US Involvement in WWII

Subject: History
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1407
Topics: Army, Cold War, Military Science, Political Science, World War 2
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Introduction

The Second World War was one of the most devastating armed conflicts in the world since it resulted into the death of many people and equally destroyed properties worth millions. With more than fifty countries involved, the war began in 1939 to end in 1945; the involvement of the United States has always been seen an important factor due to the role it played. For a short period after the war in 1939, the US was able to remain neutral regardless of its will to assist its allies. Since many Europeans immigrants had relocated to the United States, the government was not ready to be involved in the foreign political war. Additionally, there were laws that had been put in place to ensure that the US did not get involved in the war. However, the attack on Perl Harbor by the Japanese army was a significant turning point during the ordeal.

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Neutrality of the United States

The United States had been able to remain neutral without its involvement in the Second World War between 1939 and December 1941, a period during which many people felt that the country needed not to involve itself in foreign political affairs. Many folks believed that the United States would remain secure, aloof as well as distant from the war that was raging in Europe although some individuals such as the then President, Franklin Roosevelt believed that the country had the obligation to assist its allies. Roosevelt regarded the war as inevitable and even persuaded the Congress to cancel the neutrality law of arms embargo which prohibited the selling of firearms to countries such as France as well as Britain. The president addressed the nation and suggested that the country was legally neutral but the people would not hold the stance in their thoughts. Additionally, after France lost in 1941, Roosevelt was greatly pushing for a military buildup in the United States and also began to provide aid to Britain in anticipation of Lend-Lease.

Before 1941, the sentiments that were happening in the United States meant that Roosevelt was to venture slowly into his desire for the involvement of the United States. In fact, many people were against sending the military for the fight in Europe. Germany, Italy, as well as Japan, had not declared war against the United States and the country did not have any reason to join the war. Additionally, up until 1941, the territories of the United States remained unaffected and therefore, it could not have gotten the excuses to join World War II. Additionally, different campaigns were being held in the United States regarding the war since millions of immigrants from Europe were citizens of the United States. The first as well as the second generation of immigrants from Europe enabled the country to remain neutral for a short period. Citizens from both the Allies and the Axis were living in the United States and each member feared for their mother country.

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The United States had understood the threat that was being posed by Japan due to the aggression it had in China as well as other Asian countries. Consequently, the United States remitted many of its Pacific fleets to Hawaii in 1940 in an attempt to send a warning to Japan. Additionally, the United States imposed sanctions on Japan by cutting its access to raw materials that were vital for the military. Nonetheless, the sanctions imposed by the United States did not inhibit Japan as it got determined to seize whatever it wanted through any possible means. In July of 1941, Japan took over Indochina, an aspect which made the President of the US, Roosevelt to send bombers to Pacific bases. The government wanted to depict to Japan that it was capable of blowing up their cities in an attempt to deter the military. However, the strategy by the president did not work since the military of Japan got convinced that the US was planning attacks on their Islands. The scenario was a gateway for the United States to join the war after the bombers were destroyed and a number of ships were sunk leading to the death of thousands of soldiers. However, the war in Europe did not seem to bother the United States much until the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The War and Its Consequences

The United States were late-comers in the Second World War with the pivotal moment being the attack by the Japanese armies in which 2,403 Americans were killed. Roosevelt, who had been angling for the intervention of the United States in the war gained a strong rationale for the country to join the conflict with the intention of fighting for the loses caused. The aggression of Japan made the US have a galvanization of a feeling of patriotism which resulted into the declaration of war by Germany in 11th Dec 1941. By the time the US joined the war in 1941, most of Europe was occupied by the Germans and many countries in Asia had started to encounter attacks from Japan. Although US citizens were concerned about the war, most of them supported it due to the fact that Germany had declared war against the United States. Additionally, the United State was determined to defeat the Axis in order to prevent its influence which had been received in most of Europe.

The characterization of the United States by many countries was not close to the depictions it made because the American industry turned into war production. Millions of soldiers were equipped for the war and many people who did not have jobs at the time got employed in manufacturing plants that were underutilized in a time during which the Manufacturing plants achieved their capacity and federal spending was directed towards the contracts of massive war weapons. Additionally, many US citizens joined the military, the number adding up to 16 million in the first two years only. Factories needed labor for the production of weapons. As such, the pool of unemployment was drained as different people earned jobs in the manufacturing industry. Planes, ships, armored vehicles as well as small and heavy guns were produced within a short period since the war was becoming intense. The United States was able to fully equip its allies with weapons as well as its own military with the inclusion of bombs. The entry of the US to the WWII was a great benefit to the Allies because they were given required ammunitions as well as support.

During the war, American military leaders such as Dwight D. Eisenhower planned and also led the attacks against the Axis powers which led to their victory in 1945. More than 16 million served in the war since 1941 to its end in 1945 in the ordeal that was followed by the death of at least 400,000. The Axis surrendered without condition and the United States rose to its highest level as the superpower. However, the war had significant effects on both the general population as well as the economy of the country. Millions of people died during the war and the United States was no longer isolated from the rest of the world. Additionally, a new era of nuclear as well as the pressure to decolonize the third world was significantly contributed to by the entry of the US to the war and the United Nations was formed. Importantly, the Great Depression came to an end as women learned to work in different industries that were emerging. African Americans were also able to curve a basis for the fight of political, social as well as economic rights.

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Conclusion

The involvement of the United States in the Second World War was a historical event since it influenced the Allies to win in the conflict. At the beginning of the war, the United States was neutral and did not join until 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war. Before then, the US did not have any reason to join the war and its influence was not much felt. During the war, the US expanded its market of weapon production to arm its military as well as the Allied forces in Europe. Although the whole ordeal ended in favor of the United States, millions of people died, including more than 400,000 soldiers who served in the army. Different war technologies and advancements were made after the war in which the US emerged as the world superpower.

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  1. Feis, Herbert. Road to Pearl Harbor: The Coming of the War between the United States and Japan. Princeton University Press, 2015: 107-139.
  2. Geiger, Roger L. Research and relevant knowledge: American research universities since World War II. Routledge, 2017: 130-154.
  3. Goodwin, Doris Kearns. No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. Simon and Schuster, 2013: 104-149.
  4. Hart, BH Liddell. A History of the Second World War. Pan Macmillan, 2015: 153-169.
  5. Spykman, Nicholas J. America’s strategy in world politics: the United States and the balance of power. Routledge, 2017: 141-153.
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