The Second World War can be described as one of the most severe events in the history of mankind. Although, it was only the matter of time for the conflict to emerge as the world still felt the dire consequences of the First World War, the reason for the new conflict was rooted in receiving the power and changing the influence across the globe. The tense atmosphere after the previous war was the perfect ground for the implementation of the dictatorship regime in numerous countries.
As the matter of fact, the countries allied to stop the destruction and popularization of the totalitarian ideology in the democratic world. The involvement of the United States into the Second World War was evident, despite the strategy of isolationism; however, the American government was waiting for the reason to start the war, and this reason was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The United States and Great Britain were very close in their ideology in 1939 (Adams 28). However, the great majority of politician and media can be considered to have isolationist’s viewpoints. Most of the people were not satisfied with the involvement of America in the First World War as according to the widespread opinion, the government should be centered more on the issues within the country and avoid foreign confrontations.
With the beginning of the Second World War, the president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, declared that the security of the country is under the threat. Consequently, he tried to help Europe staying away from the war. By creating the Lend-Lease Act, the president highlighted the significance of defending every country that is beneficial for the United States’ security, by providing the food, ammunition, and implemented the chance of lending and leasing of the weapon (Johnson 13).
During the first year of the war the great majority of people wanted to be not involved in the conflict; however, the United States tried to expand the army and prepare the weapon. It is to make an accent that the factories changed their production objectives very fast, from the civilian to military. While men went to the army, women started to work in the military industry.
The deeper involvement towards the Second World War began with the securing of the British transportation of the weapon across the Atlantic from the German army. The senators with the isolationist’s point of view were furious with the Roosevelt’s statement concerning the ‘shoot on sight’ system as they were sure that such decision will provoke the conflict between the United States and Germany.
Although, people in the United States did not want bring the war into the territory of the United States, Hugh Johnson once claimed, “I know of no well informed Washington observer who isn’t convinced that, if Mr. Roosevelt is elected (in 1940), he will drag us into war at the first opportunity, and that, if none presents itself, he will make one” (Baisden 125).
The American president had couple possibilities for entering the war, namely the war between Japan and China, and the military conflict between Germany and Great Britain. The Tripartite Treaty of Germany, Japan, and Italy in 1940 stated that these countries are allied and will proclaim the war to any that will attack one of three. Proclaiming the war against Japan consequently lead America to the war with Italy and Germany (“What Really Caused World War 2?” para. 7). The major task for Roosevelt was to provoke Germany or Japan to attack first.
America was not involved in the Second World War until the 7th of December 1941. This date is memorable with the attack of the Japanese army. The tragedy of Pearl Harbor took a lot of lives and destroyed the naval base. In response to the events of the 7th of December, Franklin Roosevelt stated that “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory” (“What Really Caused World War 2?” para. 9).
The understanding that America suffered significant losses of the civilians and servicemen during the tragedy caused the American Congress to declare the war. It should be stated that the Congress made a decision to declare the war against Japan almost unanimously. Responding to the actions of the American government, the alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan declared the war also.
The United States did not share the attitude of Japan towards China. The government of Japan saw the war against China as a tool of development and economic improvement. The attack on Pearl Harbor was unexpected firstly because of the long distance between the territory of the United States and Japan. That was the main reason that the American fleet was vulnerable. Japanese army chose the perfect target and aimed to destroy the navy (“Pearl Harbor” para. 2).
The tragedy damaged almost 400 airplanes and 20 military ships. Furthermore, the tragedy took more than 2000 of lives (“Pearl Harbor” para. 4). However, it should be stated that this assault united people and put an end to the debates concerning the war intervention. The American Congress decided to enter the war, and the United Stated became a part of the global conflict that has been already going for two years.
It should be pointed out that Winston Churchill, a British statesman, made a lot of attempts to involve America in the war. And the perfect solution for both countries was waiting for the Germany or Japan to attack first. According to the opinion of the president, the assault could be a reason for interfering. It should be highlighted that the attack happened two years after the war had started and Japan was the first to attack.
As everyone expected the response of America to the Japanese bombing, the American president and Winston Churchill, the prime minister in Great Britain, made a twist, and the United States attacked the Axis powers (“What Really Caused World War 2?” para. 12).
Japan was involved in the war with China whereas Hitler spread destruction across the Europe. The tense atmosphere between America and Germany was felt after the First World War. The leader of Nazi party hoped that the United States will concentrate the attention on the war with Japanese, and this would give an opportunity to Germany to invade the Soviet Union. By removing the enemy, he assumed to take over the Great Britain almost with no resistance.
It should be pointed out that the Great Depression affected economies of both, Europe and the United States. The consequences of the First World War were felt, and there were favorable conditions for the totalitarian governments to develop in different countries, namely Japan, Germany, and the Soviet Union (Martin, Roberts, and Mintz 348).
According to some historians, the reason for the conflict can be found in the Treaty of Versailles. The difficulties in the German government and the tense atmosphere allowed the party of Adolf Hitler to develop Nazi movement and to attract the impressive number of followers. The leader of the Nazi party considered the Treaty of Versailles as the mechanism that prevents Germany from development and success.
Due to the weakness of the world’s financial centers (France, Germany, and Britain) the United States received an opportunity to take the dominant position (Marsella 716). The main goal of implementation of the dictatorship in such countries as Japan and Germany was to increase the power. The primary reason for the Second World War can be seen in the sphere of economics. The military force of Germany was limited by the Treaty of Versailles; however, it should be highlighted that it did not stop Hitler from the attempt to rearm.
In conclusion, it should be stated that there were numerous attempts to lead America into the Second World War. The world after the First World War suffered economically and politically; it was only the matter of time for the new conflict to arise. However, it should be stressed that the war was beneficial for the United States as the country received an opportunity to become the leading center.
The Japanese assault united the nation and changed the American’s point of view concerning the interference to the world’s conflict. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the reason for America’s military response; although, the involvement of the United States into the conflict was evident and there was only a question who will cause the conflict first.
Adams, Michael. The Best War Ever: America and World War II. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2015. Print.
Baisden, Jay. Man to Man (A Conversation between a Father & Son). Bloomington: Xlibris Corporation, 2013. Print.
Johnson, Chrystal. “First Opinion: The Rhythms of Swing as Social Dialogue for Understanding World War II America.” First Opinions, Second Reactions 3.2 (2010): 7-15. Print.
Marsella, Anthony J. “The United States of America: “A Culture of War”. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 35.6 (2011): 714-28. Print.
Martin, James, Randy Roberts, and Steven Mintz. America and Its Peoples: A Mosaic in the Making: From 1865. 5th ed. New York: Longman Group, 2006. Print.
Pearl Harbor. 2009. Web.
What Really Caused World War 2? 2012. Web.