crimean resort to discuss the postwar world on February 4-11, 1945; Soviet leader Joseph Stalin claimed large areas in eastern Europe for Soviet domination.
May 8, 1945, the day World War II officially ended in Europe.
War Refugee Board
Created by Roosevelt in 1944, this managed to rescue about 200,000 European Jews and some 20,000 others.
The wholesale extermination of some 6 million Jews along with more than 1 million others by the Nazis.
Secret American plan during World War II to develop an atomic bomb; J. Robert Oppenheimer led the team of physicists at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Last meeting of the major Allied powers, the conference took place outside Berlin from July 17 to August 2, 1945; United States president Harry Truman, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and British prime minister Clement Atlee finalized plans begun at Yalta.
American B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945.