The Breakdown of American Neutrality

  • Period: to

    The Breakdown of American Neutrality

    This is the rough time period of when neutrality in America gradually breaks down, and the nation decides to intervene in the second world war.
  • The Kellogg-Briand Pact

    The Kellogg-Briand Pact
    The Kellogg-Briand Pact was a treaty signed by a handful of countries that made war illegal. This demonstrated the intensity of isolationism in America.
  • The Japanse invade Manchuria

    The Japanse invade Manchuria
    The Japanese invaded Manchuria in hopes of getting more natural resources to support their expansion. This was done despite them being in the "league of nations." The United States decided to remain neutral and not intervene as it would break their "isolationism" views.
  • The Neutrality Acts of the 1930's

    The Neutrality Acts of the 1930's
    Click the timeline below for more information.
  • Period: to

    The Neutrality Acts of the 1930's

    The Neutrality Acts of the 1930's were a set of laws passed to restrict trade with other nations that were involved in a war. Another restriction was that Americans were allowed to travel, but at their own risk. The United States did everything they could to not get involved in another war.
  • The Japanese invade Mainlaind-China

    The Japanese invade Mainlaind-China
    Since the United States did not fight the Japanese after the USS Panay sunk, the Japanese felt as though they could invade China. This led to a brutal war with the Japanese and the Chinese, but once again, America decided to remain neutral and not get involved.
  • The USS Panay Incident

    The USS Panay Incident
    The Japanese purposefully attack an American warship on the coast of China. This was done to see how the Americans would react to a Japanese attack. After the US decided not to fight, the Japanese apologized and paid back the costs.
  • The Neutrality Act of 1939

    The Neutrality Act of 1939
    In 1939, a law passed that revolved around a "cash-and-carry" basis. This meant that the US was allowed to trade arms with other nations, but there were certain restrictions. For one, they must come and receive the arms themselves, as well as pay in cash only. Despite arming other nations with weapons, the United States said that they were still neutral.
  • Building up National Defenses

    Building up National Defenses
    Due to the belief that war was inevitable, FDR spent a ton of money building up the nations defenses in case of an attack from the Germans or Japanese. This was a signifant shift in the nations view as "isolationalist" as the US was preparing for a war.
  • The Fall of France

    The Fall of France
    The Germans successfully invaded France and, in a matter of weeks, completely took it over. The United States, being allies with the French, decided to remain neutral and not intervene in the conflict.
  • The Battle of Britain

    The Battle of Britain
    The Germans launched a series of attacks over Britain during the summer of 1940. Since the United States and Britain were allies, and Britain was under attack, there was a significant shift in the nation's view as to whether or not they should remain isolationist.
  • The Destroyer Deal

    The Destroyer Deal
    The Destroyer Deal was a part of the "Lend-Lease Act" in which the United States secretly aided Britain with unused destroyers for some bases in the Caribbean, all without violating the Neutrality Act - supposedly. The United States still claimed to be isolationists even though they were arming Britain to fight against the Germans.
  • The Tripartite Pact

    The Tripartite Pact
    The Tripartite Pact was a pact signed by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japanese. This established the three Axis Powers in the second world war. If the United States entered the war and fought any of the three powers, it would have to face the wrath of the other two. It was a way to keep the US out of the war and remain neutral.
  • The Selective Services Act

    The Selective Services Act
    This law passed that was a requirement for all males between the ages of 21 and 35 to sign up for a local draft to enter the war. This was a way of recruiting many Americans to fight in another war - which was pretty much inevitable.
  • The Arsenal of Democracy

    The Arsenal of Democracy
    Within an address to the nation, FDR promises to help Britain fight the Germans by giving them all necessary supplies, but to stay out of the actual fighting. FDR referred to the United States as an "arsenal of democracy" because of all the fighting power we had stored up. Although we helped our allies fight a conflict, FDR still believed that the US was still netural.
  • The Lend-Lease Act

    The Lend-Lease Act
    The Lend-Lease Act was a bill signed by FDR which supplied Great Britain, France, China, and the USSR with material to help fight the war. This was considered the end of America's neutrality.
  • The U-Boat Wolf Pack Attack

    The U-Boat Wolf Pack Attack
    When the British took hold of the fifty destroyers, they were immediately put into use to protect shipping vessels against German U-Boats. The United States helped provide escorts, therefore helping out the British and no longer remaining neutral.
  • The United States supports Stalin

    The United States supports Stalin
    When Hitler decides to break the 'Non-Agression pact' and invade the USSR, he makes a crucial mistake. Since the USSR is now agains Hitler, the US decides to help arm Stalin in hopes that they can all bring down Hitler collectively. This was a sign that the US was going into the war.
  • The US Oil Embargo on Japan

    The US Oil Embargo on Japan
    Oil is Japan's most crucial import and the United States placed an embargo on all oil and gasoline exported to Japan. This infuriated the Japanese and gave them an urgency to either negotiate an end to the conflict, or use the force necessary to get those exports back.
  • The Invasion of French-Indochina

    The Invasion of French-Indochina
    FDR seized all of the Japanese assets in America, which resulted in the loss of access to sixty percent of their overseas trade, and over eighty percent of its oil imports. Japan had few options: hope the embargo would ware off, or use all necessary force to try and regain its oil imports, even if it means going into a war.
  • The Atlantic Charter

    The Atlantic Charter
    The Atlantic Charter was a policy statement which outlined the goals for the British and Americans after the second world war. Even though the US had still not joined the war, and vowed to remain neutral, it is pretty obvious that they were going to join the British since they were already planning what to do after the war.
  • The Shoot-on-Sight Order

    The Shoot-on-Sight Order
    FDR issused an order that allowed any naval fleet to attack German U-Boats due to the sinking of the USS Greer. This was seen as an act of aggression to Hitler, because the US allowed their naval fleet to attack any German U-Boats in the Atlantic, therefore no longer remaining neutral.
  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor

    The Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The Japanese launch a surprise attack on the United State's naval base in Pearl Harbor. After the attack, only one thing was certain - we were entering the second world war.