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America Enters the War
FDR Supports England
• After WWII beganFDR proclaimed the
U.S. as neutral
• But willing to help
England and France as
much as possible
• FDR found loopholes
in the Neutrality Act
to give England 50 old
destroyers to Britain
The Isolationist Debate
• By July 1940- most Americans favored
offering some limited aid to the allies
• Fight for Freedom Committeewanted to take a stronger action
against Germany
• America First Committee- opposed
to any American involvement
• Committee to Defend America by
Aiding the Allies- increase aid to
allies but opposed armed intervention
Election of 1940
• 1940 Election- FDR vs. Wendell Willkie
• Carefully campaigns for a course between
neutrality and intervention
• FDR is elected to an unprecedented 3rd
1940 Election Results
Edging Toward War
• Lend-Lease Act- allowed the United
States to lend or lease arms to any
country considered “vital to the
defense of the United States”
• Could send weapons to Britain if they
promised to return or pay for them
• U.S. had “lent” $40 billion in weapons,
vehicles, and supplies to the Allies
Hemispheric Defense Zone
• Getting the weapons to Britain was the
hard part…u-boats
• FDR declared the entire western half of
the Atlantic to be in the western
hemisphere…so neutral
• The Navy would patrol the western half
of the Atlantic and tell British ships
where German u-boats were
The Atlantic Charter
• Agreement
between FDR and
• Committed both
nations to postwar
world of
democracy, free
trade, freedom of
the seas, etc.
• Britain was worried that Japan would
attack it’s colonies in the Pacific (India)
• Japan depend on the U.S. for many
supplies, including oil
• To hinder Japanese aggression, FDR
stopped sale of airplane fuel and scrap
iron to Japan
• An angry Japan- joined the Axis Powers
FDR vs. Japan
• 1941 FDR sends aid to
China to help them
fight Japan to stop
• FDR froze all Japanese
assets in the U.S.,
reduced the amount of
oil sent to Japan,
started building bases
in the Philippines
Pearl Harbor
• Japan and U.S. representatives were
having “peace talks”
• U.S. decodes a Japanese message that
made it clear they were preparing for
war against the U.S.
• U.S. government thought that Japan
was going to attack, but did not know
“A date that will live in Infamy”
• Hawaii was thought to be too far away
from Japan to launch a long range
• Dec. 7, 1941 Japan attacks Pearl
• Sank or damaged 8 battleships, 3 cruisers,
4 destroyers, and 6 other vessels
• 2,403 Americans killed
• 1,178 Americans injured
Damages to Navy
• Dec. 8- FDR met with Congress and
asked them to declare war
• Senate voted 82-0 and the House
voted 388-1 to declare war on Japan
• Dec. 11- Germany and Italy declare
war on the United States