World War II was another turning point for the U.S. After Japan invaded China, Italy conquered Ethiopia and the African kingdom, and Germany invaded Rhineland, Austria and Czechoslovakia, the U.S. entered the war in 1941 to back our allies, like the British. The U.S. ended oil sales to Japan, so they retaliated with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The U.S. then declared war on Japan.
The war caused government federal powers to increase (to help control production and rationing). The Great Depression ended because employment and wages went up mostly due to factories being converted to build war supplies. Employers started offering health insurance so health care and life expectancy increased. New vaccines also helped protect more people against illnesses. The Great Migration increased because people were moving to find work. The Baby Boom started and the U.S. Office of War Information helped promote patriotism again. Due to the fear of spies, Executive Order 9066 put many Italians, Germans and Japanese into guarded internment camps in the U.S.
On the European front-
The Germans formed a pact with the Soviets (German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact), which let the Germans focus on one front. They conquered Poland, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France by June 1940. Then the Germans violated their pact and invaded the USSR. The U.S. and Great Britain bombed Germany in western Europe. Troops advanced through Normandy, France and crossed the Rhine River and defeated the Germans. Hitler killed himself and Germany surrendered (May 7-9, 1945).
On the Pacific front-
Japan was fighting against the U.S. Initially, Japan was defeating the U.S. at Wake Island, Guam, Philippines, and China. The Bataan Death March proved that Pacific brutality towards prisoners was 30 times higher than in Europe. The Battle of Midway was the turning point for the U.S. in the war. Planes from carriers helped the U.S. advance as they “island hopped” towards Japan. Japanese soldiers would not surrender; they would rather die first. Many died through kamikaze and banzai attacks as well as mass, civilian suicides in attempts to kill American soldiers.
Important People & Events
Blitzkrieg- War tactic where bombers are immediately followed by tanks and infantry
U.S. Allies- USSR’s Joseph Stalin, FDR and Winston Churchill were allies, although Stalin was not to be trusted, but FDR and Churchill had a good relationship