Foreign and Domestic Policy of FDR
Franklin Roosevelt was the 32nd American President who served in office from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945 and witnessed the events leading up to WW2.During the mid-1930's President Roosevelt was occupied with the economic crisis and the effects of the Great Depression. Many Americans favored Isolationism. FDR favored Internationalism believing that international trade increased prosperity and helped prevent war between nations. He adopted a neutral position in relation to foreign affairs and Congress passed five different Neutrality Acts from 1935 to 1939. President Roosevelt achieved his greatest foreign policy success through his "good neighbor" policy towards Latin America and countries of the Western Hemisphere (South America, Central America and the Caribbean). FDR kept a wary eye on events unfolding in Europe and Asia during the mid-1930s, but his priority was leading America to economic recovery.
Events leading up to WW2: Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Militarism
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the people of the United States saw the emergence of European dictators such as Mussolini and Franco and the rise of ideologies of Fascism. Adolf Hitler combined elements of Fascism and Racism as the leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, better known as the Nazi Party and founded Nazism. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) adhered to Communism. Emperor Hirohito was the ruler of Japan with General Hideki Tojo who sought to establish a colonial empire led by Militarists. These powerful men, and the aggressive and expansionist governments in Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and the USSR all played a major role in the events leading up to WW2. For additional facts refer to Fascism, Nazism and Communism, Japanese Militarism and Totalitarianism and the Rise of Dictators.
Events leading up to WW2: Isolationism in America during the 1930's
During this turbulent period FDR was battling the economic crisis and the effects of the Great Depression. As he watched the events leading up to WW2 unfold in Europe and Asia he maintained a position of neutrality, encouraging international trade through his policy of Internationalism. The majority of Americans at this time favored Isolationism, fearing America would be dragged into another war.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on the Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 for kids.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 for kids
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1919: Following WW1 the 1919 Treaty of Versailles set out the terms for Germany's punishment which caused anger and resentment in Germany
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1919: The League of Nations was created by the Treaty of Versailles by which member nations would help preserve peace and prevent future wars by pledging to respect and protect each other’s territory and political independence.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) established himself as dictator of Italy in 1924 and founded the ideology of Fascism.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1924: Joseph Stalin (1878 – 1953) established himself as the Dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1926: In 1926 Hirohito became the Emperor of Japan and the symbol of the state
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1929: The effects of the great economic crisis of the Great Depression (1929 to 1939) are felt in virtually all corners of the world. Anti-democratic countries form Totalitarianism governments that assert absolute and total control over the public and private lives of people and begin to adopt policies of expansion and aggression led by dictators
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1930s: General Hideki Tojo of Japan, a fascist, nationalist, and militarist, played a key role in opening hostilities against China in the 1930's - refer to Japanese Militarism.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1933: Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945) becomes Chancellor of Germany and and head of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, better known as the Nazi Party.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1933: FDR becomes President of the US and implements the beginning of the New Deal with the Hundred Days.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1934: Hitler establishes himself as dictator assuming the title of "Fuhrer". Nazism shared many features of Fascism but also featured racism.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1935: Italy invades Ethiopia (Abyssinia) in October 1935
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1935: US Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts (1935–1939) designed to avoid American involvement in another World War by preventing loans to those countries taking part in such conflicts
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1936: General Francisco Franco (1892-1975) overthrew the Spanish democratic republic in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1936: Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy form the Rome-Berlin Axis treaty on October 25, 1936
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1936: Japan joined Germany in signing the Anti-Comintern Pact (an anti-communist pact) against the Soviet Union
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1938 March 12 - Hitler annexes the country of Austria into Germany
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1938: In September 1938 France and Britain enact a policy of appeasement, agreeing to the German annexation of Czechoslovakia
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1938: The Night of the Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) occurs November 9-19 in which Nazis violently attack Jews and destroy Jewish property
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 for kids
Facts and Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 for kids
The following fact sheet continues with facts and a Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 in America for kids.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 for kids
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: General Franco established himself as the Fascist dictator of Spain
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: Adolf Hitler ordered German troops to invade Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939. The Germans also took over Bohemia, and established a protectorate over Slovakia.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact signed August 23, 1939 in which Germany and the Soviet Union pledged neutrality should either become involved in a war
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: On September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland from the west.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: Britain and France respond to the invasion forces by declaring war on Germany September 3, 1939. The events leading up to WW2 had drawn to a conclusion. World War II had begun...
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: The United States declares its neutrality on September 5, 1939
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: The Soviet Union invades Poland from the east on September 17, 1939. USSR and Germany divide Poland.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: The Phoney War (September 1939 to April 1940 ) was an eight-month period at the start of World War II in which there was a lack of major military operations and nothing seemed to happen. Germany was preparing to defeat its opponents in a series of short campaigns using the "Blitzkrieg" (lightning war) strategy.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: The United States Congress amend the Neutrality Acts on November 4, 1939 to favor Britain and France
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1939: On November 30, 1939 Soviet troops invade Finland
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: On April 9, 1940 Germany invades Denmark and Norway
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: On May 10, 1940 Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg are invaded by Germany
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: On June 10, 1940 Italy declares war on Britain and France. The British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who had favored appeasement resigns and Winston Churchill becomes the new Prime Minister of Great Britain
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: The evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between 27 May, 1940 and 4 June
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: FDR is elected to an unprecedented third term as president of the United States on November 5, 1940
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: On June 22, 1940 Germany attacks the Soviet Union
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: The British win the Battle of Britain (August 8, 1940 - September 27, 1940)
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1940: In September 1940, the Tripartite Pact was signed forming the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan, in which the three countries agreed to assist each other if they were attacked by any additional power not yet at war with them. The intended target was the United States.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: Congress signs the Lend-Lease Act on March 11, 1941 by which the US government provided aid, economic and other, to nations warring against the Axis Powers.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: August 11, 1941 FDR and Winston Churchill form the Atlantic Charter, establishing the war aims of both nations
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: On 4 September, 1941 the "Greer incident" occurred on south of Iceland in the North Atlantic. The Greer became the first US Navy war ship to be fired on by a German U-Boat but the torpedoes missed their target.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: The USS Kearny was torpedoed on October 17, 1941 by a German U-boat while on patrol off Greenland. The USS Kearny but did not sink, but eleven men were killed and 22 men were injured in the explosion.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: On October 27, 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Navy Day Address" on the Attack on the Destroyer Kearney. FDR claimed to possess a secret Nazi map which demonstrated Hitler’s intention to conquer Central and South America and designs against the United States itself.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: On October 31, 1941 the U.S.S. Reuben James was the first United States warship to be sunk during World War II and resulted in the loss of 115 of 160 American crewmen. The incidents in the Atlantic moved America nearer to outright involvement in the European war. Refer to USS Greer, Kearny and Reuben James.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: The Japanese bomb the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 - 1941: Britain and the United States declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941 and America begins its fight in WW2
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2 for kids
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Events leading up to WW2 for kids - President Franklin Roosevelt Video
The article on the Events leading up to WW2 provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Franklin Roosevelt video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 32nd American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945.
Timeline of Events leading up to WW2
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Pinpointing the causes of a vast, global event like the Second World War is a challenging task for the historian. Events—especially enormous, multifaceted events—have multiple causes and multiple inputs.
A proximate cause is an incident that appears to directly trigger an event...
To help analyze the effects of those different inputs, historians often classify an event’s causes into different categories. A proximate cause is an incident that appears to directly trigger an event, as the election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 and the shelling of Fort Sumter led to the outbreak of the Civil War. Such dramatic incidents are often the ones we think of as “causing” an event, since the connection between the trigger and the outcome appears both direct and obvious.
In their attempts to explore cause and effect, however, historians often probe more deeply beyond the “triggers” to locate trends, developments, and circumstances that contributed equally, if not more, to events. In the case of the Civil War, for example, historians often point to the growing sectional polarization that divided the nation in the 1840s and 1850s, the national debate over the future of slavery, and the divergent economic paths that distinguished North and South during the antebellum period. Those factors created the backdrop against which Lincoln’s election and the shelling of Fort Sumter led to full-blown armed conflict in the spring of 1861; those conditions contributed to a state of affairs in which a triggering event could exert such enormous influence and touch off a four-year war.
In the case of the Second World War, historians generally point to a series of conditions that helped contribute to its outbreak.
In the case of the Second World War, historians generally point to a series of conditions that helped contribute to its outbreak. The unbalanced Treaty of Versailles (which forced a crippling peace on Germany to end the First World War) and the global depression that enveloped the world during the 1930s (which led to particularly desperate conditions in many European nations as well as the United States) usually emerge as two of the most crucial. Those conditions formed the background against which Adolf Hitler could ascend to the position of German Chancellor in the 1930s.
Virtually all historians of the Second World War agree that Hitler’s rise to power was the proximate cause of the cataclysmic war that gripped the globe between 1939 and 1945. Without Hitler, a megalomaniacal leader bent on establishing a 1,000-year German empire through military conquest, it becomes extremely difficult to imagine the outbreak of such a lengthy and devastating war.
At the same time, Hitler’s rise to power did not occur in a vacuum. Much of his appeal to the German citizenry had to do with his promises to restore German honor, believed by many Germans to have been mortgaged via the Treaty of Versailles. The peace agreement forced Germany to accept full responsibility for the Great War, and levied a massive system of reparation payments to help restore areas in Belgium and France devastated during the fighting. The Treaty of Versailles also required Germany to disarm its military, restricting it to a skeleton force intended only to operate on the defensive. Many Germans viewed the lopsided terms of the treaty as unnecessarily punitive and profoundly shameful.
Hitler offered the German people an alternative explanation for their humiliating defeat in the Great War. German armies had not been defeated in the field, he held; rather, they had been betrayed by an assortment of corrupt politicians, Bolsheviks, and Jewish interests who sabotaged the war effort for their own gain. To a German people saddled with a weak and ineffective democratic government, a hyperinflated currency, and an enfeebled military, this “stab in the back” mythology proved an enormously seductive explanation that essentially absolved them of the blame for the war and their loss in it. Hitler’s account of the German defeat not only offered a clear set of villains but a distinct path back to national honor by pursuing its former military glory.
During the 1930s, Hitler’s Germany embarked on a program of rearmament, in direct violation of the terms of the Versailles Treaty. German industry produced military vehicles and weapons; German men joined “flying clubs” that served as a thin pretense for training military pilots. Rearmament and militarization provided appealing avenues for Germans seeking some means to reassert their national pride.
Politicians in Britain, France, and the United States...were reluctant to act to check Hitler’s expansionism without irrefutable evidence of his ultimate intentions.
Hitler’s racial theories provided more context, both for his explanation of defeat in the First World War and for his plans for a 1,000-year German empire. In Hitler’s account, Communists and Jews—whom Hitler depicted as stateless parasites who exploited European nations for their own gain—had conspired to stab Germany in the back in 1918. Creating the 1,000-year Reich required the creation of a racially pure cohort of blond-haired, blue-eyed “Aryans” and the simultaneous liquidation of ethnic undesirables. Hitler’s vision of a racially pure German nation expanding across Europe, combined with his aggressive rearmament programs, proved a powerful enticement for the German people in the 1930s. Politicians in Britain, France, and the United States, encumbered with their own economic troubles during the global depression, were reluctant to act to check Hitler’s expansionism without irrefutable evidence of his ultimate intentions.
Only later would the world learn that those intentions revolved around the methodical military conquest of Europe from the center outward, a process one historian of the Second World War has likened to eating an artichoke leaf by leaf from the inside out. That conquest began with the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and the attack on France and the Low Countries six months later. Hitler’s quest for more “living-space” for his empire led to the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. By March of 1942, Hitler’s fanatical desire to conquer Europe—along with Japan’s concurrent push across East Asia and the Pacific—had plunged the world into a war that would last nearly six years and cost the lives of more than 50 million soldiers and civilians: by far the largest catastrophe in human history.