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Terms in this set (71)

Who:US/Germany/ Japan/ Great Britain/ France
What:Neutrality Act of 1939 warring nations could buy weapons from the US only on a cash basis. So, America was part of the war in that they were giving weapons to their "allies" while remaining out of the battlefield. People who wanted greater American involvement in the war and those who felt that the US should remain neutral began debating the issue in the spring of 1940. In December 1940 GB had run out of funds to wage its war against Germany. Roosevelt proposed the Lend-Lease Act (allowed US to lend arms to any country considered vital to US defense). German submarines patrolling the Atlantic Ocean were sinking hundreds of thousands of tons of shipments each month; the British Navy did not have enough ships to stop them. Roosevelt made hemispheric defense zone that declared the entire western half of the Atlantic was part of the Western Hemisphere and therefore neutral. Roosevelt's efforts to help British fight Germany resulted in Japan's decision to attack the US. On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor (the naval base stationed on Hawaii) sinking 8 battleships, 3 cruisers, 4 destroyers, and 6 other vessels. Also destroying 188 airplanes and killing 2,403 Americans. The next day Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war.
Where: Hawaii (pearl harbor)
Why: As WW2 began, the US remained neutral but aided Great Britain considerably in its fight against Germany. In the Pacific, Japan's territorial expansion led to growing tensions with the US, which peaked Pearl Harbor.
Who: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Dinh Diem, US
What: French troops were in Vietnam in 46 fighting the Vietminh (led by Ho Chi Minh). France asked US for help - opposed colonialism but didn't want Vietnam to be communist. Truman authorized military support to France, Eisenhower supported after Truman - domino theory: if Vietnam fell to communism, the rest of Southeast Asia would fall too. French and US struggled because Vietminh used guerrilla war tactics - French fell and left Vietnam after battle at Dien Bien Phu in 54. Geneva accords divided Vietnam on 17th parallel: Vietminh controlled N, pro western (Ngo dinh Diem) controlled south, recognized Cambodians independence. Diem was catholic and anti communist - Eisenhower sent support for south. North organized Vietcong who fought south. Diem was unpopular and corrupt - overthrown and executed in 63. South became more unstable and Us became more deeply involved to prop it up. Johnson exercised caution and restraint. In 64, Johnson announced north had fired on American destroyers in the gulf of Tonkin - Johnson ordered aircraft to attack north ships/facilities. in 64 congress passed Gukd of Tonkin resolution authorizing president to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the US and to prevent further aggression. Vietcong became more aggressive and killed Americans in Vietnam - American aircraft bombed north - Johnson became more popular and Americans believed communism needed to be stopped. Johnson expanded to American combat troops in 65 who fought next to south Vietnamese soldiers. In 66 more than 360,000 soldiers in Vietnam. Used napalm and agent orange. US blocked Ho Chi Minh trail (trail of supplies in jungles and areas in Cambodia). Met with disapproval in US because Cambodia should not be involved. Doves (wanted removal of American troops) hawks (wanted Us to keep fighting). Tet Offesnive: guerrilla fighters attacked most of south's major cities - major hit to us. media portrayed us as weak - further contributed to American disapproval of the war. Vietnamization: gradual withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. Innocent citz in village of My Lai were massacred and event was televised - Americans infuriated more. Kent State massacre. US pulls out after 8 years. South Vietnam fell in 75.
When: 65-73
Why: With the gulf of Tonkin resolution congress essentially handed over its war powers to the president. Napalm and Agent orange affected innocent citizens - disturbing images and lasting effects. US could not break the births morale. Pentagon papers in 71 proved government was concealing how bad the situation in Vietnam was - mistrust with Americans.
Who: Native Americans, one of the smallest minority groups; AIM- a American Indian Movement
What: They faced enormous problems: national average income was $1,000 less than AA. Their unemployment rate was also very high on reservations where half of NA lived. NA living in cities had little education/training. Life expectancy for NA was ~7 years below national average. Issued a manifesto called Declaration of Indian Purpose, asking for federal programs to create greater economic opportunities on reservations. NA didn't want to be accepted into mainstream society; they wanted more independence from it. Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed reservation residents the protections of the Bill of Rights, but it also recognized local reservation law. A more militant group was formed called the American Indian Movement (AIM). This group staged a symbolic protest where they occupied the federal prison Alcatraz, claiming ownership "by right of discovery." Another famous protest took place in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. AIM seized Wounded Knee for 70 days, demanding that the government honor past treaty obligations to NA; the protest did become violent and then ended.
When: 1970-1980
Where: Indian reservations,
Significance: By mid 1970s the NA movement made some gains. Congress passed the Indian Self Determination and Educational Assistance Act, which increased funds for NA education and expanded local control over federal programs. NA won court cases involving land and water rights. Many reservations have improved their economic conditions by actively developing businesses and gambling casinos have become successful.
Who: About 20% of American population, especially people of color and those living in inner cities and Appalachia, Native Americans
What: 20% of Americans lived below the poverty line--imaginary marker made by gov. to reflect the minimum income required to support a family. As people moved to suburbs, they left behind the poor and uneducated. Along with that they took their tax dollars and inner cities could no longer provide adequate public transportation, housing, and other services. The gov. tried to intercede by creating urban renewal programs. These programs failed because they tore down slums to create high rise buildings for poor residents that created an atmosphere of violence. Many citizens in inner cities were AA who faced discrimination in schools, housing, hiring, and salaries. Hispanics were another minority group. Many joined the Bracero program which brought Mexicans to the U.S. to work on farms and ranches. They lived in horrible conditions in extreme poverty. Native Americans faced the termination policy- the federal gov. withdrew all official recognition of the NA groups as legal entities and made them subject to the same laws as white citizens; termination deepened their poverty. Residents of Appalachia also felt the poverty. Their economy relied on coal mining, but with the mechanization of mining, many lost their jobs in Appalachia (mountainous region stretching from New stork to Georgia.) There was also a large increase in juvenile delinquency during this time.
When: 1950s
Where: Inner cities, Appalachia
Significance: Most Americans were unaware of the poverty in America and assumed the country's general prosperity had provided everyone with a comfortable existence.
Who: Henry Ford
What: The automobile was just one part of a rising standard of living that Americans experienced in the 1920s. Henry Ford cut the workweek for his employees from 6 days to 5 and International Harvester, a maker of farm machinery, instituted an annual two week paid vacation for employees. These changes took place because mass production increased the supply and reduced costs. Workers could be paid more and consumer goods they bought cost less. The moving assembly line divided operations into simple tasks and cut unnecessary motion to a minimum. Workers were building an automobile every 93 minutes. The low prices made possible by Ford's mass production methods not only created an immense market for his cars but also spawned imitators. The auto industry spurred growth in other industries such as rubber, plate glass, nickel, and lead. They auto industry alone consumed 15% of the nation's steel and led to a huge expansion of the petroleum industry. The automobile played a role in encouraging the new morality. Car allowed young people to escape the careful watch of their parents. Instead of socializing at home with the family, many youths could now use cars to go out with their friends.
Why: Cars revolutionized American life. They eased the isolation of rural life and enabled more people to live farther from work. Since commuters could drive from their homes in suburbia to their workplaces, other forms of urban transportation, such as the trolley, became less popular.
Who: President Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan
What: The 1970s faced a struggling economy during the 1970s which contrasted the prosperity of America in the 1950s. The struggling economy was caused by the oil embargo (see previous key term) and stagflation. Stagflation was a combination of inflationary and a stagnant economy with high unemployment. Both of those things were very contradictory according to economists. Ford tried to Whip inflation after Nixon resigned by urging Americans to reduce oil and gas; he wanted to balance the budget and keep taxes low. Carter tried to end the recession and reduce unemployment by increasing gov. spending and cutting taxes. When inflation surged, he changed his mind. Carter thought the nations dependence on oil was an issue, and proposed a national energy program to conserve oil/deregulate oil. In the 1980s, Americans voted for Ronald Reagan, whose first priority was the economy. Reagan combined monetarism and supply side economics to form Reaganomics or "trickle down economics." Monetarist so argued that inflation was caused by too much money in circulation and the best solution would be to raise interest rates. See next key term for supply side economics. Reaganomics believed that the policy would help corporations/wealthy Americans, but little wealth would trickle down. Congress eventually passed a 25% tax cut. Reagan had to cut gov. Programs because of the tax cuts. He also worked to deregulate price controls on oil and gasoline.
When: 1970s/1980s
Where: America
Significance: Many presidents tried to fix the economic situation of America throughout the 1970s/1980s.