Causes of World War II

Jackson Owen

Pearl Harbor Quote

"December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy... No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory." -Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States 1933-1945

The Build-up to WWII

  • After World War I, Germany was left devastated by the treaty of Versailles. They were forced to pay reparations to the allies, which left the countries citizens poor and starving.
  • Adolf Hitler became dictator of Germany in 1934, and he brought his country back on its feet again.
  • The Nazis took over a lot of European countries in the 1930's. These included most of France, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Finland, Denmark, what is now Norway, and parts of the Soviet Union.
  • To keep Hitler happy and not start another war, Great Britain and France let him take over. This proved to be a fatal mistake, as this let him strengthen his army and country.
  • In 1939, Adolf Hitler led his trips to invade Poland. This was the official start of the war in Europe.
  • In the 1930's, Japan was also becoming a large empire, and it took over most of China and many small Pacific islands. The United States didn't like this, so they ended most trades with the country
  • The United States, like in World War I, wanted to stay out of the war, as they thought the fight wasn't their problem.
  • In result of the the trade embargo, just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Japan, an ally of Germany, led an air attack on one of the United States largest military bases, Pearl Harbor. 2,500 people were killed, 1,000 were injured, 20 battleships were significantly damaged, and over 300 planes were destroyed.
  • The next day, December 8, 1941, congress voted to go to war with Japan. This caused Germany and Italy to declare war on us, and the war had officially started for the U.S.
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Effects of World War II

In World War II, women began to be viewed with more importance, as they took on men's jobs at the factories while the men went to the military. This is a social effect. Because of the demand for airplanes, ammunition, guns, tanks, and ships, many factories were built to take this on. This helped bring our economy back up. The United States emerged as a world superpower after World War II. This is a political effect.

How and Why

How was the war in the Pacific started?

In 1937, Japan declared war on China and took over much of their territory. As a result, the U.S. embargoed trade with the Japanese. This caused Japan to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, causing the U.S. to declare war on Japan.

Why did the U.S. choose to remain neutral (until Pearl Harbor)?

The U.S. wanted to stay neutral, like in World War I, because we didn't believe it was our problem. We stayed out until 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.


"The Ethics Of… The Swastika." The Ethics Of. 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2016. Staff. "Pearl Harbor." A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.