A Nation Transformed 1939-1945
According to Chapter 10, World War II "further narrowed the gap between life in the United States and events taking place around the world."
Militarism and Fascism Abroad
- Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere
- Chiang Kai-shek
- Benito Mussolini, Ethiopia, Haile Selassie
- Adolf Hitler, National Socialism, Axis
- Rhineland, Sudetenland, Munich conference
- Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact
- Eve of War 1939
From Isolationism to Internationalism
- Neutrality Acts, Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Quarantine speech
- Atlantic Charter, John J. McCloy, Cordell Hull
- America First Committee, Wendell Willkie, Charles Lindbergh
- Philip Murray, Sidney Hillman supported FDR
- Edward R. Murrow
End of the New Deal
- Henry Stimson, Frank Knox
- River Rouge strike won by UAW, but defense first
- National Defense Mediation Board
- North American Aviation strike in Inglewood failed
War in the Pacific and Europe
- Coral Sea, Midway, MacArthur, Nimitz, Guadalcanal
- Stalingrad, Second Front, Molotov, Churchill, Sicily
- "Air combat gripped the imagination of both military planners and the public, for it promised to substitute advanced technology and industrial capacity for the blood and mud of ground fighting."
- But "precision bombing" was a failure
- War in the Air
Life in the Armed Forces
- 16 million Americans served in armed forces
- the war "broadened the horizons of almost all soldiers."
- "The draft was egalitarian, touching men from all classes and regions."
- Soldiers "quickly formed bonds" and "a special sense of kinship"
- Ernie Pyle, Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe
- "blue discharges" and anti-lesbian purges as the military "for the first time began to act not just against homosexual acts but also against gays as a group"
- 700,000 blacks in segregated units
- Tuskegee Airmen, Co. Benjamin Davis
- 350,000 Hispanics drafted, 25,000 Indians enlisted
- Navajo code-talkers
Autobiography of a Jeep
Mobilizing the Home Front
- "dollar-a-year-men" of Donald Nelson, WPB
- WLB, OPA, WMC, Selective Service
- Brehon Somervell at Fort Leavenworth, military-industrial complex
- 43% of workers were blue-collar, "the highest proportion in U. S. history."
- "the big winner was California"
- exodus from rural South for urban California and Michigan
- "an unprecedented rise in their standard of living"
- life expectancy increased 3 years, infant mortality decline a third
- immigrant institutions declined, rise of cultural pluralism
- Mobilization of the Home Front
Women in the Workforce
- Rosie the Riveter, women able to socialize, wear pants
- working women increased from 11 to 20 million
- but "the war did not generate a radical transformation"
- sexism, prejudice, segregation, denied training and union leadership
- "new social phenomenon" of juvenile delinquency
Limits of Pluralism
- Chinese Americans joined military, shipyard jobs
- 1943 repeal of Chinese Exclusion Act allowed small quota
- Jehovah's Witnesses, Japanese-Americans
- 442nd Regiment "the most decorated unit in the U. S. Army"
- Japanese Relocation
Origins of Civil Rights Movement
- NAACP lawyers Charles Houston, Thurgood Marshall
- outlawed white-only primaries, increased voter registration
- double-V campaign. CIO as "lamp of democracy"
- Randolph's march, FEPC, Phil. transit strike
- "Detroit was a center of rights-conscious activism" and racism, 1943 Belle Isle riot
- zoot suit riots in California
Labor's War at Home
- WLB "maintenance of membership" policy increased unions to 15 million
- John L. Lewis opposed Little Steel formula of 15% set by WLB
- 1943 Smith-Connally War Labor Disputes Act
Victory in Europe
- Eisenhower, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge
- "concentration camps that stretched from Buchenwald in Germany to Auschwitz in Poland"
- Truman followed unconditional surrender policy
- B-29 bombers from Saipan and Guam
- Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Burma
- Hiroshima Aug. 6 and Nagasaki Aug. 8
- prestige of scientists "reached extraordinary heights"
- atomic bombs dropped "less for military that for political reasons, it seems."
- Grand Alliance at Yalta and Potsdam, but Stalin won sphere of influence
OSRD and A-Bomb
- Labour Party won in England
- Walter Reuther wanted higher wages, lower prices, housing
- "The fate of the OPA was central to the success of an orderly and progressive conversion of the war economy to a peacetime footing."
- 300,000 voluntary OPA housewife price-checkers "as American as baseball"
- but "a massive postwar strike wave" in late 1945 and 1946
- Truman allowed steel price increase with wage increase
- postwar contracts included "management security" clause to allow company to maintain production standards
- Republicans won 1946 elections with "Had Enough?"
- New Deal and unionism was over
- "perhaps the most profound transformation of all was the evolution of the United States from an isolationist nation into a global power"
- The Good War
World War II Timeline and articles
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