LSU HIST 2057 - Civil Rights & the Bomb in WWII, 1941-1945

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Civil Rights & the Bomb in WWII, 1941-1945I. African-Americans in WWIIA. “Double-V” v. “Strange Paradox”1. Gunner Myrdal, An American Dilemma, 1944a. Key evidence in civil rights cases of 1950, i.e Brown v. BoEb. Pointed out dilemma: while Americans are fighting for freedom of democracy abroad, there is still segregation and inequality at home2. Double meanings of the “Double V”a. Victory abroad & victory of rights in USb. What African Americans in the US army are fighting forc. Blacks fought in segregated units, most were from the North and never experienced Jim Crow Segregation until joining the war3. “Strange Paradox”4. Jackie Robinsona. He intended to fight in WWII, but ended up coaching and playing football because of segregation. b. He was drafted into the army, denied although he met all therequirements of Officer schoolc. Contacted Joe Lewis (boxer) and they got in and commissioned as lieutenants d. Sent to TX to join a tank battalion called the Black Pantherse. Court Martial for refusing to go to the back of the bus on thearmy baseCourt Martial is a criminal trial conducted by the militaryWon his case, but removed from Black PanthersBecame army baseball coach & later first black baseball playerB. A. Philip Randolph1. Labor organizer, was part of the Great Migration2. In Harlem, founded the first black organized union3. Believed the summer of 1941 was a good time for them to form a march4. March on Washington, 1941a. For jobs & freedomb. Publicly introduces the discrimination in hiring practicesc. FDR wanted to avoid the march, so called Randolph to meetd. Randolph wanted 4 things, said that if these weren’t met they would marcha. Access to defense jobsb. Desegregate the militaryc. End Jim Crow Southd. Anti-Lynching law5. FDR’s executive ordera. Gave access to defense jobs6. Randolph accepts because FDR would begin the FEPC7. Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC)a. Held hearings to expose discrimination in the workforce to the publicb. Had no enforcement powers, could only hold hearingsc. FDR tried to stop the amount of hearings the FEPC held, because he wanted to keep everyone’s eye on the ward. Two commissioners were black, one lost his job for holding too many hearings, FDR asked him to delay a hearingFDR agrees to meet with him, commissioner delays hearingFDR goes to Yalta ConferenceThat commissioners term ended before hearing ever happenedC. “What the Negro Wants” primary source1. Book written by many blacks2. References four freedoms, freedom from want/fear3. Said they wanted to end school segregation4. Wanted an American standard of living, not just minimum wageD. Gandhi told FDR that they could never spread democracy with segregation at homeII. Conferences ending WWII (Creating Cold War tensions, & the atomic bomb)A. The Big Three1. Big Three: Russia (Stalin), Britain (Churchill), & US (FDR)a. Neither US or Britain trusted Russiab. At the beginning Stalin was on the side of the Germans2. Two main discussions at conferences:a. Defeating Nazisb. Creating peace after the warA. Tehran Conference (Big Three, 1943)1. Big Three agreed on the unconditional surrender of the Nazis &Japana. Disagreed on how to do thatb. Stalin wanted US & UK to open a second front on the West, creates tensionChurchill didn’t want to, wants to keep presence in theEast to keep Russia from taking over Eastern countries, i.e TurkeyFDR agrees, Normandyc. Churchill wanted to go in through Italyd. FDR wants Russia to help fight JapanB. Bretton Woods Conference, 19441. Economic policy2. 45 allied nations sent representatives here3. General agreement on tariffs & trade4. Created a new international currency, the American dollar would be the main currency for all international transactions5. US goes back to gold standard6. Created two institutions to help capitalism prospera. World BankLend money to developing countriesHelp rebuild European countries that were damaged during warb. International Monetary FundEmergency fund to prevent governments from devaluing their currencyTo prevent another economic crisis, like the Depressionc. These policies have an influence on the cold warC. Dumbarton Oaks Conference, 1944 (Washington DC)1. International diplomacy2. Created the general framework of UNa. General AssemblyMain body where every member can send a delegateEvery country could go speakb. UN Security CouncilThe power to decide how and where the UN will send troops11 members on the council, not every country on it6 rotating member spots, but other 5 were permanent members which each had a veto (US, UK, Russia,China, France)Veto power is very limiting on what the UN can do3. US Senate voted 98-2, to enter UN, unlike LeagueD. Yalta Conference, February 19451. Meeting in Soviet territory2. FDR has two main goalsa. Get Stalin to agree to the UNb. Get Stalin to promise to send troops to Japanc. FDR willing to compromise to meet these goals3. What are we going to do with Germany?a. Germany would have four different occupation zonesUS, France, & UK combine zones to make one democratic territory (West Germany)Russia still has their zone (East Germany)b. Race between Soviets & democracies to rebuild Germany with their respective governments4. FDR makes secret agreement with Russia to get Stalin to go to war against Japan5. Germany surrenders, Hitler kills himself6. FDR dies, still at war with Japan7. Truman becomes President, no experience with international diplomacyE. Potsdam Conference, 19451. The “New” Big Threea. Two of the big three now are inexperienced, but Stalin is veryexperienced2. Old Prussian palace outside of Berlin3. Truman wants to talk about Japan4. Stalin & UK wants to talk about Polanda. Stalin already appointed a Communist governor in Poland, UK not down & said Polish should be able to vote for leader5. Truman knew invading Japan would be bloody & difficult (series of islands)6. August 3rd, demand Japan’s whole surrender, Japans does notIII. Atomic BombsA. Truman finds out that FDR was having the atomic bombs created secretly, while at Potsdam finds out that bombs were successfully tested in New Mexico1. No longer wants Russia’s help because we can now end the war with Japan on our ownB. Hiroshima, August 6, 19451. Enola Gay2. 45,000 Japanese died instantly, about 200,000 total3. August 8th, Russia decides to enter the war against Japan4. Truman drops bomb on Nagasaki, 8/13/45, 60,000 dieda. Japanese surrender the next dayC. Manhattan Project1.


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LSU HIST 2057 - Civil Rights & the Bomb in WWII, 1941-1945

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