The U.S. and the Approach of World War II


Use the fill-in the-blank version to help students learn the information while the information is being presented or as a review.
American Reaction To World Events: 1930-1939

American isolationism grows in strength as the Depression worsened. As the economy improved, isolationism became less popular.
The America First Movement was given support by famous Americans such as Charles Lindbergh. It upheld a policy of non-involvement in European affairs. Many saw Lindbergh as a traitor after U.S. entry into the war (1941).

The Peace Movement also gained strength. PACIFISTS believe that war is morally wrong and they opposed U.S. entry into World War II.

The strength of ISOLATIONISM was represented by the passage of the NEUTRALITY ACTS of 1935 and 1937.

The Neutrality Acts

1) Prevented the sale of arms to warring powers (belligerents)
2) Allowed the President to O.K. a sale of arms;
3) Sales of Arms had to be done on a CASH and CARRY basis (immediate payment);
4) Prohibited Americans from traveling on belligerent ships.

 These laws were opposed because they restricted the freedom to travel by Americans and violated Wilson's idea of freedom of the seas. INTERVENTIONISTS opposed the Neutrality Acts became they felt the U.S. would be restricted in protecting democracy around the world.

These laws reflected American public opinion at the time they were passed by Congress.

[Events in Europe 1919-1939]   [Before America's Entry]   [America Reacts]   [Moving Towards War]
[WW2 Begins in Europe]   [Identifications]   [Matching Activity]   [Key Terms]
[WW2 Index]

Pages and images by George Cassutto 1994-2007
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