American History in 1930
The New Deal Programs
The New Deal is the name of the economic policies pursued by the administration of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 to overcome the major economic crisis, the Great Depression, which swept through the United States in the years of 1929-1933.
On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt in his speech promised to apply the strongest measures to combat the crisis. Following his speech, extraordinary measures were taken during a special session of Congress, which started on the 9th of March and lasted for more than 3 months. During this period, several important laws were adopted, which seriously affected the economy of the United States and laid the foundation for the New Deal. This period is called ‘the first 100 days. The most important task was to rescue and stabilize the U.S. financial system. The basis of the New Deal was to strengthen state regulation of the economy and allow for deficit financing of the budget, which was both important institutional changes.
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One of the first steps was the announcement of a ‘bank holiday’ for a week, during which all U.S. banks were closed. Then, to clean up the banking system, a total audit of all banks was carried out. Bankrupt banks have come under the control of the state Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). Stable banks gained the right to continue working. The result was a consolidation of the banking system, and most banks that were deemed to be healthy were large. To improve the situation, several important laws were taken. One of the most important was the Glass-Steagal Act creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Commercial banks were not allowed to work with securities but received the right to specialize financial institutions thus reducing risks that were possible for bank depositors’ funds. To cut borrowing at higher rates, which is typical for high-risk operations, a ban on the payment of interest on current accounts and interest on deposit accounts were regulated by the Federal Reserve System (FRS).
Exchange credit was regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Thus, banks deducted contributions to the insurance fund, and scanned bank deposits in case of bankruptcy, and paid insurance within the statutory limit on contributions of the bank. The economic situation in the country dictated the need for reform to begin with credit solutions to financial problems. On the initiative of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Congress proposed an emergency law on banks. The export of gold was prohibited. The special decree ordered the compulsory surrender of U.S. citizens’ gold reserves, which were worth more than $ 100. At the same time, the release of new banknotes not backed by gold was permitted. Following this, the government imposed an embargo on gold circulating between the United States and abroad.
The second most important banking law was the law on banking, adopted on June 16, 1933, by which deposit and investment functions of banks were separated. By the beginning of 1934, about 80% of all U.S. banks had insured their deposits, given the desire of the majority of investors to have similar protection. The law established that the deposits of up to $10,000 were insured by 100%, from $10,000-$50,000 by 75%, and over $50,000 – by 50%. Public confidence in the banking system was quickly restored. In January 1934, the dollar was devalued, which reduced its golden content by 41%. The minting of silver coins introduced bimetallism in the country. The devaluation of the dollar, withdrawal of monetary gold out of private hands, and facilitating access to credit contributed to higher prices and inflation, thus, created a mechanism for the U.S. economy by giving money to the state for reformation processes in other sectors.
A positive effect on the stabilization of the financial and credit systems of the U.S. was produced with the abolition of the ‘dry law’. With the lifting of the prohibition of alcoholic beverages, a tax on their sales was introduced. A special place in the reform of the New Deal established Civilian Conservation Corps resources.
At the suggestion of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Congress passed the direction of the unemployed urban youth to work in the forest areas. According to the president, this made it possible to improve the natural resources of the country and strengthen the health of young people. In the early summer of 1933, camps were arranged for 250 thousand young people from assisted families aged 18 to 25 years, and unemployed veterans. During the first hundred days after taking office, the president presented to Congress a lot of bills for approval. The first actions of the administration were to temporarily close the banks allowing them to organize their activities, restore confidence in the banking system, and organization of public works for the unemployed.
To stabilize the monetary system, the export of gold abroad was banned; the banking system escalated, resulting in the receiving of significant loans and grants by the largest banks. Industrial recovery was entrusted to a specially created institution, the National Recovery Administration industry. On July 16, 1933, according to the law on the restoration of the national economy, the whole industry was divided into 17 groups, whose activities regulated codes of fair competition. They defined quotas of production, distribution of markets, prices, loan terms, working hours, wage controls, and more. The end to alcohol prohibition ushered in temporary legalization of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in March 1933 by special act, following which the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted, which abolished the previously adopted Eighteenth Amendment. As a result, the budget received income from a new branch of legitimate business, and the president gained additional support from the voters.
Measures aimed at the normalization of production were reflected in the National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA), adopted on 16 June 1933. The basis of this law was to take the plan proposed in 1931 by the president of the General Electric Company Gerard Swope and approved by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The law required all business associations to develop codes of fair competition, which defined the conditions, the volume of production, and the minimum level of prices. Thus, companies that adopted such codes were filmed in antitrust sanctions. Such an alignment was advantageous for big monopolies that determined the conditions of production and marketing in their industry. It was made up of 557 major and 189 additional codes that have engulfed more than 95% of the workers. Adoption of codes promoted compulsory cartelization of the industry.
Article 7 of the NIRA contained social measures that introduced restrictions on the length of the working week and prescribed a mandatory minimum wage. It also presented the right to organize trade unions and bargain collectively.
The process of the implementation monitoring of the program was imposed by the NIRA and created by the National Recovery Administration.
To combat unemployment and to improve the financial situation of the population the following measures included direct aid to the unemployed, the introduction of unemployment insurance, and public works.
Most of the unemployed preferred public works over receiving the benefits. Based on the recommendations of the NIRA, Public Works Administration (PWA) was established, dealing mainly with large construction projects, thus proving that money does not go down the drain. The total volume of work performed by its projects was approximately $ 3.3 billion.
In the spring of 1933, the government organized camps for the unemployed youth where young people worked and lived for six months with complete security. Their wage was about $30, of which $25 were sent home by each worker.
In 1935, a law was passed providing for old-age insurance and unemployment insurance. Despite the low level of payments and non-proliferation law for large segments of workers, the law had revolutionary implications. Common features of both types of insurance included reducing the number of large groups of workers such as agricultural workers, domestic workers, civil servants, government employees. There was a low level of insurance payments, as well as several reservations of the right to receive benefits. However, there were also important differences. Pension benefits were a fully federalized program.
Funds were created by a tax on employers as well as for workers and employees in the amount of 1% of the number of wages since 1937, bringing to 3% by early 1949. This tax was applied to a part of the salary of each worker (to the first 3 thousand dollars a year) and, accordingly, the same proportion of the total payroll charged to the employer’s workforce. The total sum of these funds created an autonomous pension fund. The law established a pension limit that limited the amount of compensation to no more than 85 dollars a month. The recipients of these benefits were set to be insured only to those citizens who have reached the age of 65 but starting not earlier than January 1, 1942.
Unemployment Insurance was based on a federal full-time basis. The law provided for general taxation, which was extended to entrepreneurs employing eight or more workers. The tax was set at 1% in 1936, rising to 3% from January 1938 to pay it only by entrepreneurs starting from the first 3 thousand dollars annual salary of each worker. These funds were received in a special fund, which was stored in the Ministry of Finance. The range of recipients, the amount, and the timing of payments were determined by state law. By 30 June 1937, all states have adopted the relevant statutes, and the following year unemployment insurance laws were enacted everywhere. The average benefit was paid during 9.4 weeks $ 11 per week, which constituted 36.6% of wages. During the crisis of 1937-1938, amendments to the law were adopted. They moved the start date of retirement benefits to January 1, 1940, and extended the right of dependents to receive them in the case of a pensioner’s death. In 1940, the Social Security Administration issued checks to the first 13 thousand pensioners. The average size of grants amounted valued $ 22.1 per month.
A major step of the second phase of reforms was the adoption of the National Labor Relations Act on July 5, 1935, Wagner’s law. The law guaranteed the right of workers to organize collective bargaining and strikes. The next step in the development of social rights was the adoption of the law on fair labor conditions (FLC) in June 1938, which provided the mandatory minimum wage of 25 cents an hour, the introduction of the tariff over one and a half of the length of the working week consisting of 44 hours and introduced limits to the usage of child labor.
Article 7a of the NIRA proclaimed the right of workers to form trade unions and obliged employers to respect the maximum working hours, minimum pay, and other conditions of employment, approved and prescribed by the president. All this was recorded in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Before making working conditions regulated by the typical executive agreement for the restoration of employment, published on July 27, 1933, it was envisaged that the working week should not exceed 35 hours. Some exceptions offered to pay 40 cents per hour, provided that the wages of the worker on July 15, 1929, were not below that level as an hourly wage figured 30 cents. This agreement was signed by entrepreneurs, who employed 16.3 million workers during that time.
To reduce unemployment with its negative effects, extraordinary measures were taken. A guide to the implementation of these measures was assigned to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and was replaced by the Administration of Public Works. The unemployed were sent to specially organized labor camps, where they were engaged in the construction and repair of roads, bridges, airports, and other administrative objects. A special role was played by the organization of work for young people. Conducting the New Deal required mobilization of major financial resources, which were a critical success factor to the government of Roosevelt. Initially, public works were organized only for men, who were considered the breadwinners of their families.
In many states, the law prohibited the occupation of administrative positions by a husband and wife at the same time. This rule was extended to work positions for the unemployed. Only in 1935, the government launch a program that was intended to make single women self-sufficient. Women were mainly employed in the sewing work for the needs of hospitals and charitable organizations.
Elimination of NIRA in May 1935, stopped the direct regulation of working conditions by the federal government. However, in 1936, the Walsh-Healey law was passed to establish the maximum length of the working week and a minimum wage for workers employed in enterprises that carried out the orders of the federal government. Starting from then, all contracts worth over 10 thousand dollars included positions on the consent of the contractor to adhere to the wage level, determined by the Minister of Labor, and to pay half more for each hour over 40 hours a week, do not hire teenagers younger than 16 and women younger than 18, and not to use prison labor.
During the Great Depression, the government paid considerable attention to the development of housing, particularly mortgage lending. In 1933, the first company issuing bonds to finance mortgages was established and was called Homeowners Loan Corporation. In 1938, the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) was created that took all the housing questions under state control. The initial capital of the company was formed using budget sources.
In May 1933, Roosevelt signed the bill on aid to farmers that proposed measures to deal with the crisis in agriculture-related decline in product prices and the massive devastation of the farmers. Its main part was the law of the Agricultural Adjustment Act known as AAA.
Its main idea was to eliminate a sharp difference between the price the farmer consumed for production and the price he received in its implementation. To balance supply and demand to raise the price of agricultural products, the land was withdrawn from agricultural use, for which farmers were paid subsidies. First of all, this measure increased the competitiveness of large farms that received the bulk of the premiums for the reduction of seed grain.
Several measures were taken to help small farmers. In 1935, the Resettlement Administration was created that converted to the Administration at the beginning of 1937 for the Protection of farms. These institutions gave financial assistance to small farmers for the purchase of farms, and their migration to higher-quality land stimulated the development of cooperatives, which marketed products and aided the purchase of equipment.
In 1936, a law to maintain soil fertility and the quota for the domestic market was passed. Under its provisions, premiums were paid by households, which reduced the area under crops, depleting the soil, as well as for taking measures to improve the soil. The need for these measures was caused by a severe drought in 1934, accompanied by dust storms.
The law on the regulation of Agriculture, which was adopted in 1938, introduced the concept of always normal granary. The purpose of this new start was the same, to restore parity prices, but the methods were already achieving other aims as the products were not destroyed and preserved, payments were made on accounts for the goods that were not sold yet.
At fixed prices, Grain Bureau bought surplus food, payment of farm debt was postponed for an unlimited period, reduction of the mass of commodities had to raise prices to a level that ensured the profitability of medium-sized and even small farms to prevent their destruction. In particular, 40,000 square kilometers of cotton crops were destroyed and 6 million pigs were slaughtered. The measures taken by the administration in agriculture were extremely unpopular. However, food prices remained below the level of 1929. In 1935, the Administration regulation of agriculture was eliminated. Instead, the government initiated a new program, which financed sowing farmland of alfalfa and other plants, enriching the soil and were not intended for sale. Many villagers, especially in the South of America, lived in poverty in the 1930s. Government programs helped with the construction of schools, roads, tree planting, and expansion of forest land under federal ownership in this area. In particular, in the state of Tennessee in 1933, the Roosevelt administration organized a financing program for the construction of dams to prevent flooding, water sources for electricity production, and modernization of the poorest farms. Government pension plans, which covered not only farmers but also the urban poor, small shopkeepers, and traders that were introduced under the name of the New Deal, were supported by liberal and conservative congressmen.
In May 1935, the government created the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) that organized the work of rural electrification.
African Americans were also forced to deal with the racism in American society along with problems associated with the economic crisis. They experienced discrimination based on race and racial segregation. Many political leaders, including President Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, tried to extend the action of government assistance programs for the poor to them. President Roosevelt himself hired so many colored citizens to obtain secondary positions in the administration that they were called ‘the black cabinet’. He also tried to enlist the support of African Americans, especially in Chicago, and by 1936 they changed their political orientation from the Republican Party towards the Democratic Party. Since then, a political alliance between blacks and the Democratic Party started. However, despite the abolition of racial segregation and Jim Crow laws in the southern states, both economic and political support for African-Americans was much more modest than for the white population, and the retirement program did not apply to them at all. In the South, this aspect of the racial problem was covered by progressive automatic advancement of the region as a result of economic reforms. In 1933, the Tennessee River Valley Authority (TVA) was created. They implemented the first realization of national development plans in the region, which was one of the most backward in the American South. The government program included the building of hydroelectric power plants to supply the state with nitrogen fertilizers in the basin of the Tennessee River, which then grew into a broader concept of the state economy to increase the level of income and employment. In addition, the development of state power raised the level of competition in this important industry, which was previously monopolized. These measures stimulated the solvency of the population by implementing the inflationary mechanism for the U.S. economy.
In the 1930s-1940s, some radical populist proposals gained popularity. However, Roosevelt and most Democrats were not willing to support them. Most of these ideas were initiated by father Coughlin Charles, Louisiana Senator Huey Long, Francis Townsend, a physician, and writer Upton Sinclair. Initially, they were thinking positively about the New Deal and supported it in all ways, but later switched to the opposition, believing that Roosevelt was not consistent in protecting the interests of the people.
Thus, a former socialist Sinclair founded a social movement to fight poverty in California. They tried to solve the unemployment problem by organizing cooperative production in abandoned factories.
Huey Long presented a program that was based on the introduction of higher taxes for the rich and restrictions on their income and property. During the spring of 1934, he introduced the Senate resolution on the confiscation of incomes that were over $1 million and inheritances over $5 million. Long also included other requirements, such as the ensuring of every family’s living wage of $2,000-5,000 per year, provision of goods necessary for life, including housing, cars, radios, etc., federal government procurement of agricultural surpluses, limitation of working hours, the introduction of pensions for the elderly, an extension of benefits to veterans of war and universal college education to every family. Along with all the above-mentioned points, Huey Long presented the deployment of road construction, expansion of the network of educational and health institutions over the whole country.
The New Deal response to all the ideas presented by Huey Long included the Revenue Act, the G.I. Bill and had no guarantees of annual income.
Francis Townsend advocated the need for the introduction of an old-age pension worth $200 per month, which was supposed to be spent within 30 days. The money for this segment was supposed to be financed by 2 cent national sales tax. In response to this suggestion, there was the New Deal’s response of establishing social security.
Charles Coughlin, in addition to anti-Semitism, was also famous for the ideas of nationalization of major industries and railways combined with monetary reform. He also offered a guaranteed annual income intended to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor, break up monopolies and nationalize banks. These populist initiatives attracted many supporters. However, the New Deal response included the Revenue Act that had certain relief programs, AAA and NIRA as the main monopoly principles, and established the Emergency Banking Act.
The Mahan Doctrine
The concept of sea power is one of the various foreign policy concepts developed in the United States. It occupies a special place with the ideas put forward by Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan. According to Mahan, sea power is the set of overseas colonies, military and commercial fleet that serves as the basic element of any great power. These ideas were reflected in the military and marine thoughts of many countries, and the name of Mahan is synonymous with aggressive Marin actions. However, in his work Mahan accentuates upon the issues of naval history and strategy, but also the problems of geopolitics and international relations.
Mahan believed that power could be great, but if a country has significant naval power, this allows it to dominate the sea. Maritime supremacy, according to Mahan, makes the development of intercontinental trade possible, and therefore increases the capital influence and strengthens its defenses. The defense of the coast according to the doctrine was considered the task of the army. Mahan suggested that the actions of empowerment were necessary and to develop an image of a strong fleet, there was an idea to have naval bases outside the United States.
In particular, he played a big role in the acquisition of bases in Hawaii, the Philippine Islands, Cuba, in the construction of the Panama Canal to make all the maneuvers required for the fleet easy and convenient. This would allow the United States to control its neighboring areas and be in advance before any aggressive act happens towards the country. Such a position of the naval arms was meant to prevent enemy penetration into the United States. Mahan accentuated the fact that military actions are best done in the opponent’s or neutral territory, thus not disturbing the welfare of the home country.
John L. Steven’s Role in the Overthrow of Hawaii’s Queen in 1893
The representative of the State Department in Hawaii, John Leavitt Stevens, sided with the opponents of the monarchy and gave them military aid, and ordered U.S. troops to disembark from the cruiser “Boston” on the beach of Hawaii. This information was presented in the report of Blount, the representative of Cleveland in the Hawaiian government.
This fact and other facts that were presented in his report were later checked by a special commission that consisted of nine members. The chairman of the commission was John Tyler Morgan, senator from Alabama; he supported the inclusion of the islands in the United States. During the overflow of Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani in 1893, the role of John Stevens constituted imperialism as he tried to protect the monarchy and to help the Queen. Willis held talks with the deposed queen and made her promise that there would be amnesty for the participants in the event of coming to power.
After that, he put forward a formal request for the dissolution of the Provisional Government and the full restoration of the monarchy. He could not know that the decision was belated because Cleveland already submitted the case to Congress. On December 23, 1893, Sanford Dole sent a reply to Willis, and it was a refusal to transfer power to the queen.
In response to that, the Cleveland Senate passed a resolution obliging its Committee on Foreign Affairs to conduct a public hearing and question witnesses to determine whether the president has not exceeded its powers. The findings were published on February 26, 1894, and contradicted the findings of the report of Blount.
The Commission considered that the U.S. military remained neutral during the coup took charge with Stevens, but felt that the appointment of Blount without congressional approval was not contrary to the constitution.
The Wilson-Gorman Tariff on Cuban Sugar and its Effect on Spanish Rule in Cuba
The Wilson-Gorman tariff of 1894, which brought sugar off the list of free products, harmed the market of Cuban sugar in the middle of the existing depression. This fact aggravated the discontent with Spanish rule on the island of Cuba. This decision was followed by rebels among the U.S. population, and the Cuban party had all the support for their revolutionary actions. They organized a revolt starting from the headquarters that were positioned in New York.
The strategy of the insurrectionists was to harm the economic life of the island by waging warfare of guerrilla. They planned to provoke the American investors in their concerns about the economic tendencies. Their strategy also involved attacks on trains, plantations, and railways. This situation was encouraged by social tendencies that were filling the American society during the War of Independence. They were more than ready to see the insurrection in such a situation.
The Explosion of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor
The armored cruiser U.S.S. Maine was the U.S. Navy warship, the second of two commissioned in 1895 by the American armored cruisers and the first U.S. Navy warship named in honor of the U.S. state of Maine.
The ship was known for its explosion in Havana Bay, where it arrived on 25 January 1898 in connection with the ongoing uprisings in Cuba against the colonial rule of Spain. In the evening, February 15, 1898, the ship exploded and sank. The blast killed 266 people: 260 in the explosion or shortly thereafter, and 6 died in hospital from the injuries. Captain Sigsbee and most of the officers survived because their seats were in the aft portion of the ship.
The explosion of the ship and loss of most of the crew was widely publicized in the American press, directly or indirectly accusing Spain of undermining the cruiser, and thus played a catalytic role in the formation of public opinion in favor of the Spanish-American War.
The commission’s decision on the explosion added force to the situation by calling the cause of the accident as undermining of the bottom of the ship, but without explaining the origin of the mines. The results of the explosion were made since the first official four weeks of investigation by the American commission. After that, the Spanish-American War started.
Americans’ Anti-War Position in the 1930s
U.S. policy in the 30s was influenced, on the one hand, by the deepest capitalism during the global economic crisis of 1929-1933. On the other hand, there was a permanent increase in the danger of another world war, emanating mainly from Nazi Germany and militarist Japan.
The severest global crisis lowered the world trade and economic ties so that the United States of America was pushing for isolationism. By such an action they intended to protect the country from the danger of war. At the same time, on the contrary, they stressed the need for international cooperation to maintain peace in the world. The position was rather critical in determining both the goals and methods of U.S. foreign policy.
It had internal factors, economic, social, political, ideological, that influenced the tendencies of the country during the Great Depression and affected it with particular force. They considered that foreign policy should not distract attention from the fight against the crisis, but on the contrary, it had to help to ease the band an unprecedented economic downturn.
This approach has dominated government payments for a long time. Especially great was the importance of isolationism, which emerged mainly as a politico-diplomatic principle and over time developed into a specifically American approach to the rest of the world. The practical meaning of this policy was that the United States stayed out of the conflicts and wars between European nations, proclaiming neutrality. Such isolationism kept its importance for American diplomacy until the Second World War.
Key Provisions of the Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1937, and 1939
The adoption of the law on neutrality, as originally believed by many democratic and liberal elements, had to reduce the likelihood of engaging in war without affecting the interests of the nation as a whole. The neutrality Act had several resolutions. They started by banning to provide private U.S. loans to the participants of war, prohibiting U.S. citizens the right to fly in a war zone.
They also set the embargo on the export of arms to belligerent countries to prevent arms shipments to U.S. courts and thus attack them. It provided the position that the outbreak of war between two or more countries signified the moment for the president to announce the fact of war. After that, the neutrality act came into action and prohibited the export of arms, ammunition, or military equipment from any point in the United States or its possessions in any port of the Warring States, or in any neutral port for transport to the belligerent nation or its use.
In case of violation of the embargo on the export of U.S. arms to belligerent countries, there was a fine provided to such cases that could reach up to $10 thousand or imprisonment of up to five years, or both measures simultaneously. Three neutrality acts were adopted during 1935, 1937, and 1939.
The politics of the U.S. was meant to protect the country from the negative consequences of wars between other countries and not have any participation in these actions. However, sometimes the acts served against the country and did not complete their direct function successfully like in the actions of Japan against the USA.
The Munich Agreement of 1938
The Munich agreement of 1938 was drawn up in Munich, September 29, 1938, and signed the next day by the Prime Ministers of Great Britain, Neville Chamberlain, France, Eduard Daladier, Italy, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany. As a result of this agreement, these Western countries authorized the beginning of the seizure of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany.
More specifically, it provided the transfer of the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany, including all the buildings and fortifications, mills, factories, stocks of raw materials, means of communication. The other conditions of this agreement included satisfaction of the expense of the territorial claims of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Czechoslovak representatives were not allowed to discuss the agreement. The Soviet Union was also denied involvement in the meeting.
Chamberlain, Daladier, and Hitler accepted the terms and jointly put pressure on the Czech government. As a result, President Benes, without the consent of the National Assembly agreed to perform the Munich agreement. Czechoslovakia was imposed by force, violation of international law, experienced the rejection of Sudetenland that was only the beginning of the process of dismemberment of the country. In March 1939, German troops occupied Prague, completing the absorption of Czechoslovakia.
The Munich Agreement was one of the most striking manifestations of the appeasement of Hitler carried out on the eve of the Second World War. The governments of Great Britain and France tried to deter Hitler's aggression against England and France, sending it to the East. They signed the Munich agreement to achieve collusion with Nazi Germany for the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe.
The U.S. Ban on American Oil Sales to Japan in 1940
The recommendations approved by Roosevelt on August 1, provided the issuance of licenses for the export to Japan during 1935-1936 of some sorts of gasoline, crude oil, and lubricants. Such politics of the U.S. was implemented with one aim to force the willingness of Japan to make concessions. However, after July 26, Japan was no longer receiving oil from the United States.
As the days passed, the American and British public decided that a ban on trade with Japan was complete, and they wanted to see the result of it. This impression was dependent upon its consequences: the issue of licenses would be a revised policy that will return the countries to peace. The anti-fascism movement of the masses forced the rulers to go much further than they wanted to, on ways to counter aggression.
Meanwhile, as already noted, the severity of the U.S.-Japanese antagonism reached its limit. In Tokyo, it was decided to act; they performed a sudden attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and as a result, disabled it. Japan took the time to change the balance of power in their favor and provided favorable conditions for the conduct of the war to establish control and dominance over the Pacific Ocean and South-East Asia.
As a result of the sudden attack by the Japanese and the carelessness of the U.S. command, the American fleet suffered heavy losses.
The clash of economic, commercial, and political interests between Japan and the United States led to an armed conflict. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor showed the fallacy of the American leadership calculations and put an end to the neutrality of the United States in World War II.