World War II
US History II 2223 RKAA
March 26, 2013
The Attack of Pearl Harbor: Causes and Effects
The attack of Pearl Harbor is a very important aspect of World War II. It is untimely what will pull the United States to join the war against the Axis powers, majorly Germany, Italy and Japan. During the 1930s, Japan began to invade China with the intensions of taking it over. In 1940, after occupying the coastal lines of China, the Japanese began to invade and take over northern French Indochina. When the United States became aware of Japans actions, they put an embargo on Japan forbidding exports of steel, scrap iron, and aviation fuel. As the Japanese occupied southern Indochina, the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands decided to freeze Japanese assets. This effort stopped Japan from being able to purchase oil and it was to eventually weaken the army and in time make the naval and air force useless and no longer able to take over more territory in Asia. Japan desperately tried to persuade the countries to lift the embargo and still be able to keep the territories that they had invaded. But the United States demanded a halt in the aggressiveness towards China and Indo. Japans premier, General Tojo Hideki decided that November 29 (1941) would be that last day that Japan would wait for a settlement without going to war. When the United States did not comply with Japan’s request, Japan began to prepare for an attack on the United States. It is believed that the Japanese chose to attack Pearl Harbor because crippling Pearl Harbor would mean that they could ensure not being stopped by the American forces. If Japan had chosen to attack on an area actually located in the US, they would still have to get past Pearl Harbor in Hawaii to get home. Attacking Pearl Harbor was the only target with a guaranteed success.
On December 7, 1941, the day of the attack, the
Cited: Pearl Harbor.org http://www.pearlharbor.org/history-of-pearl-harbor.asp History .co http://www.history.co.uk/explore-history/ww2/pearl-harbor.html About.com http://history1900s.about.com/od/Pearl-Harbor/a/Pearl-Harbor-Facts.htm