The Attack on Pearl Harbor

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On December 7, 1941, one of the most tragedies in United States history occurred. The Japanese launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. After just two hours of bombing, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships had either been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed (history1900s). The United States was in complete shock and disgust, so in response, the Unites States declared war on Japan.

Between 1937 and 1941, escalating conflict between China and Japan influenced U.S. relations with both nations, and ultimately contributed to pushing the United States toward full-scale war with Japan and Germany (History). In 1937, China and Japan went to war. Although Chinese forces resisted, Japan advanced farther and farther into China. The conflict brought great suffering to the Chinese people. In December, Japanese troops captured the Chinese city of Nanking. In the month that followed, they massacred as many as 300,000 Chinese civilians. The U.S. felt it had a strong and special relationship with China and often acted as that nation's protector, however most Americans in the 1930s did not want the nation to get involved in foreign wars. President Franklin Roosevelt felt he could only protest Japan's actions. Additionally, Americans were more concerned with the rising tensions in Europe. Infamous dictator Adolf Hitler in Germany and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union had risen to power (Teacher). World War II had begun when in September 1939, Germany and Russia attacked Poland and France and Britain declared war in return. President Roosevelt felt he had to act. In the summer of 1940, Roosevelt outlawed the sale of some American goods to Japan. At the same time, Congress a...

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about the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor Day and the

Pearl Harbor Memorial. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.


"PRESIDENT HARRY S TRUMAN." Harry Truman. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.


Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Attack on Pearl Harbor." History1900s.

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"Speech Analysis: Franklin Roosevelt Pearl Harbor Address." Six Minutes RSS. N.p.,

n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2012. .

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Chronology. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.

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