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The U. S. and the World 1920-1940
Hitler took over Gennan
Gennany invaded
Czechoslovakia and Poland
World War II began
Washington Naval
Gennan army entered
Japan invaded
Civil war in Spain
Congress passed draft law
Gennany attacked Britain
1. Relations with Other Nations
Learn these important terms:
the years following World War I,
most Americans did not pay much
attention to what was going on in t he
rest of the world. In the 1920s , many
Americans were inter ested in business opportunities. Most of the money
to be m a de was at home, rather than
abroad. And during the Gr eat Depression of t h e 1930s, most Americans
worried about keeping or getting a
job. Problems of nations in Europe or
Asia seemed far away indeed.
When American soldier s r eturned
home from the "war to end a ll wars"
in 1919, they probably thought the job
had been done . The world had been, in
Woodrow Wilson's words, "made safe
for democracy."
It seems democracy is never truly
safe, however. In the 1930s, Italy,
Germany, and Japan became dictatorships. They built up their armies and
navies and began to carve out empires. Their method was invading and
taking over weaker countries.
Gradually, the actions of the dictators began to threaten American inter ests. And the sympathy of Americans
was drawn to countries that fought to
keep their freedom .
In this chapter, you will learn how
the United States attempted to deal
with an increasingly dangerous world.
Despite efforts to keep the peace, by
the end of the 1930s the world was
again at war. America was about to be
drawn into the fight.
Washington Naval Conference
Kellogg- Briand Pact
Dawes Plan
Young Plan
Good Neighbor Policy
reciprocal trade agreements
Remember the main idea:
The United States wanted to make
agreements to help nations avoid
future wars . It tried to help the nations of Europe pay their war debts.
It also adopted a new "good neighbor" policy toward Latin America
and prepared to give the Philippines independence.
Look for answers to these
1. How did the United States try to
keep peace in the world?
2. How did relations between the
United States and Latin American nations change in the late
3. How did the United States help
improve world trade?
Since the beginning of the century,
nations that wanted to be world powers
had competed to build more and bigger
battleships. The battleship, with its heavy
armor and big guns, was the single most
powerful and expensive weapon ever created. The nation with the most powerful
fleet could control the seas .
Chapter 29
Think: Henry Reuterdahl showed the United States fleet as it passed through the Straits of Magellan on February
8, 1908. Battleships like these were important at the time-important enough to merit an artist's attention.
Respond : Would this same scene be appropriate in the late 192057 Explain.
There seemed to be no end to this
expensive arms race. After World War I,
the United States, Great Britain, Japan,
and six other nations met in Washington,
D.C ., to reduce naval warfare. At this
Washington Naval Conference in 1921,
the nine nations agreed to limits on the
size and number of large warships.
The Washington Naval Conference was
not as successful at arms control as it
seemed, however. Although many people
did not realize it yet, the day of the great
battleship was almost over.
In 1921, a test was arranged off the
coast of Virginia, where a former German
battleship was anchored. Airplanes flew
overhead and dropped large bombs.
Within half an hour, ' the battleship had
been sunle
The airplane and the submarine, not
the battleship, would be the most important naval weapons in a future war. But
the Washington Naval Conference did not
regulate airplanes or submarines. Nor
were the nations able to agree on a way to
reduce their armies. Meanwhile, more
powerful guns and tanks were being
developed all the time .
When it became clear that arms control"
did not work, the United States tried to
prevent another war. It worked for an
international agreement. In 1928, the
American secretary of state, Frank Kellogg (KELL-aug). and the French leader
Aristide Briand (bree-AHN) invited other
nations to sign an agreement called the
Kellogg-Briand Pact. Sixty other nations
signed the agreement, promising to settle
all their · problems peacefully. But such
agz:eements were only as good as the
intentions of the leaders invol;ved. There
was no way to stop a nation from breaking
the agreement .
War Debts Cause Problems
During World War I, the United States
had loaned almost $10 billion to its allies,
particularly Britain and France. The countries had used most of this money to buy
weapons and supplies in the United
States. Because they had used the money
for the allied war effort, they did not feel
they should have to pay it back. The United States did not agree . However, the
American government agreed to cut the
interest on the loans and allow more time
for payment.
These compromises did not solve the
problem, however. In order to pay their
war debts, the Europeans had to be able
to sell their products in the United States.
During the 1920s, however, the United
States kept raising the tariff to protect its
businesses. High tariffs made foreign
goods more expensive in the United
States. This meant it was hard for the
Europeans to sell their goods in the American market.
Germany, in turn, owed payments, or
reparations, to the European nations it
had fought. Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany owed large amounts of
money for the damage that its armies had
Think: After World
War I. living
conditions in
Gennany were
harsh . Prices kept
going up. and jobs
w ere hard to find.
Respond: What
reaction might the
Gennans have had
to these conditions?
done. The European allies wanted to use
this money to pay their debts to the United States. However, Germany suffered
from hard times in the early 1920s and
was not able to pay reparations .
The United States tried to help the
European nations pay their war debts by
helping Germany pay its debts to them. It
developed two plans to help Germany pay
its reparations. Under the Dawes Plan of
1924, the United States agreed to loan
money to Germany. It also adjusted the
reparations payments to make them easier for Germany. Later, the Young Plan
reduced the payments further. These
plans made it possible for Germany to pay
its reparations and for the European
nations to pay their war debts during the
1920s. During the 1930s, however, the
depression struck Europe as well as the
United States. Debt payments stopped.
Think: Before World War I. one German mark would
have bought a loaf of bread. After the war, it took
thousands of marks to buy bread . Respond: What
caused the mark to lose its value?
Think: After lending money
to Nicaragua in 1911.
American banks were given
financial control of the
country. American marines
set up camps in Nicaragua
to put down anti-American
forces. Respond: How did
the people of Nicaragua feel
about the Americans'
Better Relations with
Some Countries
In the e arly 1900s, the United States
had not had good relations with Latin
American countries . Under President Wilson, the United States had tried to overthrow the Mexican dictator Victoriano
Hue rta (WER-tah) . The Americans succeeded only in angering Mexicans on both
sides of their civil war. And during the
1920s, United States Marines were sent
at various times to Nicaragua, Honduras,
Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic
to prote ct American interests. Most Latin
Americans resented such interference in
their national affairs.
In the late 1920s, American policy
toward Latin America began to change,
however. In 1925, the Mexican government said that American oil companies
could no longer own land in Mexico, but
would have to rent it. Four large oil companies asked the United States government to send troops to protect their
rights. The Senate, however, passed a
resolution demanding a peaceful settlement of the problem. President Coolidge
supported this peaceful approach. And in
1930, under President Hoover, the United
StatE!s agreed to stop sending troops into
the Latin American countries.
When President Roosevelt took office,
he promised that the United States would
be a "good neighbor" to Latin American
nations. It would work with them to settle
problems peacefully and would respect
their rights. Although problems remained, this Good Neighbor Policy was
very popular with Latin Americans.
The United States also faced demands
from people living in American territories . The people of the Philippines, for
example, demanded complete independence from the United States. While not
granting immediate independence, the
United States did agree to make the Philippines independent in 1946. However, a
demand by the people of Puerto Rico for
more self-government was refused.
Relations with the Soviet Union
In February 1917, a revolution broke
out in Russia. Russia was taken over by
Communists, and it became known as the
Soviet Union . During the 1920s, the
United States refused to deal with the
In 1925, the United States' relations with Mexico were strained.
The Mexican government told American oil companies that they would
have to rent land in Mexico that they
had formerly owned. When this happened, many Americans probably
took a closer look at their nearest
southern neighbor. To find out about
Mexico, they may have used an
atlas, which is a book of maps.
Today's atlases offer other information besides maps. You could consult an atlas to find out a country's
population, size, language, and other
facts. Here is an atlas article about
AREA: 76 1,601 sq. mi .
LANGUAGE: Spanish . Many Indian
dialects also spoken.
RELIGION: Predomimmtly Ro man
ECONOMY: Grows 50% of world's
sisal. Crops of colton , colfee, beans.
corn, rice , sugar, and wheat also
important. Livestock. Rich in natural resources, including silver, coal ,
Answer the following questions by
referring to the atlas article.
What is the main language of
What crops are grown in
Mexico? What else, besides
agriculture, does Mexico's
economy rely on?
What is the main port city of
What parts of Mexico are
What is the population of
Mexico's capital?
mWhat religion do most Mexicans
Do you have to write to Mexico
to find out more information?
Use an atlas to answer the following
questions about America's other
neighbor, Canada. (Your school or
public library will have an atlas.)
What is the population of
What is the climate of Canada
What languages are spoken in
petroleum, sulli'r, COpper. lead, and
iron . Tourism important.
MAJOR CITIES: Mexico City (pop.
7,768,(33), capital; Veracruz, port ;
Monterrey, heavy industry.
CLIMATE: Tropical along coasts
m How many square miles does
Canada cover?
and in south; temperate in cen tral
Govt. Tourist Bureau, 630 Fifth
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10020.
What is the capital of Canada?
What is its popUlation?
Name three other major
Canadian cities.
Chapter 29
Soviet Union . Many Americans hoped
the Communists would eventually fall
from power.
By the 1930s, how ever, it was becoming clear that th e Soviet Union was t h ere
to stay. In 1933, th e United States agreed
to recognize, or have dip lomatic relations
w ith, the Soviet Union.
This agreement w as n ot as frie ndly as
t h e United Stat es ha d hop ed . The Soviet
Union refu sed to p ay the m oney th at th e
forme r Russian gove rnment ow e d to t h e
United States. N so, trade between t he
United States and the Soviet Union did not
increase very much.
World Trade Begins To Improve
The United States p assed a very high
tariff in 1930. This tariff proved to be
damaging to trade. In the early 1930s, the
United States tried t o increase its trade
with other nation s. The American government agreed to low er t he tariff on goods
from nations that would lower their tariffs
on American goods . These reciprocal
trade agreements improve d t ra de among
th e United States, Great Britain , Canada,
and many other n ations .
In general. American foreign policy
during the 1920s and 1930s was most
successful in dealing 'Yith Latin America
and w ith world trade issues. Neither the
United States nor other nations were very
successful in reducing t h e chances of war,
2. Moving Toward World War II
Learn these important terms:
Axis Powers
isolation movement
Neutrality Act of 1935
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Remember the main idea:
Japan, Italy, and Germany became
dictatorships in the 1930s. They
began to attack weaker nations .
Nthough Americans were reluctant
to get involved in these conflicts,
the United States began to take
steps to help defend freedom in
Europe and Asia.
Look for answers to these
1 . What countries were invaded by
countries ruled by dictators?
2 . Was the League of Nations able
to stop the invasions?
3 . What did most Americans think
the United States should do
about European conflicts?
Section Review
1. How successful were efforts to
control the arms race?
2. Why did European nations have
trouble paying their war debts?
3. How did the United States
change the way it dealt with
Latin American countries?
In the 1930s, Jap an , Italy, and
Germany became dictatorships: A dictatorship is a n ation in which all pow er is in
t h e hands of one person or a small group
of people. The dictators lived for the sake
of pow er. They soon t urned their natio'n s
into military machines bent on extending
their power to the nations around them.
Japan Attacks China
In the 1930s, the government of Japan
fell under the control of a small group of
military men. These leadE!rs decided to
conquer China in order to gain raw materials needed by Japanese industry. They
hoped eventually to set up a great Japanese empire in Asia and the Pacific.
In 1931, the Japanese army attacked
and took over Manchuria (man-CHOORee-uh) in the northeastern part of China.
China asked the League of Nations for
help against Japan. But the League only
warned Japan that it must get out of China. The Japanese ignored this warning
and soon quit the League of Nations. By
1938, Japan had taken control of a vast
portion of eastern China.
Italy Attacks Ethiopia
During the 1920s, Benito Mussolini
(bun-NEET-oh MOO-soh-LEE-nee) became the dictator of Italy. In 1935, Mussolini attacked Ethiopia, an ancient nation
in northern Africa. The people of Ethiopia
fought bravely against the Italian armies,
but they lacked modern military weapons.
By 1936, Ethiopia was conquered .
Haile Selassie (HY-Iee suh-LASS-eel.
the emperor of Ethiopia, asked the
League of Nations for help against Italy.
The League ordered its n:tembers to stop
selling war supplies to Italy, but this
action was not very effective. Oil , the only
thing Italy really needed to carry on the
war, was not included.
Think:: In 1935, Italian troops attacked Ethiopia .
Italian officers were photographed entering Aduwa.
Respond : What did Mussolini hope to gain by
conquering the Ethiopians?
Think: During the 1930s.
Japan seized various parts of
China . Many of the Chinese
people were forced to do labor.
Respond: What did the
Japanese hope to gain by
conquering China?
Chapter 29
Think: Paul Goebbels worked to persuade German citizens to support the Nazis. He is shown here passing out
Christmas presents to the poor. Nazis promised jobs and glory for Germans and their country. Nazi propaganda
did not always tell the truth. Respond : Why did many German people choose to support the Nazis?
Hitler Becomes Dictator of Germany
The most serious threat to peace developed in Germany. Many Germans felt that
they had been unjustly treated by the
Allied nations follOwing World War I. In
the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was
stripped of part of its territory. Its army
was reduced to 100,000 men. Germany
also had to pay huge amounts of money in
reparations. When the Armistice was
signed at the end of World War 1, Allied
military leader Marshall Foch warned,
"This is not peace. It is an armistice for
twenty years." But Britain and France did
not seem to be concerned that their
defeated enemy could rise again .
In the early 1920s, and agam in the early 1930s, severe economic hardships
struck Germany. The Germans grew des600
perate and angry. The democratic government that was elected in Germany in the
early 1920s was weak. It could not govern effectively. Communists and other parties sent followers into the streets to fight
one another.
One of the parties that battled for power was taken over by Adolf Hitler (AYdawlf'I-UT-lur). His party was the National
Socialist, or Nazi party. Hitler effectively
played upon the frustrations of the Germall people. He told Germans that they
were the "master race" and would eventually take over the world. He blamed the
Jews for Germany's troubles and encouraged people to hate and persecute, or
treat badly, the Jews. By 1933, Hitler
became powerful enough to become the
dictator of Germany.
Think: A gifted speaker, Hitler found it easy to convince people, especially the young, to follow him. In his book
Mew Kampf, Hitler told of his plans for Germany to conquer Europe . It seemed as if most European leaders
weren't paying attention. Respond: Why did so many world leaders ignore the warnings of Hitler's war plans?
Once he took power, Hitler began to
rebuild Germany's army and navy. Secretly, he also built a powerful air force.
Although these actions violated the Treaty of Versailles, France and Britain did
nothing to stop Hitler. French leadership
was weak, and France relied on its wall of
fortifications along the German border.
Many British leaders thought they could
stay out of European problems.
In 1936, Hitler sent his army into the
Rhineland, the territory along the Rhine
River in western Germany. Although this
was another treaty violation, and France
and Britain still had much more powerful
armies than Germany, they again did
nothing to stop him.
Hitler then signed an agreement with
Mussolini. They called themselves the
Axis Powers, saying that power in Europe
would soon revolve around an axis, or line
between Berlin and Rome.
Most Americans Favor Isolation
While many Americans were uneasy
about the actions of the new dictatorships, they did not want America to
become involved. They were unhappy
that American sacrifices during World
War I had not led to a peaceful and free
world. And they were suspicious about
calls for war. Between 1934 and 1936,
hearings held by Senator Gerald P. Nye of
North Dakota seemed to suggest that the
war had bee n started by bankers or weapons makers seeking profits.. Seventy-one
percent of the people interviewed in a
1937 Gallup poll said they thought it had
Chapter 29
Think: Most people wanted to believe that World War I was the war to end aU wars. So when it looked as if the
world was heading for another major war. many people were against it. The United States chose to isolate itself;
European countries did not have that choice. Respond: Do you think the Americans were right? Explain .
been a mistake for the United States to
enter World War 1.
Most of these Americans wanted the
United States to isolate itself from the
world. This isolation movement had considerable political power in America during the 1930s.
In 1937, another Neutrality Act was
passed. This law allowed nations at war
to buy nonmilitary goods if they carried
them away in their own ships. This
helped trade, but it also meant that a
nation with many ships , like Japan, would
be helped more than one like China,
which was poor and had few ships.
Neutrality Laws Are Passed
Responding to the isolationists, Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1935.
This law said that American factories
could not sell weapons to any nation at
war. American ships were not allowed to
carry weapons to any nation at war. And
American citizens were forbidden to travel on ships belonging to a nation at war. It
was hoped that these laws would prevent
incidents like the sinking of the Lusitania
that had led the United States toward
World War 1.
Some Americans Fight the Dictators
Although Americans who favored isolation were in the majority, some Americans wanted to do something about the
threat of Hitler and Mussolini. In 1936, a
civil war broke out in Spain. Spain was
ruled by a king, but he was not a dictator.
A general, Francisco Franco, wanted to
take over the government and become
dictator. Hitler and Mussolini supported
Franco in his actions. The Soviet Union
- - - Albert Einstein- -One of the Wor ld's Great est Thinkers
, ,;.. J
"Honestl y," com,
plained the teacher,
"it's clear the boy's a
very slow thinker, I
don't know why his
parents sent him to
school! He can't answer most questions
without taking a long
time to think, It must
be quite difficult for I
him. His parents might as well face
it-Albert Einstein will never
amount to much!"
The teacher was wrong, Albert
Einstein became a brilliant scientist,
one of the greatest the world has
ever known, He won the Nobel Prize
for his research in physics , Einstein
seemed slow in school because he
would not answer a question until he
had worked out the answer, He took
his time, thinking through each question carefully,
Albert Einstein was born in
Germany. He spent time in Switzerland, going to school, working, and
teaching, Then he returned to
Germany to teach and do research,
When Hitler and the Nazi party
gained power, Einstein decided to
leave Germany. Hitler' s anti-Jewish
attitudes and his use of violence
against Jews made Germany a dangerous place for Einstein and other
"I'' '
Jews . In 1933, Einstein
came to the United
4' "
. J States to teach . In
1934, the Nazi govern. '
ment took away his
German citizenship.
Germany's loss was
the United States' gain.
Einstein's scientific genius and his personal
inIIuence helped the
United States and its allies win World
War II. In 1939 Einstein wrote to
President Roosevelt, warning him
th at German scientists were working
on a new and powerful bomb , He
urged researching and developing
weapons using atomic power to end
World War II. Einstein's Theory of
Relativity helped scientists in the
United States learn how to split the
atom and ultimately develop the
atomic bomb.
Albert Einstein'S scientific theories changed the ways scientists
think. His theories helped begin the
Atomic Age, But Einstein was deeply
concerned about the effect of nuclear weapons on world peace and human survival. He opposed the
arms race and the development of
more powerful nuclear weapons .
" You cannot simultaneously prevent an d prepare for war," Einstein
believed ,
, -=
Chapter 29
3. The Beginning of World War IT
Learn these important terms:
draft law
Lend-Lease Act
Remember the main idea:
Think: Americans in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
fought against Franco in Spain. Respond: Why did
these Americans choose to fight when their
government did not?
supported the Spanish government, or
loyalists, against Franco's rebels. While
the United States government remained
neutral, a group of American volunteers
calling themselves the Abraham Lincoln
Brigade went to Spain to fight on the loyalist side.
The Spanish civil war showed a shift in
military tactics, or ways of fighting. Many
Spanish cities were savagely bombed
from the air, showing the power of the
airplane. Supported by massive aid from
Germany and Italy, Franco won.
Section Review
1. What kinds of actions were taken
by the dictators who took power
in the 1930s? What kinds of
things did they do?
2. How did Germany increase its
power after Hitler took over?
How did Britain and France
3. How did the neutrality acts
passed by Congress try to keep
America out of future wars?
Hitler continued to take over territory. Germany invaded Poland, and
World War II began. By June of
1941 , Hitler ruled nearly all of
western Europe.
Look for answers to these
1. What countries did Germany
invade and conquer?
2. What happened when Hitler
attacked Great Britain?
3. How did the United States prepare for war?
Encouraged by the lack of opposition to
his actions, Hitler started to build a German empire. In March 1938, he annexed,
or joined, Austria to Germany.
Next, in September 1938, he turned his
attention to Czechoslovakia (CHEK-ohsloh-VAK-ya). Hitler demanded that
Germany receive the Sudetenland (sooDAYT -un-land), a rich industrial part of
Czechoslovakia where many Germans
lived. Czechoslovakia wanted to fight to
protect its territory. It could not resist Hitler effectively without help from Britain
and France, however. These countries
had promised to defend Czechoslovakia.
Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime
Minister, and French Premier Daladier
(dah-lah-dee-AY) met with Hitler in Munich. Hitler promised them that if he were
given the Sudetenland, he would not
demand any more territory . The British
and French leaders were anxious to avoid
war. They adopted a certain policy called
appeasement. They gave in to demands in
exchange for peace. This meant they gave
Hitler what he wanted. Returning from
the meeting, Chamberlain told the British
people that he had gained "peace in our
time." Unfortunately, he could not have
been more wrong.
Think: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
told Hitler that England did not want war. Respond
Why was this an open invitation for Hitler to carry
out his plans?
The United States Begins
To Respond
Many Americans began to be alarmed
at what was happening in Europe and
Asia . Americans doubted that Hitler was
going to be satisfied with what he had
gained so far. Pictures of fanatic crowds
and columns of Nazi soldiers became a
common part of the weekly newsreels
shown in movie theaters. Especially
alarming was the Nazis' racism, or the
false belief that one race, or group of people, is better than all others. Jews, the
" inferior race," were harassed, beaten,
and driven from their homes and businesses. Worse was to come.
When another poll was taken in February 1938, the majority of Americans now
thought that the United States should
help defend France and Britain if they
were attacked. Most Americans still
vyanted to keep out of the fighting, but
they were willing to give "all aid short of
actual war."
President Roosevelt believed in giving
such support. But America was not prepared even to defend itself. In the early
1930s, the United States had a very small
army for a country its size. Roosevelt
asked Congress for money to build up
America's military forces, including the
navy and air force.
World War II Begins
Ignoring the promises he made at
Munich, Hitler continued to gobble up territory. In March of 1939, he took over the
rest of Czechoslovakia. In August of 1939,
Hitler signed a treaty with Joseph Stalin,
the Soviet dictator. They agreed not to
fight each other and secretly agreed to
divide Poland between them.
Now free of the danger of attack from
the east, Hitler was ready to take over
Poland. On September 1, 1939, German
Chapter 29
dive bombers screamed out of the sky and
smashed Polish military bases. Fast-moving tanks led columns of German troops
across tbe Polish border.
Hitler Attacks France
In April 1940. Germany attacked Denmark and Norway. The British and French
sent forces to try to defend Norway. but
they were unsuccessful.
In May 1940. German panzer (tank)
divisions smashed into the Netherlands.
Belgium. and Luxembourg. Soon they had
moved deep into France. Although France
had a strong army. the French were not
able to react quickly enough to the German blitzkrieg (BLITS-kreeg). or "lightning war." The British sent an army to
help. but they were soon pushed back to
the town of Dunkirk on the English Channel. There. brave sailors and fishermen
used a vast fleet of ships and tiny boats to
rescue about 340.000 British and French
troops and bring them back to Britain.
The United States Aids Great Britain
Think: Britain and France told Germany to withdraw
from Poland or they would declare war. When Hitler
refused. war was declared. Respond : Why was
EW'Ope unprepared for war?
Great Britain and France finally realed that they had to fight . On September
3. 1939. Britain and France declared war
against Germany. and World War II
began. It was too late to help Poland.
which surrendered within a few weeks.
The American government now had to
face the possibility that the United States
would be attacked or forced to enter the
war eventually. In 1940. Congress passed
the first peacetime draft law in history.
This law required all men between the
ages of twenty-one and thirty-five to
serve in the army. The draft would provide a pool of trained men to meet wartime needs .
By the end of June 1940. Germany had
conquered all of western Europe except
Britain. Americans realized that if Britain
fell. the routes across the Atlantic. and
eventually the United States itself. would
be in danger. More American assistance
to the British seemed essential.
In 1939. Roosevelt had gotten Congress to change the Neutrality Act so that
countries could buy weapons if they paid
cash for them and took them away in their
own ships. This plan was designed to help
Great Britain. which had many ships. In
addition. in 1940. Roosevelt arranged a
deal in which fifty American warships
were traded to Britain in exchange for
leases on British naval bases. The British
needed these ships to fight the German
In August 1940. Hitler began to prepare to invade Britain. First. though. the
Germans had to destroy the British air
force and navy. Waves of German bombers attacked coastal ports. airfields. and
finally London itself. Americans heard
Think: When France fell, the British sent a
thousand boats to Dunkirk to bring the
French and British soldiers to safety in
England. The Withdrawal from Dunkirk,
June 1940 shows a part of the historic
rescue. Respond: Why had France fallen so
American Edward R. MWTOW (1908-1965)
began his dramatic radio broadcasts during
the Battle of Britain with the words "This
.. . is London."
Chapter 29
This map will add to your knowledge of the events that led to World War II.
You already know from your text about Germany's invasion of Austria,
Czechoslovakia, and the Rhineland. From this map and its inset, you will learn
about Italy' s invasions. These were
by the dictator Benito Mussolini.
Like other European nations,
nations in Africa . These were
Libya , Eritrea , and Italian
Nearby Ethiopia was an old independent African kingdom . In 8 show
Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. The
Ethiopians' primitive weapons were no match for Italy's tanks and planes.
Look at the map and its inset.
1 . To launch the invasion, the
Italian forces had to sail over
what bodies of water? On which
body of water is Eritrea?
2 . Mussolini had hopes of sharing
in Hitler's conquests in Europe .
He supported the Fascist forces
in the Spanish Civil War. He
also moved his troops toward
the Austrian border. He gave
Hitler little help, however. What
European country did Mussolini
invade? When? Was a navy
needed? Was he successful?
From what you know of him and
of Albania's position on the map,
what was his purpose?
Use your text to answer this
3 . Explain the two arrows
indicating invasions of Poland.
.. ..............
Axis Powen. 193 7
AxJa Controlled len1tory, t, 1939
radio broadcaster Edward R. Murrow's
reports from London, complete with the
sound of air raid sirens and bombs.
The bravery of the British people and
the words of Winston Churchill, the new
British Prime Minister, appealed to Americans. The British air force, though outnumbered by the Germans, fought off the
attacks . Hitler decided that it would be
too costly to invade Britain.
Think.: The Illingworth cartoon "The Way of the
Stork" shows American aid in the form of the
Lend-Lease Act of 1941. Respond: What types of aid
does the cartoon show?
Think: For nearly a year, German planes bombed
London and other English cities nightly. Coventry
Cathedral was one of many churches hit. Respond:
How did the British respond?
Britain faced great hardships, however.
By 1941, the British had run out of money
to pay for American war supplies. Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act. This
law allowed the United States to lend,
rather than sell, war supplies to Britain,
and later, to other countries fighting
against Germany.
By the end of 1941, the United States
was all but in the war. The American navy
had begun to protect merchant ships
delivering supplies to Britain, and American destroyers and German submarines
began to shoot at each other.
In twenty years, American attitudes
had gone from isolation to neutrality to
active involvement in the defense of
allies. Efforts to guarantee peace had
failed, and the United States had to
respond to the challenge. It now seemed
only a matter of time before America
would enter World War II.
Section Review
1. When and how did World War II
2. How did the United States increase its strength and prepare
for possible war?
3. How did the United States help
Great Britain?
Chapter 29
During the 1920s and most of
the 1930s, most Americans did not
pay much attention to what was
going on in Europe and Asia.
American foreign policy dealt
mostly with Latin America and the
improvement of world trade. However, American leaders did join
with other world leaders in trying
to find a way to prevent future
wars. Attempts to reduce the size
of armies were unsuccessful. And
although peace treaties were
signed, there was no way to enforce them.
In the 1930s, Japan, Italy, and
Germany became dictatorships.
Japan began to take over parts of
China. Italy tried to create an
empire in Africa. Hitler took over
the German government and then
began to take over the countries
near Germany. European leaders
did not try to stop Hitler. Instead,
they tried to appease him.
Many Americans wanted the
United States to follow a policy of
isolation, or separate itself from
these conflicts. Congress passed
neutrality laws that tried to prevent incidents that could lead the
United States into war.
By the end of the 1930s, however, Europe was again at war. President Roosevelt and Congress began strengthening the American
military forces and helping Britain
directly. Obviously, there was no
way America could avoid becoming more deeply involved.
Key Words
Write a sentence to explain the
meaning of each of these terms.
reciprocal trade
Good Neighbor
Axis Powers
Neutrality Act
of 1935
Lend-Lease Act
Major Events
Choose the answer that best
completes the statement.
l. In 1921, the United States and
other major nations limited
a) the size of their armies .
b) the number of warships .
c) the development of airplanes.
2. When Hitler entered the
Rhineland, Britain and France
a) did little to stop him.
b) stopped trade with Germany.
c) declared war against Germany .
3. During the 1930s, most Americans
a) supported Hitler and Mussolini.
b) wanted to avoid war.
c) wanted the United States to
oppose the dictators.
4. World War II began when
a) the German army marched into
the Rhineland.
b) the Japanese invaded China.
c) Germany invaded Poland.
5. By the end of 1940, the Germans
had conquered
a) most of western Europe .
b) Great Britain.
c) the Soviet Union .
R e VIe
Important Facts
Skill Review
Answer each question with at least
one complete sentence.
Study this map, then answer the
following questions.
1. Why were efforts to control arms
mostly unsuccessful?
1 . When and why did Germany
invade Poland?
2. Why did Britain and France have
trouble paying their war debts to
the United States? How did the
United States try to help?
2 . When and why did the Soviet
Union invade Poland?
3. How did the way the United
States dealt with Latin America
change in the late 1920s?
3 . Why didn't Germany and the
Soviet Union go to war ove r
4 . How did the United States deal
with the Philippines and Puerto
5 . Was the League of Nations
successful in protecting weak
nations from attack? Why , or
why not?
6. Why did Japan attack China?
7 . How did Hitler gain the support
of the German people?
8 . What were the goals of the
isolation movement?
9. What policy did the British and
French use at Munich? Did it
Invasions of Poland, 1939
Critical Thinking
10. How did the United States begin
to prepare for war?
Write a paragraph to answer each
11. How did Roosevelt help Britain
after France was conque red by
1. Do you think World War II would
have started if Germany had been
treated differently after World
War I? Why , or why not?
12 . What happened when Hitler got
ready to invade Britain?
13 . As 1941 drew toward an end ,
how close was the United States
to war?
2. How did American attitudes
toward involvement in World
War II change between 1937 and
1941? Why do you think they
Chapter 29