Why Did The Us Enter World War Ii Late?

2930 words - 12 pages

Introduction___________________________________________________________________________In 1939, the world witnessed the beginning of arguably the most devastating of all combat in the history of mankind, World War II. The conflict would ravage the entire European continent and far beyond extending into the far reaches of the planet, stretching from the lands of the African continent and waters of the Atlantic, to the Philippine islands in the Pacific. Previously, tensions had arisen with Germany's annexation of Austria in March of 1938, along with the German crisis in Czechoslovakia. Further, Japan had invaded China in 1937, after overtaking Manchuria in 1931. In August of 1939 German Fuhrer ...view middle of the document...

The United States became the forum for"A heated nationwide debate between isolationists, who opposed both US participation in World War II and aid to Britain, and interventionists, who felt that victory over the Axis powers was essential for United States security and were prepared for the United States to enter the war at an appropriate time."Secondly, this essay shall explore how and why, in the first years of the Second World War, the United States maintained its official neutrality until late 1941, while the outlook shifted from isolationist to interventionist towards Pearl Harbor. Interventionists and proponents of US entry into war prior to 1942 will be detailed throughout in accordance with the latter half of the thesis outlined above.Prewar* United States: Isolationism and Neutrality ______________________________________________It can easily argued that a significant factor in the late entry of the United States into World War II was the continuity of its foreign affairs and domestic policy during the interwar years, dedicated to neutrality with isolationist tendencies. From 1920 to 1932, the United States participated in a multiple policies of international limitation of armaments as well as a "pact to renounce war as an instrument of national policy" with France. Further, the United States showed demonstrable isolationist propensity by not consenting to act along with France on an embargo against Germany and forcing said nation to abide by the disarmament provisions listed in the Treaty of Versailles. Norman H. Davis, Chairman of the American delegation went as far as to say that the US "will not participate in European political negotiations and settlements... [Or] make any commitment to use its armed forces for the settlement of any dispute anywhere."Also, the Treaty of Versailles, ratified shortly after and as a result of the First World War, contained a covenant calling for an association of nations, which became the 'League of Nations', eventually superseded by the United Nations. Although the US was part of the covenant drafting committee, it was never ratified by the US Senate, as a result of an article requiring that "all members preserve the territorial independence of all other members, even to joint action against aggression." Thus, primarily for its isolationist tendencies, America did not become a member of the League of Nations, not to say that the country did not publicly support a large majority of the League's policies. This outlook would continue until 1941 and the isolationist stance of the US would foreshadow its entry into World War II.Although chiefly political in United States society, isolationist facets of foreign affairs influenced other aspects of American life. In the 1930s, during the Depression, legislation was enacted to limit foreign trade to shelter the US from a wavering international economy. Echoing the US desire to avoid conflict was the Good Neighbor Policy, ratified under the presidency of...

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