Unit 5: World War II and Its Aftermath

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In History
  • The Rise of Fascism in Italy

    Benito Mussolini rises to power and attempts to restore Italy to its former position as a world power. He established the Fascist Party, with is underlying ideal of fascism. It stressed nationalism and placed the interests of the state above those of individuals.
  • Stalin Transforms the Soviet Union

    The Soviet Union was established as communist. Joseph Stalin took control of the country and focused on creating a model communist state. However, he was responsible for the deaths of 8 million-13 million people.
  • Militarists Gain Control in Japan

    Militarists launched a surprise attack and took the Chinese province of Manchuria. Soon, Japanese troops controlled the entire province. The League of Nations condemned the action. However, Japan simply quit the League. The militarists were now in control of Japan's government
  • The Nazis Take Over Germany

    Adolf Hitler set forth the basic beliefs of Nazism in his book Mein Kampf. Nazism was based on extreme nationalism. Hitler also wanted to enforce racial "purification" at home (Aryan race=master race).
  • Civil War Breaks Out in Spain

    General Francisco Franco and army officers that backed him rebelled against the Spanish republic. The Spanish Civil War began. Francisco's victory made him Spain's fascist dictator. Another totalitarian government ruled Europe.
  • Australia and Czechoslovakia Fall

    German troops marched into Austria unopposed. This was due to the fact that the majority of Austria's 6 million people were Germans who wanted unification with Germany. In Czechoslavakia, there was a region called the Sudetenland in which a lot of German-speaking people lived. The Munich agreement was signed, in which Sudetenland was turned over to Germany without a single shot.
  • The German Offensive Begins

    Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with Hitler. They also agreed to divide Poland between them. Blitzkrieg tactics were used in Poland and it worked perfectly. Major fighting was over in three weeks. World War II had begun.
  • Battle of the Atlantic

    Roosevelt and Churchill formed a bond. Germans sank 87 ships off Atlantic shore. Allies began organizing their cargo ships into convoys. The Allies were able to find and destroy U-boats through radar and sonar. Strategic victory for the U.S.
  • Neutrality Breaks Down

    In the U.S., Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts to keep the U.S. out of the war. However, Roosevelt found it impossible to remain neutral. Since the Neutrality Acts only applied under war, Roosevelt judged that since Japan had not declared war against China, he continued sending arms and supplies to China.
  • France and Britain Fight On

    Italy (on Germany's side) invaded France from the south as the Germans closed in on Paris from the north. Germans would occupy the northern part of France and a Nazi would be set up in southern France. The Battle of Britain emphasized the air war. Planes and bombers fell and bombers from both sides continue to bomb cities.
  • Moving Cautiously Away from Neutrality

    The U.S.'s cash-and-carry provision helped warring nations obtain arms. Isolationists attacked Roosevelt. German, Italy, and Japan had signed a mutual defense treaty and became known as the Axis powers. The Lend-Lease Act was passed and the U.S. would provide arms/supplies to countries whose defense was vital to the U.S. As Hitler broke nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union, Roosevelt sent lend-lease supplies to the Soviet Union.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the largest U.S. naval base in the Pacific. The Japanese had killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 more. It had damaged/sunk ships and aircrafts. The U.S. now had to fight the war on two fronts. The U.S. declared war on Japan.
  • Battle of the Coral Sea

    Americans and Australians succeeded in stopping the Japanese drive towards Australia. Fighting was done by airplanes, not a single shot fired by surface ships.
  • Mobilizing for Defense

    Americans join the war effort. Volunteers and draftees began reporting to military bases for basic training. Factories began converting to war production. Nearly 18 million workers began laboring in war industries. Roosevelt began the creation of an atomic bomb (Manhattan Project).
  • Battle of Midway

    Turning point in the Pacific War. Allies began island hopping. With each island, Allied forces moved closer to Japan.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Germans pressed in on Stalingrad with confidence. However, the Soviet army closed in around Stalingrad, cutting off the German troops. The winter turned Stalingrad into a frozen wasteland. It was a Soviet victory.
  • D-Day

    There was a massive air and sea bombardment by the Allies. However, German retaliation was brutal.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Germans pushed back. They suffered irreplaceable losses and there was not much Hitler could do but retreat from here.
  • Postwar America

    Readjustment and Recovery- GI Bill: helped veterans return to civilian life. Truman faces economic challenges and strikes. There is social unrest and a push for civil rights.
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    Iwo Jima was critical to the U.S. because it was a place where heavily loaded bombers might be able to reach Japan. It was heavily defended, but the U.S. managed to take it.
  • Unconditional Surrender

    Hitler (allegedly) committed suicide. General Eisenhower accepted the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich. V-E Day: Victory in Europe day.
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    The first bomb, Little Boy was dropped over Hiroshima. The second, Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki. It caused terrible radiation effects and the deaths in a great amount of people.
  • Rebuilding

    Yalta Conference: division of Germany and Stalin agreed to join war against Japan. Nuremberg War Trials: trials on Nazi leaders.
  • Cold War Tensions

    The Soviets tightened their grip on Eastern Europe. They felt justified int heir claim to Eastern Europe in that Soviet deaths from the war were around 20 million. By controlling this region, they felt they could stop future invasions from the West.
  • Superpowers Struggle Over Germany

    Germany divided into 4: U.S., Great Britain, France, and Soviet Union. Stalin closed roads into West Berlin. Berlin airlift-help fly food and supplies into West Berlin.
  • Containment

    U.S. establishes containment to face Soviet threat. Containment-taking measures to prevent any extension of communist rules to other countries.
  • China Becomes Communist

    Mao Zedong led Communist party. It gained strength throughout country. They established the People's Republic of China. Containment had failed.
  • Popular Culture

    Rise of TV. Movies and radios come to life. Music also emerges. African-Americans: rock 'n' roll-yet there was still a racial gap.
  • The Cold War at Home

    There was a great fear of communist influence. Spy cases (Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs) stun the nation. McCarthy accused people of disloyalty without providing evidence. McCarthyism-attacks on suspected Communists. Led to McCarthy's downfall.
  • The American Dream

    Businesses expanded rapidly. There was a suburban lifestyle and a baby boom. There were advances in medicine/childcare, women's roles, and automobiles. Consumerism=success.
  • Poverty in America

    Poverty grew rapidly in the inner cities. As a result, it leads to activism. Mexicans and Native Americans struggle for rights. Termination policy-give up responsibility for Native American tribes.
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    The Holocaust

    This led to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews across Europe. Violence, slavery, and killings were not uncommon. Hitler's Final Solution was a policy of genocide. Jews were sent to concentration camps, where eventually, most were killed.
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    World War II

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    Cold War

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    Korean War

    NK attacks SK. MacArthur launched counterattack on NK's seemingly unstoppable force. The Chinese help NK-wanted it as a buffer state. Chinese drove UN troops southward. Started, ended same place.