|Full Name||United States of America|
|Alliance||Allies - Major Member Nation|
|Entry into WW2||7 Dec 1941|
|Population in 1939||131,028,000|
|Military Deaths in WW2||407,318|
|Civilian Deaths in WW2||11,200|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
The United States emerged from World War 1 an isolationist nation. Even though American President Woodrow Wilson was among the main pillars in the founding of the League of Nations, the United States Senate never allowed the North American power, geographically separated from the rest of the world in its views, to join the organization. Overall, the top political leaders of the US feared to become entangled in European politics, or worse, future European wars.
The Great Depression that began with the stock market crash in 1929 brought a difficult period to the United States, while American farmers further suffered from catastrophic dust storms collectively known as the Dust Bowl. President Franklin Roosevelt, elected in 1932, instituted several socialist programs that effectively responded to the economic and social issues that resulted from the depression. As a result, Roosevelt began to earn a deep-rooted respect from the American people.
In the mid-1930s, Roosevelt began to think that "he could buy peace for a generation of Americans, but the more he pondered the character of the regime in Berlin, the more convinced he became that the next U.S. generation would lie at [Adolf] Hitler's mercy." Bypassing the appeaser British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's office, he contacted Winston Churchill directly via telephone and established what was to become one of the most important working relationships during the war. As much as the American people respected him, however, Roosevelt was unable to sway the public to openly support a war against Nazi Germany, but he was able to convince the Congress to support Britain via Lend-Lease. That all changed in Dec 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and declared war in the United States. With this event, Roosevelt was able to play his political cards and change the American public opinion nearly overnight, changing the isolationist attitude into a patriotic fervor.
World War 2 turned out to be the costliest war in American history in terms of spending, but the spending also played a key part in lifting the United States out of economic depression. The increasing need for war goods not only wiped out the unemployment but also drew women into the work force in large numbers for the first time.
On the political front, gradually during the course of war between 1941 to 1945, United States stepped onto the world stage as a superpower. Her ability to carry on a multi-front war against both Germany and Japan with her expansive industrial capabilities was the main reason.
At the end of the war, United States unleashed two atomic weapons against Japan. President Harry Truman's decision that led to the utter destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remains a controversial topic until today.
Events Taken Place in United States
|Two-Ocean Navy Act||19 Jul 1940|
|ABC-1 Conference||29 Jan 1941 - 30 Mar 1941|
|First Washington Conference||22 Dec 1941 - 14 Jan 1942|
|Internment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese-Canadians||1 Jan 1942 - 1 Apr 1949|
|Second Washington Conference||20 Jun 1942 - 23 Jun 1942|
|Trident Conference||12 May 1943 - 25 May 1943|
|Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project||16 Jul 1945|
|San Francisco Peace Conference||8 Sep 1951|
Territories, Possessions, and Nations Under the Influence of United States
|Alaska||Panama Canal Zone||US Pacific Islands|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945