It seems to be unfortunately
true that the epidemic of world lawlessness is spreading. When
an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community
approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to
protect the health of the community against the spread of the
disease....War is a contagion, whether it be declared or undeclared....We
are determined to keep out of war, yet we cannot insure ourselves
against the disastrous effects of war and the dangers of involvement.
We are adopting such measures as will minimize our risk of involvement,
but we cannot have complete protection in a world of disorder
in which confidence and security have broken down.
President Roosevelt, 1937
There can be no objection to
any hand our government may take which strives to bring peace
to the world so long as that hand does not tie 130,000,000 people
into another world death march....We reach now a condition on
all fours with that prevailing just before our plunge into the
European war in 1917. Will we blindly repeat that futile venture?
Can we easily forget that we won nothing we fought for then--that
we lost every cause declared to be responsible for our entry
Senator Gerald P. Nye, 1937
Our whole program of aid for
the democracies has been based on hardheaded concern for our
own security and for the kind of safe civilized world in which
we wish to live. Ever dollar of material we send helps to keep
the dictators away from our own hemisphere. Every day that they
are held off gives us time to build more guns and tanks and planes
President Roosevelt, May, 1941
We know that our fate is tied
up with the fate of the democratic way of life. And so, out of
the depths of our hearts, a cry goes out for the triumph of the
United Nations. But...unless this war sounds the death knell
to the old Anglo-American empire systems, the hapless story of
which is one of exploitation for the profit and power of a monopoly
capitalist economy, it will have been fought in vain. Our aim
then must not only be to defeat nazism, fascism, and militarism
on the battlefield, but to win the peace, for democracy, for
freedom and the Brotherhood of Man without regard to his pigmentation,
land of his birth or the God of his fathers....
White citizens...should [not]
be taken into the March on Washington Movement as members. The
essential value of an all-Negro movement as the March on Washington
is that it helps to create faith by Negroes in Negroes. It develops
a sense of self-reliance with Negroes depending on Negroes in
vital matters. It helps to break down the slave psychology and
inferiority-complex in Negroes which comes and is nourished with
Negroes relying on white people for direction and support.
A. Philip Randolph, 1942, proposing
a march on Washington
1. Did President
Roosevelt try as hard as he could to avoid American involvement
in World War II or did he actually seek American involvement?
American involvement in the war have been avoided?
the United States have been better prepared for war? Why wasn't
stronger American policies in the l930s have forced Germany,
Italy and Japan to adhere to the principles of international
should the American role be when other nations are threatened
by military aggression?
the status of black Americans during the war. Do you agree with
A. Philip Randolph's proposal to limit leadership in a march
on Washington to blacks only?
impact did World War II have on family income, the distribution
of income, earnings, labor force participation, and savings?
happened to women's participation in the labor force during and
after the war?