Ib 20th Century History Internal Assessment: How Did the Involvement of the United States Affect the Outcome of World War Ii?

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How did the involvement of the United States affect the outcome of World War II?

Arrion Jackson
Candidate Number- 002137-002
May 2012
I.B. 20th Century History
Word Count- 1,647
The USS West Virginia, USS Tennessee, and USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack, US Territory of Hawaii, 7 Dec 1941

Part A: Plan of Investigation
The United States before and after the beginning of World War II prided itself on independence and isolation from foreign affairs. The U.S. already had to intervene in World War I, helping to create the Treaty of Versailles against Germany, and did not wish to repeat history in World War II. Germany, being angry of this treaty, began an uprising under the authority of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Revolts spread throughout all of Europe, causing the creation of various alliances, mainly the Allied and Axis Powers. The United States still held its standpoint of isolationism and did not interfere with or support any war effort; that is, until Japan made an attempt to seize China, which was a strong trade nation for the U.S. The U.S. made attempts to keep Japan out of China for trade purposes only, but were unsuccessful due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s desire to keep neutrality. Japan then struck at the United States with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The next day, the U.S. officially declared war. How did U.S. involvement affect the outcome of World War II? This investigation will cover the chronological order of events of World War II that involved the United States in any matter and how they affected the tide of the war. Most of the research will be from books written by historians of the late 20th century (1994-2000), mainly on the events of World War II from different vantage points. These primary sources incorporate most of the information that proved futile for World War II, giving extensive knowledge of all events.

Part B: Summary of Evidence

At the beginning of World War II, the U.S. lived by one phrase: “Stay Out of the War!” All actions done by the government were attempts to keep the U.S. out of the war at any means necessary. But after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had no choice but to enter the war and fight against the Japanese seize of power. Almost immediately following the U.S.’s declaration of war, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. The involvement of United States in World War II revolutionized how war would be fought for the coming centuries. [pic]

Spitfire War Fighter Plane Manufacture at Castle Bromwich in Great Britain

The most important factor that affected the outcome of World War II was the U.S.’s mass production of weapons. The economy became known as the “arsenal of democracy”, using almost every dollar on spending to produce every kind weapon imaginable to win battles on land, sea, and air. The economy of the United States boomed as mass production peaked, unemployment was dissolved, and American citizens’ payments were doubled. In turn for this rapid production of weapons, the U.S. was now allied with three other military powerhouses: the British Empire (currently known as Great Britain), France, and the Soviet Union (mainly Russia). With the addition of America’s mass weapon supply, the tide of the war completely changed. This new alliance became a force to be reckoned with. These new additions led to the creation of the atomic bomb, which would devastate Japan in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [pic]

Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)

Another factor that affected the war was the U.S.’s knowledge of warfare in both air and water. America and Great Britain were the most important factors of air bombings during their time in the war, which was the most important weapon when it came to the invasion of Germany. Great Britain and the U.S. came together to design the P-51 Mustang, which was used to escort bomber planes during the day; with...
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