The Great Shift in Power: World War II to the U.S. at the “summit of the world”[1]

This chronology has footnotes so you can get details that you want about specific events:

1939 to 1945 FDR to Truman  - notice the grey items indicating a test area.


Notice these major changes over time in the chronology:

1.    Backgrounds to Pearl Harbor – isolationism and ways around it

·       1939 Russia and Germany, non-aggression pack

·       1940 National Research Committee (and the Einstein connection—alerting FDR to the Nazi’s nuclear plans)

·       1940 Battle of Britain

·       1940 Japan goes into formerly French IndoChina

·       America First Committee – Charles Lindbergh, actions that reduce his reputation

·       FDR:

o   1940 - Destroyers for Bases Agreement

o   1941 – Lend-Lease

·       Rationing starts (Why? – To preserve materials for the war and the sacrifice not be just by the middle class and the poor.)

2.    War production – changes to groups – Scarcity and “Great Arsenal of Democracy” and the shift to potential prosperity

·       Women –Rosie the Riveter (6M)

·       Tuskegee Airman/segregated units (Earlier, 1941 Threatened black march on Washington)


3.    War, POWs, and slave labor – Japanese in and out of the US

·       1941 Japan takes multiple Pacific areas, including Philippines (later Bataan Death March and slave labor)

·       1941, December 7th Pearl Harbor

·       Exec. Order 9066 (relocation of the Japanese from the west coast)

·       1942 North Africa

·       1943 Russia stops Germany at Stalingrad

·       1943 Guadalcanal (after “leapfrog”)

·       1943 Italy

4.    Normandy through partition

·       1944, June D.D. Eisenhower, Allies –and years more fighting in Europe and Pacific – Concentration camps found

·       1945, April UN Charter – FDR dead/HS Truman

·       1945, June Partition of Berlin and Germany

·       1945 Nuremberg trials agreed to

·       1945, Hiroshima, atomic bomb (Aug. 6)
Nagasaki (Aug. 9)—and we no longer need Russian troops

5.    In the midst of war, a look to solve a problem of the past and to a better future – G.I. Bill

·       Unemployment for 1 year

·       Loans for home/start business

·       Hospitals

·       Education

6.    Remaining war issues
- Europe – Holocaust and the slow shift from racism
  and the beginning of the Cold War
- Pacific – Japan and Douglas MacArthur

7.    Shift to American supremacy and the shift from isolationism


[1] Phrase by W. Churchill