Events Prior to December 7, 1941

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December 7, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described this as a day, “that will live infamy.” The attack on Pearl Harbor, in the early morning hours of December 7, was one of the most devastating defeats that the United States of America had ever encountered. In the years leading up to the attack there were many events that happened that would inflame Japanese aggression towards the United States. Some people say that these events could have been prevented and some say that the President let the events happen to push his agenda of inevitability for the United States to enter WWII. So why did the Japanese attack the United States at Pearl Harbor? Japan was a small nation that was in dire need of resources so it could flourish. They need iron for weapons, rubber for tires, and coal and oil for fuel. In July 1937, to capture its coal and iron reserves, Japan launched a successful and brutal attack against China. This would be the start of an assault on the Pacific region by Japan. This assault would last for three years without anyone getting involved because tensions were growing futile in the European theatre. By spring 1940 tension between the United States and Japan were building in the Pacific region. President Roosevelt, as a show of force, transferred the United States Naval fleet to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This move would give Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet, the ammunition he needed to urge his government that Japan needed to expand its naval air power. In July 1940, President Roosevelt had placed a limitation on the sale of scrap iron and steel and completely admonished the sale of aviation fuel to Japan. This decision came after Japan had advanced on the Sout... ... middle of paper ... ... win through to absolute victory.” Works Cited Smith, Carl, David Aiken, Jim Laurier, and Adam Hook. Pearl Harbor 1941: the day of infamy. Rev. 60th anniversary ed. Oxford: Osprey, 2001. Divine, Robert A. "America and The World, 1921-1945." In The American story: combined volume. 5th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 887-889. Dougherty, Steve. Pearl Harbor: the U.S. enters World War II. New York: Franklin Watts, 2010. Zimm, Alan D. "The Pearl Harbor Myth." World War II 26, no. 4 (November 2011): 34. MasterFILE Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 18, 2014). Eidenmuller, Michael. "American Rhetoric: Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation (12-08-41)." (accessed March 19, 2014). Nat't Geo: Pearl Harbor. DVD. Directed by Michael Rosenfeld. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Video; 2001.
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