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Comparative History Set 5: World War 2 Set 7: Globalization
World War Two World war two was the turning point for America, it changed America from a country that wanted to be isolated to a country that would from that point on have to carry much of the worlds problems. Roosevelt's strong persuasion of congress to help Europe in 1941 is what eventually could have led into America joining the war even if Pearl harbor had never been attacked. One of the greatest battles was that of Roosevelt taking a path of isolationism or intervention and helping great Britain. Another great battle that was won by Roosevelt and Winston Churchill was that of overcoming their countries differences and joining together to stop the enemy. It is said that if Great Britain and America had stepped up and stopped the uprising dictatorships in the 1930’s then world war two would have never happened, in Churchill's memoirs he dubs it the “unnecessary war”.
World War Two The “great depression” in the 1930’s is what really led to America and Great Britain sitting on the sidelines while Japan and especially German grew in power. When Roosevelt took over the presidency he wanted to break out of the isolationist mold that America was in, he saw the ways war and dictatorship could affect America and the world as a whole, but politics withheld him and his efforts to step in. The Neutrality Act of 1935 was set in place to keep America from getting financially entangled like it had done in World War One. Americas hesitation to stop Hitler came from the fact that it was 4000 miles away across an ocean. Great Britain however did not have that luxury. Britain did not want to go to war but also had to protect their land and even more importantly its power.
World War 2 In order to try and keep peace Great Britain tried to pay off their enemies as to avoid any fighting and damage to their country. Britain did not understand the extent to which Hitler's goals went, and their plan would not suffice the looming enemy. Roosevelt tried to reinforce Britain but the two governments were constantly bickering and disagreeing. Trade was a touchy subject because Britain was discriminating against American products to trade within their own empire, Britain saw it as the best way to get out of their depression. In 1939 when Hitler broke his peace treaty with Britain the U.S. relations became better and America said they would back their allies when they and France went to war with Germany. America due to the Neutrality act could not supply Britain with arms because it could drag them into the war, Roosevelt convinced congress to revise the act and sell arms to Britain because it would be beneficial to America in terms of financial and trade gain. In 1940 Winston Churchill took office, this led to more talk between him and Roosevelt, Churchill sought to have better relations with America.
World War Two Two weeks after Churchill took office Germany pressed forward to the Channel Islands, months later France surrendered, this left Britain on its own with an army not equipped to defend an enemy such as Germany. Churchill and Britain had nowhere to turn but America, but Americas help was held back in part to politics and reluctance to break neutrality. But Roosevelt and the American ambassador in London both held the worry that Britain would soon crumble and it would have detrimental effects on America. In September 1940 America made a deal lending Britain naval carriers that ultimately sealed Americas support of Britain and its first step out of neutrality. In November 1940 Roosevelt was elected to his third term of presidency, it was not soon after that he put into action the lend lease bill in response to Churchill’s urgent call for assistance so that they might not completely fall. Churchill’s ultimate goal was to still get America to do more than just supply ships and arms, and though America mistreated Britain on several occasions it was Churchill and Britain's only hope.
World War Two In September American naval ships were attacked which led to Roosevelt using the opportunity to virtually but not literally declare war. At that time a large majority of Americans did not support going to war with Germany, Roosevelt needed some kind of action to spur motivation for America to move towards entering the war, when Japan attacked Indonesia in July it was exactly what Roosevelt needed to gain support. But in December of 1941 everything changed, Japan surprised attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, causing 2400 deaths and the worst military disaster in U.S. history. In retaliation America declared war on Japan, and for that Hitler declared war on America, but more importantly after 19 months of calls for help Churchill finally had it and there was no beating America or Great Britain. The rest is history.