The History Of Pearl Harbor

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On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 at 7:47am, the United States of America was not fighting in the Second World War. The American naval base, Pearl Harbor, sat quietly and peacefully, unaware of what was to come. Japan was about to launch one of the most devastating attacks on America in their history. Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes moved toward Oahu, Hawaii with their one goal in mind, to destroy the American fleet.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise, but Japan and the United States had been edging toward war for decades. The United States was unhappy with Japan’s increasingly terrible attitude toward China. The Japanese government believed that the only way to solve its problems was to expand into China and take over its import market; as a result, Japan had declared war on China in 1937. American officials responded to this aggression with economic sanctions and trade embargoes. They argued that without access to money and goods, and especially essential supplies like oil, Japan would have to take over its expansionism. Instead, the sanctions made the Japanese more determined to stand their ground. These disagreements made war seem inevitable.
No one believed that the Japanese would start that war with an attack on American territory. For one thing, it would be terribly inconvenient: 4,000 miles separated Japan and Hawaii. Another reason, American intelligence officials were confident that if the Japanese were to launch an attack it would take place in one of the nearby European colonies such as the Dutch East Indies, or Singapore or Indochina. Because American military leaders were not expecting an attack so close to home, the naval facilities at Pearl Harbor were relatively undefended. Almost the entire Pacific Fleet ...

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...teous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.” After the Pearl Harbor attack, and for the first time after years of discussion and debate, the American people were united in their determination to go to war. The Japanese had wanted to persuade the United States into an agreement to lift the economic sanctions against them. No such agreement was made.
On December 8, Congress approved Roosevelt’s declaration of war. Three days later, Japanese allies Germany and Italy declared war against the United States. For the second time, Congress reciprocated. More than two years after the start of the conflict, the United States had entered World War II.
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