Review Of “The American Pageant: A History of the Republic”

Chapter 33

 

  1. The elections of 1932 were related to the loss of the trust of most American citizens towards the Republic party. The main reason for this was the Great Depression, which made the economy of the country much weaker. Hoover was sure that the most difficult period of the Depression had ended already and aimed at supporting of individual entrepreneurship of Americans. During those elections FDR could not support the Republican Old Deal.
  2. Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of FDR and took a really active part in the political career of her husband. Most of the liberals supported her and her position, whereas conservatives were rather against her. During the election of 1932 FDR proved to be a great speaker and revealed his appeal to public.
  3. The three R’s of FDR were relief, recovery and reform. The New Deal programs by FDR were passed by Congress and they were concentrated upon the three R’s. Immediate relief and recovery were related to short-term goals and constant recovery and reform were related to long-term aims. The New Deal programs, worked out in this way, could serve a perfect basis for further development of legislation by the President.
  4. The New Deal programs were worked out by FDR. Separate attention was paid to taking care of people, who had no jobs. The Civilian Conservation Corps – CCC – proved the possibility to gather around 3 million individuals in government camps. The Federal Emergency Relief Act – FERA – was an attempt to solve the problem of unemployed people. The Civil Works Administration CWA was a part of FERA and was issued for creating temporary jobs. Agricultural Adjustment Act – AAA – was designed to support farmers, letting them meet their mortgages.
  5. According to the Emergency Banking Relief Act, which was passed by congress in 1933, President Roosevelt received the right to control banking transactions and foreign exchange. The next step of the president was to initiate “fireside chats” via radio, he intended to make people develop confidence in banks. Further the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created by congress.
  6. The year 1933 was known to a lot of farmers in the trans-Mississippi Great Plains for the Dust Bowl. The main reasons of it were wind and drought and too much farming on these lands. The situation led to the Frazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act of 1934. In 1935 it was struck down. In the same year, the farmers, who had serious problems with their farms, were moved to other lands, which were better for farming.
  7. The Indian Reorganization Act was issued in 1934 with the aim to support Native American people in creating of their self-government, in saving their native traditions and beliefs. There were 7 tribes, which didn’t accept this act and refused to participate in this process. However, hundreds of the tribes agreed.
  8. In 1935 the Social Security Act was signed and it was needed for providing federal-state insurance for unemployed individuals. Another category of workers needed to be taken care of, those, who retired due to their age and lack of possibility to work any longer. They were also to receive their regular financial support. Most of the industrialized countries in Europe provided good examples for this. Urbanized Americans were to feel safe and Social Security was needed exactly for this. There was a huge difference between farmers, who could rely on their own food, as those people, who lived in cities, could rely purely on their jobs.
  9. Labor unions were supported by the National Labor Relations Act in 1935. Another name of it was Wagner Act. This was a good basis for administrative support if the rights of working individuals, providing them the possibility to reveal their ideas and interests via their collective representatives. In the same year the Committee for Industrial Organization was created. This organization contributed to organization of the workers and their ways of informing about their demands and problems.

 

Chapter 34

 

  1. The leader of the Nazis political party starting from the year 1933 was Adolf Hitler. The main target of this party was the revenge for their defeat in the Great War. This resulted in invasion of Austria in 1938 and Czechoslovakia in 1939. In the same year the Nazis troops crossed the borders of Poland. France and United Kingdom demanded Hitler to leave Poland, but these demands were ignored and the WWII broke out.
  2. The Spanish revolts turned into the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939. General Francisco Franco was the leader of the rebels, who were against the left-wing republican government. Franco received support from Hitler and Mussolini and managed to overthrow the Loyalist regime. Actually historians called this period a “dress rehearsal” for WWII, mostly because the fact that the same countries were involved. America was not inclined to take part in these events and took the decision to declare arms embargo to both sides.
  3. After the war most of the leaders, who signed the Covenant in 1919, were sure that they don’t want the repetition of it. All of them seemed to be interested in making the League effective and working. They all supported the idea of “Collective Security”. America again wanted to remain aside, as most of the citizens were sure it were better to concentrate upon domestic problems. The League didn’t have its own army and had to rely on member countries, which had to declare war on those countries, which were breaking the Covenant.
  4. After the Great Depression Europe had to sink into the regime of totalitarianism. Joseph Stalin was the political leader of the USSR, being rather harsh and decisive in killing a lot of political opponents. In 1922 Benito Mussolini became the leader of Italy. Hitler was the political leaders of the Nazis party in Germany in 1933. He was considered to be one of the most dangerous dictators, because he was able to concentrate great power in his hands and was impulsive. In 1936 Hitler and Mussolini allied in the Rome-Berlin Axis. Hitler attacked Austria and Czechoslovakia, Mussolini attacked Africa.
  5. One of the best ways to keep America out of war was to accept the Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936 and 1937. According to these documents, in case the president of the country stated that there was a foreign war, it was necessary to launch the mechanism of concrete restrictions. For example Americans were not allowed to sail on the ships of the countries, involved into the conflict, sell or transport munitions to these countries, provide loans for them. One of the opinions is that America in this way provided all possibilities for the aggressors, because didn’t make the open attempt to stop them.
  6. When in 1937 the Japanese invaded China, Roosevelt didn’t call this invasion a “war” and the neutrality legislation was not activated. This led to the fact that on the one hand munitions sales to China were not stopped and at the same time the Japanese could continue getting war supplies from America. In 1937 Japanese sunk Panay, which was an American ship, America received official apologies from Tokyo and accepted them.
  7. In 1941 Congress passed the Lend-Lease Bill, the main reason for this was the risk of collapse of the UK. This was a way to lease arms to the democracies in the world, which needed this support. Europeans were missing cash to buy arms and it was required according to the Neutrality Act, issued in 1939. All the arms were supposed to be sent back, as soon as the war would end. Some of the opponents of such practice were sure that arms could not be returned, because they would be destroyed.
  8. The Lend-Lease policy was also known under the name “An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States”. Between the years 1941 and 1945 America send the supplies of food, oil, materials to France, the UK, Republic of China, USSR and some other countries according to it. Generally this was a kind of free help, but some of the weaponry, for example ships, was returned back after the war ended in 1945.
  9. There was evident tension between Japan and Germany starting from 1940. Japan was dependant upon America in relation to war ammunition. By the end of 1940 America declared lifting of embargo, in case Japan ended the war with China. This condition was not accepted by Japan and in December 1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese bombers. At that moment 2.348 person died. A lot of American ships were damaged seriously. The next day America declared war on Japan.

 

Chapter 35

 

  1. There were a lot of signs of national unity during WW2. There was a system of government-managed rationing and price control. The labor market was different, as the conflicts of race and gender were in the past, as most of the people felt that under such difficult circumstances they needed to unite and not add more segregation to the society. Even Hollywood film industries were working for the sake of propaganda.
  2. There was a serious difference between WW1 and WW2 in relation to treating of minority groups. However during the WW2 110.000 Japanese – Americans were sent to concentration camps according to the Executive Order 9066. The reason for such decision was the concern of Washington leaders about the possibility of sabotage in case of invasion of Japan.
  3. As soon as the first military orders started to appear, the Great Depression moved to its end. The War Production Board controlled the war production and most of the factories in America started to produce huge amounts of weaponry. Passenger cars were not produced any more. When the supplies of rubber from Malaysia were not operating any more, the government had to impose restrictions upon speed and gasoline.
  4. A lot of nation’s farms and factories were working with high efficiency, the problem was however that they were missing the manpower. In 1942 a lot of braceros – Mexican workers – were brought to the country for taking care of harvest in the western farms. Although before work at a factory was considered to be suitable for men only, a lot of women started to take their jobs at factories also. In addition they participated in armed services.
  5. The period between 1950s and late 1960s is known as the period of the civil rights movement, when African Americans were fighting for their equal rights and possibilities in the country, for example employment or education. During the interwar period the social consciousness started to build up, avoiding racial segregation and discrimination.
  6. General MacArthur was the leader of the American forces in the Philippines, fighting against the Japanese forces for 5 months. In 1942 the American troops were surrendered. Dwight D. Eisenhower was an American general, who led an assault on French-held North Africa in 1942. This was one of the most serious waterborne efforts in the whole history. General S. Patton was the leader of the armored divisions in France. In 1944 Paris was liberated.
  7. Guadalcanal Island was utterly important for protecting of the shipping lanes from the United States to Australia in 1942-1943. The navy of America made the attempts to “leapfrog” some of the islands in Pacific, which were under the control of the Japanese forces. It was known that Japanese soldiers were used to fight till the rest person alive, thus they chose such strategy, when instead of fighting for each single island, they took the closest islands and then attacked the surrounded islands.
  8. At the end of November there was a meeting of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin in Tehran with the aim of coordinating the second front. The results of this meeting were positive for the Soviet Union. Also they decided to invade French Normandy, as there was the weakest defense built. The D-Day was on June 6, 1944, when the invasion happened. General Patton managed to break through the German forces and get to the territory of France.
  9. During the spring of 1944 were the last weeks of Hitler and his army. The Soviet soldiers entered Berlin in April of 1945. The 7th of May in 1945 was the day of absolute capitulation of the German government and May 8 is generally considered V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.
  10. The Potsdam conference in July 1945 was utterly important for the future Japan, as during the meeting of Truman and Stalin, they prepared an ultimatum for Japan, either capitulate or be destroyed. Within the Manhattan Projects by America the atomic bomb was developed. The first target for it was supposed to become Germany. Taking into consideration that Japan refused to capitulate, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the second one – on Nagasaki.

 

Chapter 36

 

  1. The Taft-Hartley Act was passed by the Republican congress in 1947. According to this act unions were responsible for the damages, which were caused because of jurisdictional disputes between them, all union leaders were to take the special noncommunist oath. This act was considered to be one of the obstacles for the development of organized work after the WW2.
  2. The Baby Boom was actually the period around 15 years after the end of the war, after 1945, when the birth rate in America was rather high. At the end of the 1950s more than 50 million babies were born. However, already after the year 1973 the birth rates started to drop down and soon reached the point, which was minimal to maintain the number of population.
  3. Chiang Kai-shek was one of the Chinese military and political leaders, the leader of the Republic of China in 1928-1975. He was a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party, China was led by him into the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1949 the power in the country was passed to the communists and their leader Mao Zedong. Nationalist China collapsed and the country turned for communism.
  4. The Big Three, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met in Yalta in February 1945. The main topic for their meeting was the end of the war. They wanted to coordinate their plans of occupation of Germany and free elections in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. They were also discussing the international peacekeeping organization the United Nations. There were a lot of controversies in relation to the Far East.
  5. The USSR stopped to receive the necessary lend-lease aid in 1945, in addition the plea of Moscow for a $6 billion loan for reconstruction was also not approved. Britain received even a bigger sum as a loan a year later. The situation resulted in 40-year long standoff between America and the Soviet Union, which was later called the Cold War.
  6. After the war the situation with Germany economy was not evident. On the one hand Americans were sure that it was necessary to support it, as it could be good for Europe. The Soviet people were against providing such support on the other hand, as they were afraid of another war. Austria and Germany were split into 4 military zones after the war. East Germany was related to the Soviet Union and correspondingly suffered from the same “iron curtain”. The Western Allies organized the Berlin airlift, in order to provide supplies to the people, living in the western part of Berlin. With the help of planes they transported food and fuels there.
  7. During the years 1945-1946 a lot of Nazi leaders from Germany had to go through the so-called Nuremberg Trials. There were various options for punishment, including hanging and life-long sentencing.
  8. The National Security Council Memorandum Number 68 (NSC-68) was issued by the National Security Council. They were ready to spend serious financial resources for the sake of the Containment policy in regards to the USSR. This document was related to the Cold War and was serious for militarization of the foreign policy of the United States.
  9. There was the “containment doctrine” issued and in 1947, President Truman embraced it and Congress passed the Truman Doctrine. The main aim of this document was to secure support to any country, which would be ready to confront the communist aggression.
  10. Thanks to the Marshall Plan 16 European countries, this gave the chance to support Europe’s economy and suppress the power of the Communist parties.
  11. Congress passed the National Security Act in 1947, which contributed to creation of the Department of Defense. Also according to it the National Security Council was established, which was responsible for various security issues.
  12. Joseph McCarthy was an American politician, Republican Senator of the Wisconsin State in 1947-1957. He was known for his anti-communist attitudes and claims that there were a lot of soviet spies in the federal government. He used various ways of expelling people from their positions, one of them was accuse of homosexuality. “Red Scare” was correspondingly one of his tactics.
  13. A “Fair Deal” program was supported by Truman in 1949. This program was worked out for supporting of housing, improving the situation with employment and development of Social Security.
  14. After the collapse of Japan in 1945, Korea was split into two parts: one of them was under the control of the USSR and the other part under the control of America. Both countries supported the opposing governments of the country.

 

 

Works cited:

Kennedy, D. M., Cohen, L., Bailey. T.A. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic. 15th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2013

 

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