Running Head: United States History
United States History
Describe and explain how and why the United States became involved in World War II?
The main reason that led the United States to be involved in the World War II is the Japanese. This is because in 1941, Japan attacked the Navy of United States at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. They considered that the United States Navy was a hindrance to them because they wanted to rule the whole of Asia and Pacific. Roosevelt knew about this attack before it happened but did nothing because he wanted to get the US into war. This made the United States to go into war against the Japanese (Dudley, 1997). Later on, Hitler declared war towards the Americans and this clarified that the United States was in the war. It is said that even before this declaration the US was against Germany because the US navy was shooting to kill the Germany Navy at the Atlantic. The real reason that made the Japanese to attack the United States is that they could not conform to the idea that the US would not sell to them oil and scrap metal.
How did it shape the position of the United States in international affairs?
The countries that initially participated in the war deteriorated economically leaving the United States to take over the world’s market of food, minerals and industry. This made the country to remain stable and strong economically. The United States has been recognized as the most powerful country in the world because of its military power, economic power, and advanced technology. It has also been recognized because after World War II, it proved to have great influence in the world politics (Gilbert, 2004). This made the country bold enough to participate in the Cold War and confront a fellow super power country that was the British Empire. However, as much as the country was named super power, it had also suffered due to the economic crisis of the great depression that was brought by war. Some countries like Japan took sometime before relating with the US because of the previous enmity in the war.
How did that involvement impact the Allied war effort?
The allies of the United States were China, Great Britain and Soviet Union. They were known as the big four. The Great Britain and the United States discussed and agreed that the first priority target was to conquer Germany and then Japan. The allies’ aim of the war was to preserve their countries, eradicate Nazism, enable Europe to be stable and introduce democracy. The Soviet wanted to do away with Nazism and bring back communism to the world at large. The outcome of the allied war effort brought about cooperation among these countries and they strategized on how to end the war. They started by invading Japan and designated a nuclear bomb. It killed so many people and yet others were to die later on due to radiation effects. They realized they had been outdone and eventually surrendered at the end of World War II (Gilbert, 2004).
The United States involvement also strengthened the allies because it increased weapons and labor. For example, the allies recruited sixty two million men and women whereas the axis group had only half of this number. Hundreds of air force, navy marines and other forces that could go into war were dedicated towards the war. This brought conquest because hundreds of thousands of prisoners from German and Italy were captured. This alliance made Britain, the United States and Soviet emerge as super power countries after World War II.
What were the short- and long-term effects of that war on the American home front (politically, economically, and socially)?
The war brought a positive change to the women. Initially, women were just housewives who stayed at home to do domestic chores. Only a few of them were able to secure decent jobs. This went on up to the war era whereby the men had to leave their jobs and direct their efforts to the war or work for the factories that made war materials (Dudley, 1997). This also made the women to join men to increase the labor force. Due to this cooperation of men and women, gender discrimination at work place was eliminated. Today, very many women have secured themselves jobs that have enabled families to improve their living standards.
The involvement in war would definitely affect economic development because instead of people working, they are fighting. Due to the world war, there occurred the great depression in the economy. It greatly affected Americans as well as other nations like Germany. There were unemployment rates of up to 25 percent, poverty increased and people got desperate (Gilbert, 2004). After World War I, Americans had invested in re-building Europe and they were successful but due to the depression, investors felt uncomfortable to invest more money because some of them had lost a lot of money. In other countries like Germany, this situation led to dictatorship because people advocated for it in areas of job searching and looking for food.
Many soldiers in the war lost their lives as well as other innocent souls that were victimized. This left the bereaved families with sorrow because some breadwinners were killed in the war. Their families were left suffering and had to struggle in order to survive. This war also caused destruction of both man made and natural environment. For example, the attack of Pearl Harbor clearly shows that there was interference of the marine life that might have been through the weapons used (Dudley, 1997).
The war needed a lot of financing and this led to an increase in tax. Almost all employees were subjected to these taxes unlike the previous years. In addition, a policy on controlling prices was done by the price administration offices. Most factories and plants changed from what they were currently manufacturing and started manufacturing weapons and armaments. This brought a shortage in some industries like those of agriculture and other sectors. Several other long-term and short-term effects took place with some still in effect even today.
Dudley, W. (1997). World War 2. Mount Carmel, Illinois: Greenhaven Press
Gilbert, M. (2004). The Second World War: Complete History. New York, NY: Henry Holt