What actions did the US take before going to war with the axis powers?

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nybergl | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Prior to US entry into World War II, the US was in a state of isolationism. However, FDR realized that isolationism was not going to aid America and her allies in Europe, so FDR began moving away from isolationism as the US policy towards involvement by providing aid for the allies in Europe to fight totalitarianism. FDR introduces several different policies that begin to shift US closer to war.

  • Prior to 1939, the US did not allow the sale of weapons to warring nations since the many believe that the arms industry pushed the US into World War II. By 1939, FDR realized that the allies in Europe need US aid so he passed the Neutrality act of 1939 which allowed the US to sell arms to warring nations as long as they are democracies and had to pay cash and carry all goods.
  • However, the cash and carry system established by the neutrality act forced the allies to pay up front but the cost of war diminished their ability to do so. FDR created the destroyers for bases which exchanged old US ships for the right to put bases on English colonies primarily in the Caribbean.
  • Lend-lease act allowed for the sale of goods to the allies as long as they promised to pay later or return the goods after the war. This enabled the uS to increase their support for the allies.

The US's movement away from isolationism towards involvement was caused by the realization that at some point the US would have to fight.

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