1945 – The War at Home

We are now in the midst of what is becoming one of the greatest wars, with respects to casualties. I have spent much time reflecting on how the war is affecting us on the home front. I have come up with two major assertions. One: This war has been the catalyst moving us away from the Great Depression. Two: The war has changed the lives minority groups in our country is very different ways.

Even before the war, many was factories were being converted to war factories to send materials to our ally countries. As we became more and more involved in the war, factories have become more efficient and now have demand. During the Great Depression, there was overproduction and under consumption as no one could afford to buy the products. However, now there is an everlasting demand for goods. With many more men away at war fighting for our dear country, we have more diversity in the workplace. As I have much more to write on the different minority groups, I am going to wrap this topic up by saying that this war, by creating more demand and opportunity for work, has been successful in revitalizing our economy.

As for minority groups, I am going to stick to women and Indians. Women during the war have been offered many more opportunities. For example, many women have volunteered in service. Some are allowed to serve away in the military behind the scenes while some are dedicated to the cause here at home. The United Service Organization is a program for women to travel overseas to boost morale amongst the men and troops. This not only allows women to see the conditions in which the troops were living but also gives women the opportunity to serve overseas. Another opportunity that many women are taking advantage of is becoming a member of the Red Cross. Through this program, women can become nurses, participate in blood drives, and help prepare and send care packages. This provides an opportunity to help and stay at home and care for the family and household. Additionally, WASPS has been organized. As it stands for women air force service pilots, WASPS employed around 1,000 of the 25,000 women that applied. On the home front, women went to work. This is one of the first times in our history that we are seeing this large amount of women working in the factories! I have heard much talk about “Rosie the Riveter” or the symbol of what a working, strong, independent woman has become today.
Women also worked towards the war cause by selling war bonds and advertising for the collection of war materials. These ways, women still know they are contributing to the cause but they do not have to leave their lifestyles or their family. As a whole, I believe this war is providing women with a whole stage of new opportunities in which they can gain new skills and become a bit more educated. From this, women might taste equality and realize they will want to fight for it, but I cannot say for certain that this will happen.

Rosie the Riveter

A second group I have studied is the American Indians. In reflecting about how the war has changed the Indians, I have come up with many positive and negative aspects. Many Indians volunteered to enlist, around 44,500 American Indians served. In volunteering, Indians hoped to break the social barriers and gain more respect. I have seen many Indians react with anger when they are rejected from the draft for poor health and living conditions. Navajo Indians, in particular, have served as ‘code talkers’. Because of them, our enemies have yet been able to crack our code. As I am watching how the American society is evolving during the war, I have noticed that the racial barriers toward the American Indians have weakened as more jobs in defense industries have become available. Through these jobs, just like women, Indians are able to learn new vocational skills for life and have more educational opportunities.

Thank you for reading my blog thus far and I plan on posting again soon.

1941 – The Horrible Attack at Pearl Harbor

Last night, December 7, Japan attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor. There were bombs, torpedo planes, submarines, and more bombs. As if the first bombing attack did not do enough damage, a couple minutes after, the people at Pearl Harbor saw another wave of Japanese bombers coming in. I received the final estimated death toll. Around 2,390. This is quickly brought tears to my eyes as I realize that around 2,000 loyal men and women were killed in this attack. As I dried my tears, Congress met and quickly agreed to declare war on Japan. They have left us with no choice. The only response we can give to this open and horrible act of aggression is that we will fight back. I do not know what else to say today. We have now entered in World War II.

These links provide more information on both the attack and the events leading up to war:

“National Geographic Education.” Remembering Pearl Harbor: Pearl Harbor Timeline -. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/multimedia/timeline/pearl-harbor-timeline/?ar_a=1

 

“Interactive_timeline.” Interactive_timeline. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013

http://nationalww2museum.org/history/final/interactive_timeline.html

 

 

1940 – Goodbye France…Hello Intervention

Now that France has officially surrendered to Germany, I think most of the American population agrees with me that it is time to step in. The fact that France fell not only reinforces Germany’s power but also threatens us as Hitler keeps expanding. Also, British morale was broken when they were defeated at the Battle of Britain. Now, we must intervene. With one country completely surrendered and the other broken, I am instituted the first peacetime military conscription or draft. Anyone from the years of twenty-one to thirty-five must enlist to help the cause. There will be a draft lottery. We have decided to continue with “all aid short of war”. We are planning on sending fifty destroyers to Britain. Of course, we will receive western hemisphere bases to make sure the rest of Europe and Asia sees this as a business transaction. This way, we are not yet fully committed. In a couple of months, we will propose the Lend-Lease Act, which will be seen as an undeclared war on Germany where the United States is expected to have equal access to markets and raw materials and we will lend or lease these materials to the allies. Apart from successfully helping our allies in a war, this will also prove to be an economic stimulus.

I just ordered that all American ships can shoot any U boats. In September, the USS Greer was shot at by Germany. In October, convoy ships were sunk by Germany. I view these two events as acts of aggression and allow all American ships to defend themselves. Obviously, this will lead to an undeclared naval war, but with Germany as powerful as it is, I think this will help our allies.

With respect to Asia, in December we have promised China loans and military against the now very strong Japan. I am not sure how Japan is going to react to this, but it has become evident that China is in dire need of our assistance to keep out Japan.

1939 – Hitler Keeps Forging On

Wow! I just received the news that Hitler invaded Poland! Now this really is going to set off the balance. When Hitler first began to demand Poland, Germany and the Soviet Union came to agreement where they split Poland. This news that I just received confirmed my suspicions that Hitler was not happy with half of Poland and wanted the whole country! As I am writing this I have received an e-mail informing me that Great Britain and France declared war on Germany! Finally, Britain and France have realized Hitler has gone too far and is not planning on stopping. However, this means we will have to step in somehow. Both countries are going to need aid if they want to defeat Hitler. With Germany as strong as it is now, we are going to have to help Britain and France as much as possible.

Britain declares war on Germanywar

“The Atlantean Conspiracy.” AtlanteanConspiracy. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

1939 – The Munich Conference: Are We Giving in to Hitler Too Easily?

They just settled some disputes at the Munich Conference only to find we are now faced with a new obstacle to peace: Japan proclaimed a New Order. As Hitler gains more strength, he continues making more demands. First, he took the Rhineland. Now, he is demanding Sudetenland, which is rightfully Czechoslovakia’s territory. In order to avoid war, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy all convened at the conference in September. In conclusion, Europe gave Hitler Sudetenland. Although this was decided diplomatically, there are many issues with this decision in my opinion. First, Czechoslovakia was not even present! Second, appeasement is only going to allow Hitler to gain strength and demand for more. The more Europe gives in to Hitler, the more they submit themselves to him. I do not think they realize this, but they have already lost their power to Hitler in simply giving in to his demands and threats. I will not be surprised when Hitler takes over the rest of Czechoslovakia. Additionally, Hitler’s expansion makes me believe he will stop at no cost. In Japan, we have a similar problem. Japan is becoming more and more powerful. This New Order, similar to our Monroe Doctrine, proclaims that they will not allow the United States or any other western powers to threat Japan, China, Manchukuo, Indo-China, and Thailand (most of these are now owned by Japan). Now this event concerns me. Our possessions in the Pacific are now threatened by Japan. All these events are culminating and will have a ‘snow-ball effect’. We are moving our Pacific fleet from California to Hawaii, where we can effectively protect the Philippines, Guam, Wake, and Hawaii. These possessions are too valuable to lose, as they contain many natural resources for our economy. Also, in response to Japan’s New Order, we are terminated the previous Japanese-American commercial treaty to further ourselves from the warring country.

1938 – Shifting from Isolationism

Last blog post, I left you empty-handed. I told you I was going to speak with advisors and let you know the decision we made in response to the alliances Hitler made. This is what we decided would be best: we simply extended the 1935 act to include that we will not give any loans or credit to warring countries.

I am beginning to doubt my decisions to stay isolationist. Why? Earlier last year the China Incident occurred. Japanese troops brutally fought Chinese troops in Beijing. From my understanding, Japan is seeking more living space, but mostly hegemony. As the current hegemon of the world today, we naturally feel threatened. If Japan is attempting to become the or one of the most dominant world powers in international affairs, she will point at the United States as a key target. We, as a powerful nation with a large navy and army and economic sanctions placed against Japan, are currently an obstacle stopping Japan from becoming more powerful. However, this is not the only even that has caused me to shift mindsets. A few months after the so-called China Incident, Japan conquered Nanking and murdered, raped, and tortured over 300,000 Chinese. To learn more about the Rape of Nanking, I have posted a link to a very informational video below by Evan Ferguson. These two events together have made me change my mind. But I am still unsure as to how to intervene yet keep a neutral status. After careful deliberation with my close advisors, I think we have come up with the best plan possible. In a further extension of the 1935 act, we declare that is forbidden for American ships to carry passengers or materials to any warring countries. Additionally, we added the ‘cash and carry’, as many call it today, idea. This states that belligerents could purchase war goods so long as they paid the government in cash and transported their own goods with their own ships, as American ships are not to go into any war zones. With this, I suppose we will mostly be aiding Great Britain, as they are already in war. However, we have still faithfully remained neutral. What do you think?

1936 – Do We Just Stand By As Germany And Japan Make New Friends?

I have been pondering on how to start this blog today but I think it best to begin with one of the first incidents that opened the doors to the major event, which will be the subject of this post.  Three years ago, it was exposed that China did not bomb the Japanese railway and that in fact, Japan herself planted the bomb.  Thus, Japan’s rational for invading Manchuria is invalid and now looked upon as an act of aggression.   Once this was exposed throughout the world and other countries, including us, America, showed great discontent, Japan abandoned cooperation with Western powers and withdrew into diplomatic isolation, creating a building tension between western and eastern powers.  This can only mean one thing: Japan is angry with the settlements from WWI and wants to retaliate by becoming just as or more powerful than the western countries!  This is a potential threat to us, as it will tip the balance of world affairs as they are today and possibly lead to a greater struggle.

Germany and Italy finalized their alliance.  A while ago, this same year, Germany and Spain became allies.   This news is worrying, but I have not told you the worst of it.  Hitler is advancing and graining strength by creating friendships with other countries.  What worries me most is the nature of these countries.  Fascism! Hitler is allying himself with FASCIST leaders!  Not only does Hitler’s allying himself with these leaders prove his fascism, but it also makes me believe he has as larger mission.  Finally, my suspicions were confirmed when Japan and Germany signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, stating that both countries are now allies fighting against communism.   Germany was in need of an ally against the Franco-Soviet Treaty in 1935 and the anti-Nazi Popular Front, also in 1935.  Also, Hitler sought a friend to help fight against the Soviet Union and Japan decided Russia to be a potential threat (Karen-History).  You, my readers, might be asking yourself: How do the Manchurian Incident from three years ago and Hitler’s actions tie together? And my answer is: I suspect both Japan and Germany getting larger and stronger.  Japan is looking for more living space as well as resources and power.  Germany is also looking for living space and power.  Therefore the fact that both countries are now allies clearly shows me they have a larger mission in which they both believe they need each other to achieve.  Furthermore, most countries Hitler has allied himself with, like Italy and most definitely Japan, resent the Treaty of Versailles.  By resenting the Treaty, they are simply resenting the western powers that created the treaty.  So, my nervousness and anxiety comes from the fact that two countries that dislike the treaty and dislike the United States came together.  Although they have not yet done anything to show they are fighting against us, I believe it will not be long before they do.

I am now in the position where I must make a decision as to how to react to the event publically.  What measures do I take to keep the United States of America out of war? How do relay this information to the people in an optimistic yet honest way?  I think in order to answer these questions I must analyze how I and the rest of the government have responded to preceding events that could have posed a threat.  In 1935, the newly appointed chancellor of Germany, Hitler, began a military draft.  After the treaty, Germany had agreed to disarmament.  So you can see why the fact that Germany was now rearming herself was a problem.  However, I did not believe we were in the correct economic and political state to intervene and we truly believed the best course of action would be to maintain neutrality.  Thus, we passed a general embargo in trading arms and war materials.  Then, earlier this year, Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland, which was supposed to be the buffer.  Once again, my goal was to stay out of war, so we did not respond with anything concrete.  All of Hitler’s actions thus far, have become gradually more aggressive, as he demands much more.  I do not know when he will stop, though I tell you, I sure do hope it is soon.  I am doing my best to keep us out of war, but if Hitler continues forging on, I am not sure there is much we can do.  In Japan, apart from the embargo, I have responded with neither threats nor violence to Japan’s open defiance of the 5:5:3 ratios decided at the Washington Conference all the way back in 1921.  But now, this is different.  I feel impelled to act now that Japan and Germany have come together.  Instead of having two countries without enough power to truly act offensively against the United States, we are now faced with one large, strong, and determined group.  I am going to speak with my Brain Trust and will certainly let you know the decision we make.  Meanwhile, I leave you with a cartoon that perfectly, in my opinion, sums up the beginnings of this alliance.

AntiComintern Pact

“Karen-History – K. Interwar Years to WWI – Alliance.” Karen-History – K. Interwar Years to WWI – Alliance. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.