According to "Fireside Chat #19," what had America done to prepare for war?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chat #19" was probably one of his most important speeches to the nation as it was delivered just two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt outlines the diplomatic history of the United States and Japan and suggests that the Japanese were not negotiating in good faith. As the nation was shocked and alarmed at the prospect of war, FDR suggests that the United States has prepared itself for the great challenge ahead.

 A year and a half has elapsed since the fall of France, when the whole world first realized the mechanized might which the Axis nations had been building up for so many years. America has used that year and a half to great advantage. Knowing that the attack might reach us in all too short a time, we immediately began greatly to increase our industrial strength and our capacity to meet the demands of modern warfare.  --- FDR, Fireside Chat #19

Roosevelt describes the American preparedness program implemented since the fall of France. He assures the American people that since the Nazi conquest of Western Europe, the government has mobilized manufacturing to ensure America has the industrial capacity to meet the needs of battle. Roosevelt also mentions how the United States has supplied arms and supplies to the Allied Powers during the previous eighteen months. In addition to the supplies delivered to the Allies, FDR guarantees that the United States has a surplus of war material to begin the fight with the Axis.

FDR's "Fireside Chat #19" was delivered to outline a clear motivation for war and the relieve the concerns of Americans about the preparedness of the United States to enter WWII.