Was the United States really “neutral” before the attack on Pearl Harbor and her entry into the Second World War?
World War II began in September 1, 1939. German tanks and planes had begun a full-scale invasion of Poland and keeping their pledge Britain and France declared war against Germany. However, it wasn’t until December 8, 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese did the United States “officially” entered the war. The United States had declared neutrality before they had entered the world, but through President Franklin Roosevelt’s actions and polices the United States had aligned themselves with Britain and the Allied countries and were against Germany and the Axis countries.
To begin with, President Roosevelt had already put himself and the United States on the side of the Allied countries and was against Germany. The first sign of this was through the Pan-American Conferences in the 1930s. In the conference of 1936 President Roosevelt pledged that if a European power attempted “to commit acts of aggression against us” it would find “a hemisphere wholly prepared to consult together for our mutual safety and out mutual good.” That pledge was more towards Germany than it was to Britain and France. While President Roosevelt wasn’t for isolation the American people felt a different way. The American people at that time did not want war. Widely accepted in the early 1930s was the idea that the United States entry into World War I had been a terrible mistake. This view was bolstered in Congress by an investigating committee led by Senator Gerald Nye of North Dakota. His committee concluded that the main reason for United States participation in the World War I was to serve the greed of bankers and arms manufactures. This committee’s work influenced isolationist legislation in the following years. The United States senators and representatives in both parties tried to ensure policies that would strictly keep the United States...
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