Causes And Effects Of Pearl Harbor

Superior Essays
December seventh, 1941, a date that will live in infamy. The Japanese launched a surprise attack that left over 2,000 dead, hundreds of destroyed planes, and a crippled Pacific Fleet. In a matter of hours, the Japanese disrupted the neutral and isolationist approach the U.S. had taken into World War II. Why would Japan attack a country that was not involved in the war? Japan felt that as an axis power that they would have to clash with the United States eventually and they wanted to weaken or disable the Pacific Fleet. They hoped to crush the morale of the United States earn a submission and peace treaty favorable to Japan. However, to truly understand the causes for the attack one must look back to before World War II began. Japan invaded …show more content…
President Roosevelt’s speech in response to the attack in Hawaii was vital in gaining the enthusiasm he wanted for supporting the war. He said “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.” The Japanese wanted to force the United States into an agreement to lift the embargos against them. Instead, they pushed America into a global conflict that ultimately resulted in Japan’s defeat. Daniel Martinez, chief historian at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawai’i, said “If you remove the emotion and look at it, the Japanese had achieved a great victory and success, but it was also the biggest public relations disaster any nation had done in the 20th century. In achieving that, they certainly outraged a nation and ensured their …show more content…
A realization set in that the security of the country was not guaranteed by their location between two oceans. With isolationism thrown out the window, the United States joined a coalition of nations against the Axis powers. In a matter of days, the United Sates became invested in becoming the defender of democracy and liberty. Domestic unity is another direct result of the Pearl Harbor attack. America had been split in half between the isolationists and the interventionists. The isolationists were represented mostly in Congress and the Midwest. President Roosevelt and the eastern constituents led the interventionists. However, Pearl Harbor closed the gap and ended all debates. It produced a surge of unity throughout the country. Charles Lindbergh, aviator hero, and the isolationist group America First closed its doors shorty after the attack. “Such a show of unity embraced all walks of domestic life, media and theatrical, unions, management, both political parties, all interest groups, women, men, the literati, Christians, Jews, and denominations of all stripes. From 1942 on, there was no commercial construction, from cars to dishwashers; all food was rationed and travel restricted. Indeed, America was on lockdown, but the war lasted less than four years” (Tierney). America was defining the term, total war. The Japanese attack not only led to the unification of the country, but also led to an American declaration of war.

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