CL—American Reactions to Fascist Aggression Background While America was preoccupied with problems of the Depression, Europe faced the possibility of another world war. The fascist rulers of Germany and Italy, Hitler and Mussolini, pursued aggressive foreign policies as a means of strengthening support at home. Hitler, in particular, vowed to release Germany from the hateful terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Mussolini similarly promised to restore the glory of ancient Rome to modern Italy. As the aggressions of these countries in Europe and a third, Japan, in Asia became more overt, the United States found it increasingly difficult to ignore foreign affairs. The isolationism and disillusionment of the 1920s began to waver before the attacks of those who would awaken America to her international obligations. Distrust of foreign entanglement was deeply embedded in the American psyche, however, and the country’s leaders faced a hard struggle to overcome it. In foreign policy, as in pro football, there are offensive and defensive sides. Following World War I, America adopted a strategy of isolation and seemed determined not to play the game. Some countries— Germany, Italy, Japan—were on the offensive. When the United States finally entered the fray in the 1930s, her actions were defensive. Part A The following list includes American responses to a series of actions by aggressor nations in the pre-World War II years. Write the name of the response in the appropriate place on the chart below in the column labeled “American Responses.” Then, briefly describe the response. Possible Responses: □ President Roosevelt’s Quarantine Speech □ “Moral embargo” of oil shipments to Italy □ Cash and Carry policy □ Embargo against Japan □ Roosevelt’s letter to Mussolini and Hitler asking for assurances against aggression □ U.S. declared war on Japan □ Stimson Doctrine Fascist Aggression Japan invades Manchuria Italy invaded Ethiopia Rearmament of Germany Spanish Civil War Japan invaded China Hitler’s takeover of Czechoslovakia □ □ □ □ □ □ Destroyer deal with Britain and Conscription Act Neutrality Act of 1937 Atlantic Charter Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1936 Lend-Leas U.S. froze German assets U.S. Responses Hitler’s invasion of Poland Hitler’s invasion of Norway and the Low Countries Fall of France Japan’s invasion of Indochina Battle of Britain Hitler’s invasion of Russia Japan attacked Pearl Harbor Part B 1. It has been said that the Neutrality Acts made the U.S. marvelously prepared to avoid another war like World War I. To what extent is this true? 2. President Roosevelt declined to invoke the Neutrality Acts because they worked to the advantage of aggressors. Explain this position. 3. Which of the U.S. responses to fascist aggression marked the turning point in moving the nation from neutrality to war? 4. To what extent was the reversal of neutrality in the best interest of the United States?