Relations between the United States and Japan had become increasingly tense. Roosevelt was concerned that continued Japanese aggression would force the British to shift resources away from the European war to the defense of its colonies in Southeast Asia. Roosevelt imposed on Japan a number of tough economic and trade restrictions. The United States cut off vital exports to Japan and barred the withdrawal of Japanese funds from American banks.
On Dec. 7, 1941, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull met with two Japanese diplomats. While they talked, Japanese planes launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which lay at anchor in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japanese leaders hoped to knock out the Pacific Fleet so that it could not block Japan's expansion in Asia. The attack destroyed or damaged many U.S. ships and aircraft and killed nearly 2,400 Americans.
President Roosevelt addressed Congress the next day. He said that December 7 was "a date which will live in infamy." The United States declared war against Japan on December 8. Three days later, on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The United States then declared war on those countries.
Roosevelt suggested the name United Nations for the alliance that fought the Axis nations of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Although the group came to be known as the Allies, it formed the basis for the peacetime United Nations organization that was established in 1945.
After Pearl Harbor, the United States faced a situation as dire as that of the Great Depression. Abroad, the Axis powers had put the United States and its allies on the defensive, with Germany and Japan dangerously close to winning the war. At home, the situation was equally bleak. Production snags...
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... 1944. Meanwhile, American and British forces invaded North Africa in November 1942, Sicily in July 1943, and Italy in September 1943.
By the time the “Big Three” met again at the Yalta Conference in the Crimea, U.S.S.R., in February 1945, the war in Europe was almost over. At Yalta, Roosevelt secured Stalin’s commitment to enter the war against Japan soon after Germany’s surrender and to establish democratic governments in the nations of eastern Europe occupied by Soviet troops. Stalin kept his pledge concerning Japan but proceeded to impose Soviet satellite governments throughout Eastern Europe.
Freidel, Frank. "Franklin D. Roosevelt (president of United States)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Maney, Patrick J. "Roosevelt, Franklin Delano." World Book Student. World Book, 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.