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what did fdr mean by arsenal of democracy

by Dr. Willis Kuphal DVM Published 7 months ago Updated 4 weeks ago
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"Arsenal of democracy" refers to the collective efforts of American industry in supporting the Allies, which efforts tended to be concentrated in the established industrial centers of the U.S., such as Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and other places.

What did Roosevelt mean by Arsenal of democracy?

Arsenal of Democracy was a phrase used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) to describe the United States as he tried to arouse popular support for sending military aid to nations fighting against the Axis powers ( Germany, Italy, and Japan, among others) during World War II (1939 – 1942).

Why is Detroit called the arsenal of democracy?

Appropriately, Detroit grew to be known as "The Arsenal of Democracy," a term coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during one of his Fireside Chat radio broadcasts. In the speech, delivered on December 29, 1940, Roosevelt made a “call to arm and support” the Allied powers, including Britain.

What is the arsenal of democracy speech?

Arsenal of Democracy. In the speech, delivered on December 29, 1940, Roosevelt made a “call to arm and support” the Allied powers, including Britain and France. Europe turned to the United States for assistance in the form of weapons, planes, trucks and tanks. Roosevelt stated that these war military devices would “enable them (Europe)...

Did the United States become the great arsenal of democracy?

By the time the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the United States had fulfilled President Roosevelt’s admonition to become the great arsenal of democracy.

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What is the Arsenal of Democracy?

For the video game, see Arsenal of Democracy (video game). U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressing the nation. During the Second World War (1939–1945), " Arsenal of Democracy " was the slogan used by U.S . President Franklin D. Roose velt, in a radio broadcast delivered on 29 December ...

What was the impact of the Arsenal of Democracy speech?

Impact. The Arsenal of Democracy exhibit at the Michigan History Museum. The speech reflected the American approach to entry into World War II. It marked the decline of the isolationist and non-interventionist doctrine that had dominated interwar U.S. foreign policy since the United States' involvement in World War I.

What was the slogan of the Second World War?

During the Second World War (1939–1945), " Arsenal of Democracy " was the slogan used by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a radio broadcast delivered on 29 December 1940. Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by selling them military supplies while the United States stayed out of the actual fighting.

What was the name of the treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union that was signed in 1941?

At the time, Germany and the Soviet Union had signed a non-aggression treaty under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and had jointly affected the Invasion of Poland (1939), a Realpolitik deal that remained effective until Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, in 1941.

What was Roosevelt's call to arms?

Roosevelt's address was "a call to arm and support" the Allies in Europe, and, to a lesser extent, arm and support the Republic of China, in total war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. "The great arsenal of democracy" came to specifically refer to the industry of the U.S., as the primary supplier of material for the Allied war effort.

What was the military spending on in 1945?

The spending on military production was distributed 32% for aircraft, 14.8% for ships, 25.6% for ordnance (guns, ammunition and military vehicles), 4.9% for electronics, and the remaining 22.7% for fuels, clothing, construction materials, and food. Note that production costs fell steadily—the same item cost much less to produce in 1945 than in 1942. The largest United States military prime contractors are listed below in order of the total value of munitions produced from June 1940 through September 1944. These large firms produced many different items; the aircraft companies assembled parts made by thousands of firms.

What did the President say to the people after establishing the danger?

After establishing the danger, the president then proceeded to request action from the people. He acknowledged a telegram he had received. He refuted its message, which he summarized as "Please, Mr. President, don't frighten us by telling us the facts." The central fact he felt Americans must grasp was the geopolitical Heartland theory: "If Great Britain goes down, the Axis powers will control the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, and the high seas —and they will be in a position to bring enormous military and naval resources against this hemisphere."

What city was the Arsenal of Democracy?

It is generally agreed that no American city contributed more to the Allied powers during World War II than Detroit. Appropriately, Detroit grew to be known as "The Arsenal of Democracy," a term coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during one of his Fireside Chat radio broadcasts. In the speech, delivered on December 29, 1940, ...

What was the name of the speech that the Allies turned to the United States for assistance?

In the speech, delivered on December 29, 1940, Roosevelt made a “call to arm and support ” the Allied powers, including Britain. The Allies turned to the United States for assistance in the form of weapons, planes, trucks, ships and tanks.

What was the significance of the wartime conversion of Detroit and the region’s multiple industries?

The wartime conversion of Detroit and the region’s multiple industries solidified the city’s status as the “Arsenal of Democracy.”. Walter Reuther of the UAW is quoted as saying, "Like England's battles were won on the playing fields of Eton, America's were won on the assembly lines of Detroit.”.

Why was Detroit the ideal city for the war?

Finally, Roosevelt reminded the American people that they had both the responsibility and the means to turn the tide of the war. Because of its strength as a manufacturing capital, Detroit was an ideal city to take on the challenge set by the President.

Why were freeways built in Detroit?

In an effort to accommodate both people and war shipments, some of the city’s earliest freeways, including the Davison Freeway and the Detroit Industrial Freeway (today I-94 between Detroit and Ypsilanti), were constructed to offer quicker access between the city and factories that were increasingly being built beyond the city limits in suburban farm lands. This changing landscape was to impact the region long after the war.

Who was responsible for the greatest percentage of war materiel during the war?

General Motors was responsible for the greatest percentage of war materiel during the period. U.S. companies produced 2,665,196 vehicles of all types for military use by the end of the war. If it had wheels, Detroit industrialists were in charge of manufacturing it.

Why did corporate officers become high-ranking Army officers?

Many corporate officers became high-ranking Army officers in order to skirt bureaucratic red tape. In all, Detroit firms, with facilities across the country, produced 25 percent of everything used by our allies. The social landscape of the city changed greatly during the war.

What is the Arsenal of Democracy?

Arsenal of Democracy Arsenal of Democracy (Arsenal) was a famous speech in the twentieth century given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevel t was one of the most famous presidents in the history of America; he helped America get through the great depression and the World War II. Till now, many Americans still miss his great achievement and admire him. The Atlantic gave him the fourth prize of the top 100 people who has great influence on America. Thus we can see how much he devoted to this country (Franklin).

What was the significance of the 1941 lend-lease bill?

In March of 1941, the lend-lease bill became law and allowed the "president to lend or lease military equipment to 'any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States '" (Tindall and Shi 900). In late 1941, the destroyer 's Kearny and Reuben James were sank loosing 126 seamen. These incidents caused Congress to resend part of the Neutrality Act of 1939 which banned "arming merchant vessels” (Tindall and Shi 901). This also caused the senate to “repealed legislation banning American ships from entering belligerent ports or ‘combat zones’” (The Neutrality Acts). The turning point for the American people was the Japanese attack on Pear Harbor.

What was the purpose of the speech in Pearl Harbor?

Roosevelt, in his speech, Pearl Harbor Speech, Interprets the actions of Japan toward the United States on December 8, 1941. Roosevelt's purpose is to convince Congress to formally declare war on Japan. He adopts a compelling tone in order to persuade war in his Congress members. Initiating his speech, Roosevelt utilizes logic to determine the attack was intended due to the distance. When examined the “Distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious” to clarify “The attack was deliberately planned.” Implying this in order to convince Congress that the attack was pre-arranged.

Who was the Vice President of the United States at the time?

Then as it got closer to the next election he didn’t run but he helped campaign for William McKinley. William ended up winning the election but did not finish up his term as he was shot and died eight days prior. So, with that Theodore Roosevelt , the Vice President at the time was sworn in and took the role as President of the United States.

What was the War Power Act?

The War Power Act was an American Emergency law that increase federal power during World War II. It was signed by President Franklin and was put into law on December 18, 1941. The War Power Act has increased the President’s war making power more than anyone could 've imagined. The War power Act was created for the very opposite, it was created to decrease the President Power, congress felt that the president have too much power when it came down to declaring war. Therefore, congress passed the War Powers Resolution back in 1971 in an attempt to rein in some of the president’s claimed power.

Why did Randolph call for a march?

Randolph, who was already fed up with ongoing discrimination in the military, called for an enormous march in Washington, DC, to protest inequality in the military and defense industries. Just days before the march was to take place, President Roosevelt met with Randolph and other African American leaders to negotiate.

Who said Americans could only make refrigerators and razor blades?

Primary Image: (Image: Library of Congress, LC-USE6-D-008355.) Early on in World War II, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, one of Adolf Hitler’s top lieutenants, said that Americans could only make refrigerators and razor blades—they would never be able to produce the military equipment and supplies necessary to defeat Nazi Germany.

Did defense contractors hire African Americans?

Half of the defense contractors who responded to one prewar survey by the US Employment Service said they would not hire African Americans for any job. This infuriated A. Philip Randolph, founder and leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, one of the nation’s largest African American labor unions.

Was Hitler right about the Great Depression?

Hitler was right. The Great Depression had slowed down many American industries, but they were far from dead. Even in 1938, when the European war had yet to begin and the United States was dealing with an economic recession, the national income in America was nearly double the national incomes of Germany, Japan, and Italy combined. Americans also produced more steel than Germany that year and mined almost double the amount of coal. Even the depressed economy played a role in making the United States a potentially formidable foe. With so many factories offline, there was a large reserve of industrial equipment and unemployed citizens available for immediate work.

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Overview

"Arsenal of Democracy" was the central phrase used by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a radio broadcast on the threat to national security, delivered on December 29, 1940 — nearly a year before the United States entered the Second World War (1939–1945). Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by selling them military supplies while the United States stayed …

Origins of the phrase

In 1918, Doubleday executive Herbert S. Houston analyzed World War I with an article titled "Blocking New Wars". He wrote that American business was the "Protector of Democracy" while the American free press was "one of the most effective weapons in the arsenal of democracy."
The concept of America as an actual arsenal came from the American playwright Robert E. Sherwood, who was quoted in the May 12, 1940 New York Times as saying "this country is alread…

Synopsis

Much of the ending of the speech attempted to dispel complacency. Roosevelt laid out the situation, and then pointed out the flaws in United States isolationism. He mentioned that "Some of us like to believe that even if Britain falls, we are still safe, because of the broad expanse of the Atlantic and of the Pacific."
He refuted this by saying that modern technology had effectively reduced the distances across t…

Impact

The speech reflected the American approach to entry into World War II. It marked the decline of the isolationist and non-interventionist doctrine that had dominated interwar U.S. foreign policy since the United States' involvement in World War I. At the time, while the United States Navy appeared strong and was widely thought to guarantee the Western Hemisphere would be safe from invas…

United States armament manufacturers

The spending on military production was distributed 32% for aircraft, 14.8% for ships, 25.6% for ordnance (guns, ammunition and military vehicles), 4.9% for electronics, and the remaining 22.7% for fuels, clothing, construction materials, and food. Note that production costs fell steadily—the same item cost much less to produce in 1945 than in 1942. The largest United States military prime contractors are listed below in order of the total value of munitions produced from June 1…

Notes

1. ^ Hooks, Gregory and Leonard E. Bloomquist. "The Legacy of World War II for Regional Growth and Decline: The Cumulative Effects of Wartime Investments on U.S. Manufacturing, 1947–1972". Social Forces, Vol. 71, No. 2 (Dec.,1992), pp. 303–337. Note: See especially the discussion surrounding the table on page 308.
2. ^ Houston, Herbert S. (October 1918). "Blocking New Wars". The Furniture Worker: 364.

References and further reading

• Hyde, Charles K. Arsenal of Democracy: The American Automobile Industry in World War II. Detroit: WSU P, 2013. ISBN 978-0-81-433951-0
• Jordan, Jonathan W. American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II (NAL/Caliber 2015).
• Kennedy, David M. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945. 1999. pp 468–69. ISBN 978-0-19-514403-1

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