America’s Response to Pearl Harbor

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Introduction America’s initial response to the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 was that of disbelief and shock. This attack took place on a Sunday morning and what surprised many was the fact that a tiny island nation situated in the Asian mainland could bring out that kind of a feat thousands of miles away from its actual homeland. A major part of this shock and disbelief was based mainly on the stereotypical view that the Americans had on the Japanese people – short people with oriental features that appeared exaggerated. This shock turned into anger, which prompted the American leaders to take quick action. One day after the attack took place, President Roosevelt made a speech that was labeled “December 7th” before the joint session of Congress. 'Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – is a day that will live in infamy - the United States of America was attacked suddenly and deliberately by the naval and air forces of the Japan Empire.' This speech was so powerful and it will definitely live in infamy. The unanimous vote for war from the Senate was expected, but notably, the House vote was not entirely unanimous since a pacifist referred to as Jeannette Rankin voted against the war. Her intention was to prove that a good democracy is not expected to unanimously vote in favor of war. Exactly three days after the attack, Italy and Germany declared war on America, which prompted the Congress to pass another unanimous resolution that totally involved America in the Second World War. The Foundations of the War The Pacific war started with striking Japanese victories. The Japanese arrived in Manila by January 1942. The American forces held out up to early May, after ... ... middle of paper ... ...The Americans Who Stood With Britain In Its Darkest, Finest Hour. Random House. ISBN 978-1-58836-982-6. Rhodes, Anthony. Propaganda: The art of persuasion: World War II, p257, Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1976 Sabin, Burritt. "The War's Legacy [sic]: Dawn of a tragic era", Japan Times, February 8, 2004 ( accessed June 10, 2005). Silent Victory (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1975) Stokesbury, James L. (1980). A Short History of WWII. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. p. 171. ISBN 0-688-03587-6. Sulzberger, C.L., "The American Heritage Picture History of World War II" "The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The White House Reacts, 1941", EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2005). The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II (Annapolis: United States Naval Institute Press, 1993) Willmott, op. cit.; Peattie and Evans, op. cit.

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