Evaluate the domestic and international leadership of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman during World War II. Be sure to include details on how they maintained relationships with allied leaders and how they were able to rapidly mobilize the U.S. industries for the war effort.

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Franklin Roosevelt was president during the Great Depression and for much of WWII.  He created a system of public works projects, managed agricultural production, and created worker protections such as a minimum wage and social security.  He was able to get most of his domestic agenda through Congress because of...

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Franklin Roosevelt was president during the Great Depression and for much of WWII.  He created a system of public works projects, managed agricultural production, and created worker protections such as a minimum wage and social security.  He was able to get most of his domestic agenda through Congress because of the desperation of the Great Depression and his immense popularity.  It was only when the Supreme Court went against some of his programs did the Roosevelt domestic agenda lose steam.  

In foreign policy, Roosevelt negotiated lend-lease with Britain in the early days of WWII. He also sent naval escorts to ensure that war materiel would reach Britain, thus creating a state of undeclared war with German submarines. Roosevelt enacted the first peacetime draft in American history. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Roosevelt administration encouraged industry to create enough munitions for the US, Britain, and the Soviet Union. Roosevelt also authorized the integration of all factories receiving a government war contract—in an America where segregation was the law in many areas, this was groundbreaking. He authorized the Manhattan Project, which was the program to build the first atomic bomb. He negotiated with Churchill and Stalin in plan the course of the war and the postwar world. Roosevelt's relationship with Stalin was especially interesting in that he had to promise Stalin his own sphere of influence in Eastern Europe in return for help fighting the Japanese in 1945. Roosevelt planned to renegotiate this part of the Yalta conference, but he never got an opportunity, dying just before the war ended in Europe in April 1945.

Truman's contribution to the end of WWII was that he authorized the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan. This act created a rift between the US and the Soviet Union because Stalin knew that there was a super weapon thanks to his espionage effort, but his American allies were not telling him openly about it. Truman also blocked the Soviet Union from rebuilding Japan. By making this effort entirely American, Stalin felt like he could do whatever he wanted in Eastern Europe. Soon after the end of WWII, Truman integrated the US armed forces. Much of Truman's domestic policies took place after WWII, but many parts of his Fair Deal fell apart in Congress because they were viewed as unnecessary or too leftist. Truman wanted to increase the minimum wage and provide national health insurance.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt effectively ended the Great Depression with American involvement in war production. While the U.S. Congress had passed a series of neutrality acts in the 1930s in an attempt to keep the U.S. out of the war, Roosevelt was able to maneuver the U.S. towards involvement in the war, while maintaining solid relationships with allies such as Great Britain. In 1939, he was able to get the Congress to pass the "cash and carry" act, which said that the U.S. could sell arms to other nations if the other countries paid cash (instead of financing their purchase with loans) and carried the arms on their own ships. In 1941, he was able to get the Lend-Lease Act passed so that he could lend or lease materials to countries, such as Great Britain and China, that he deemed critical to the war effort. By maneuvering the U.S. slowly into the war, he was able to conquer domestic opposition to the war, and this opposition all but disappeared after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the American entry into the war. In 1942, Roosevelt started the War Production Board to convert peacetime industries into industries needed for the war in a rapid manner. Roosevelt maintained alliances with Great Britain and the Soviet Union though wartime conferences such as Tehran in late 1943, when the leaders discussed the eventual Allied invasion of northern France.

Truman, who became President with Roosevelt's death in 1945, continued his policies with our allies, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. However, by the time of the Potsdam Conference in August of 1945, there was growing mistrust between the Soviet Union and the west, particularly the U.S. The Soviet Union had already occupied parts of Eastern Europe, such as Poland. In addition, Truman told the Soviet leader, Stalin, about the development of the atomic bomb, but Stalin showed little interest or surprise (perhaps because he had already been informed about the bomb through spies). This conference showed the signs of mistrust and division that would continue to develop between the west and the Soviet Union during the ensuing Cold War. 

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