The United States attempted to maintain neutrality initially during World War II. There were two main reasons that this was done: business and politics. The United States was recovering from the Great Depression and was finding ways to make money from countries during the war. President Roosevelt was running for reelection.
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Germany was dependent on oil from outside of its own borders and the borders of countries that it controlled. Before Germany controlled Rumania, oil was seen being carted on tanker cars for Germany with the words American Essolube and German – American Oil Company on the side. This is only one example of American companies making money in the war effort. Even more money was made selling weapons to Britain and France.
When a reporter asked Roosevelt on September 1, 1939, if he believed America could stay out of the war, he replied: “ I believe we can, and every effort will be made by the Administration to do so.” Additionally, Japan, Germany, and Italy had an agreement that if one of them were attacked, then it would be as if all three of them were attacked. In a counter measure; England and France acted in the same manner. Roosevelt was aware of the vulnerability of Hawaii throughout 1941, but did nothing to protect it. Yet, if it was attacked by Japan, and he responded, it would be as if he directly attacked Germany.
When Japan did finally attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December, 1941, Roosevelt had the ammunition he needed to go to Congress and launch an attack against Japan in order to defend the United States against the unprovoked attack from Japan. In attacking Japan, the United States was, in essence, also launching an attack against Germany and Italy as well, carrying out the mission that Roosevelt had indeed wanted to do, according to his closest advisors, as he was a supporter of Churchill (Three World Wars, 2011). After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he had the support from the American public that he desired, went to congress, requested and received a declaration of war, and the United States involvement began until the war ended (Evolvement, 2009).
Esortment. (2009). The United States in WWII. Retrieved from:
http://www. essortment. com/united-states-world-war-ii-21936. html
Three World Wars. (2011). The true cause of the second world war. Retrieved from:
http://www. threeworldwars. com/world-war-2/ww2-2. htm