History 416

Postwar Alternatives

November 28, 2005



I. The US at War


1. 1940 (fall of France; FDR constraints; war in Asia and US response)


2. US and a Global War (embargo, Argentia, Lend-Lease, Pearl Harbor)


3. Domestic Events (federal spending; economic growth; civil rights; Korematsu)


II. Course of War


            1. FDR’s Choices (East Asia or Europe; Marshall, Eisenhower, MacArthur, and role of military; international issues: conception of victory—unconditional surrender; tenuous nature of alliances—US and potential conflicts with UK, USSR, and Nationalist China: colonialism, “friendly states”; role of communists in postwar states)


2. Course of War (1942: limits of mobilization, Midway/Coral Sea—triumph of intelligence, pressures for 2nd front, North African campaign; 1943: Italian campaign, Balkan campaign?, Katyn; 1944: Poland and Soviet-American tensions, D-day and liberation of France, decision for 4th term, Battle of the Bulge; 1945: collapse of Germany, turning to Japan, atomic bomb)


3. The Responses (Four Freedoms or Four Policemen?; domestic surge of internationalism—B2H2 resolution, Willkie’s One World; deference to military authorities—internment, military strategy; postwar structure—Teheran, Cairo, Casablanca Conferences; progress of war; FDR leadership style; unresolved issues; war in East Asia; atomic weapons and US diplomacy)


III. Postwar Alternatives


1. The World the War Created (Europe: devastation Germany and Italy; Red Amy Liberation EE; French and British economic devastation; East Asia: pressure for decolonization—SE Asia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India; Chinese Civil War; Latin America—redeem wartime promises?; nuclear weapons)


2. Truman’s Choices ((1) Internationalism: Eleanor Roosevelt, faith in power of UN, learning the lessons of Wilsonianism; obstacles: Security Council veto, Article 51, congressional power, role of nuclear weapons; (2) Cooperation: the rise and fall of Henry Wallace, wartime spirit toward USSR; obstacles: Poland, Iran, EE; (3) Regional: Welles and Latin America, east Asia and China Lobby; obstacle: logical inconsistency; (4) Nationalists: Republican hard right, marrying of domestic and international agenda; obstacle: limited appeal)