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1920s History

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The initial response of the United States was reflected in the views of Senator, Goerge w. Norris. He is a republican of Nebraska, who proclaimed that the United States should look out for its own interest and not to worry about Europe. He was blaming Europe for a large part of the Countries Economic woes: Hoover and Congress adopted policies that sought to protect Americans regarding foreign policies.

Roosevelt also followed Hoover’s so called “Good Neighbor Policy” toward Latin Americans. Roosevelt’s commitment to being a good neighbor and to non intervention was soon tested in Cuba and Mexico. Roosevelt delt with Cuba by setting the stage by sending troops to force Cuban leader, Ramon Gran San Martin to retire.

Mexico also tested Roosevelt’s commitment to nonintervention in 1938 by nationalizing foreign owned oil properties. American’s oil interest, argued that Mexico had no right to seize their properties. While Hoover and Roosevelt could point to successful and improved relations with Latin America, the same could not be said towards Asia, Europe, Germany, and Italy. They also sought to alter the International Guard and to expand their influence and power. Responding to the increased tensions in Asia, Africa, and Europe, Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1935 in August. This act prohibited the sales of arms and ammunition to any nation at war whether they’re the aggressor or the victim. It also permitted the president to warn Americans traveling on ships of belligerent nations that they should sail at their own risk. Following that, Roosevelt made another act serving as a clause that will not allow United States to loan any money to any country at war.

Roosevelt told an audience at Chattanooga, New York, that he hated war and that if it came to the choice of profits over peace then he will choose peace. His exact words were “The nation will answer, must answer, we choose peace.

The republicans felt differently. Many rallied for war, feeling that Roosevelt, was hurting potential wealth for the United States. Republican candidate, Alfred Landon, was very adamant that the republicans were the best party to keep the country out of war. Roosevelt easily defeated Landon, and with strong public support, he approved the Neutrality Act of 1937. It required that all nations pay cash for all won war guards and carry them on their own ships. It also barred Americans from sailing on belligerents. Truly the over powering by Germans taking over most of Europe and the seizing over Poland. Fifty Four percent of the respondents believed that no international question was important enough to involve the United States in a war. Sixty six percent opposed Americans to not get involved with American ties to Great Britain and thethreats that Great Britain received that they too might be over powered by the Germans. Most of Americans thought that Roosevelt would go to war to prevent a country like Britain to not be seized by a unnamed dictatorship. In November of 1939 the Nuetrality Act said that any nation could now buy weapons from the United States. Roosevelt also worked with Latin American neighbors to establish a 300 mile neutrality zone around the western hemisphere, excluding Canada and other British and French possessions. Although neutral in appearance both acts were designed to help France and England. While any nation could now theoretically buy weapons from the United States, German ships would be denied access to American ports by the British Royal Navy.


Americans entry into war changed nearly every thing about everyday life. Government agencies set prices and froze wages, cotton, silk, gasoline, and items made of metal. Most Americans had a ration book containing an array of different colored coupons of various values that limited their purchase of staples such as meat, sugar, and gasoline. This explained why most Americans received only three gallons of gasoline a week. War bonds were sold by the government to finance the war effort. Roosevelt wished to place all economic planning and policy under government control. Consumer spending raised to twelve percent and Americans were spending more than ever on entertainment, from books, to movies, to horse racing. Prosperity fell into the hands of women and minorities, who by 1943, were being hired because of severe labor shortages. Fifteen million Americans relocated between 1841 and 1945. Two hundred thousand people from the south headed to Detroit but moved west where defense industries beckoned. Ship building and the aircraft industry sparked boomtowns that couldn’t keep pace with the growing need for local service and facilities. San Diego, California, which was once a a small retirement community with a great naval base, launched into a huge success for major military and defense industrial city almost over night. After the 1870s, the surviving Granges

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