" A day which will live in infamy" -President Roosevelt. Despite the horror of the war being waged in Europe and Asia, the United States was taking no part; until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought them into flight. It was the beginning of America's direct involvement in World War II. On December 7, 1941Japan bombed the military base in Hawaii called Pearl Harbor. But what significant reasons did the Japanese choose to start a war with the U.S.? The three main reasons for this massive attack is because of Japan's plan for a new order/wanting to gain political power, U.S.'s fleet expansion, and the embargo placed on Japan by the U.S.
Japan felt that America was standing in the way of Japan becoming a world power. In 1938, japan announced a plan to create a new world order in East Asia. (Doc C) Japanese leaders believed that the old order controlled by United States and European countries was crumbling. It would be replaced by a new system and Japan would be the leader of the "new order". (Doc A) Also, the map in Document B shows that the new Japanese order was becoming a fact. Japan established Manchuria as a puppet state in 1932 and began its occupation of China in 1937. (Doc B)
A second cause of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the threat of U.S. fleet expansion. In July 1940 U.S. Congress passed the Naval Expansion Act which promised to triple the fleet size by 1944(Doc C) This really worried the Japanese leaders. Hideki Tojo, one of the Japanese leaders, said "When I think about the the strengthening of American defenses in the Southwest Pacific, the expansion of the American fleet,…I see no end to difficulties…I fear that we would become a third-class nation after two or three years if we just sat tight" (Doc E) They were obviously threatened by our navy and what it can do. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in order to knock out the U.S. fleet before it got too powerful.
The final reason for the attack of Pearl Harbor was because of the...
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