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Chapter 24
America Enters the War
Section 4
America Enters the War
FDR Supports England
• Two days after Britain and France
declared war against Germany, FDR
declared the United States neutral.
• Neutrality Act of 1939 – allowed warring
countries to buy weapons from the U.S. as
long as they paid cash and carried them
away on their own ships.
Destroyers for Bases
• FDR used a loophole in the N.A. of ’39
and sent 50 American destroyers to Britain
in exchange for the right to build American
bases on Newfoundland, Bermuda, and
Caribbean islands.
The Isolationist Debate
• After the German invasion of France the
American opinion changed to favor limited aid
to the Allies.
• American First Committee – opposed any
American intervention or aid to the Allies.
Election of 1940
• FDR decided to run for an unprecedented 3rd
• Roosevelt won by a large margin.
Edging Toward War
• Lend-Lease Act – said the U.S. could
lend or lease arms to any country
considered, “vital to the defense of the
• June 1941 – Hitler began a massive
invasion of the Soviet Union. Violated the
Nazi-Soviet Pact.
Hemispheric Defense Zone
• FDR developed the HDZ, which declared
the entire western half of the Atlantic as
part of the Western Hemisphere and
therefore neutral.
• This allowed for U.S. naval patrols to
reveal the location of German subs.
The Atlantic Charter
• August 1941, FDR and Prime Minister
Winston Churchill agreed to the Atlantic
• Committed the 2 to a postwar world of
democracy, nonaggression, free trade,
economic advancement, and freedom of
the seas.
Atlantic “incident”
• German u-boat fired on the American
destroyer Greer .
• Roosevelt gave the “shoot on site” order.
• Germans then sank the Reuben James
and killed 115 sailors.
Japan Attacks the U.S.
• July 1940, Congress passed the Export
Control Act, giving FDR the power to
restrict the sale of strategic materials to
other countries.
• Immediately blocked the sale of airplane
fuel and scrap iron to Japan.
• Japan signed an alliance with Germany
and Italy.
Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor
• Japanese decided to attack colonies in SE
Asia, seize the Philippines, and attack
Pearl Harbor.
• December 7, 1941, sinking or damaging
21 ships, killing 2403 Americans, and
injuring hundreds more.
FDR Response
• The next day FDR declares war on Japan.
• December 11, 1941 – Germany and Italy
declare war on the United States.
• America is at war!!!
“a date which will live in infamy”
End of the Chapter 24
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