When war broke out, there was no way the world could possibly know the severity it would have taken on the people of the world. Fortunately one country saw and understood that Germany and its allies would have to be stopped. America’s Involvement in World War II not only contributed in the downfall of the insane Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich, but also came at the best time and moment. If the United States entered the war any earlier the consequences would probably have been worse.
Over the years it has been an often heated and debated issue on whether the United States could have entered the war sooner and therefore have saved many lives. To try to understand this we must look both at the people’s and the government’s point of view. Just after war broke out in Europe, President Roosevelt quickly called his cabinet and military advisors together. It was there that it was agreed the United States stay neutral in these affairs. This decision was a valid one because it was the American policy to stay neutral in any affairs not having to with them unless American soil was threatened directly. The provisional neutrality act passed the senate by seventy-nine votes to two in 1935. On August 31, Roosevelt signed it into law. In 1936 the law was renewed, and in 1937 a “comprehensive and permanent” neutrality act was passed.
The desire to avoid “foreign entanglements” of all kinds had been an American foreign policy for more than a century. Even if Roosevelt had wanted to do more in this European crisis (which he did not), there was a factor too often ignored by critics of American policy-American military weakness. When asked to evaluate how many troops were available and when the United States would get involved, the army could only gather a mere one hundred thousand, when the French, Russian and Japanese armies numbered in millions. Its weapons dated from the first World War and were no match compared to the new artillery that Germany and its allies had. The air force was just as bad if not worse. In September 1939 the Air Corps had only 800 combat aircrafts again compared with Germany’s 3600 and Russia’s 10,000. American military Aviation (AMA) in 1938 was able to produce only 1,800, 300 less than Germany, and 1,400 less than Japan. It was evident to Roosevelt the United states military was in no way prepared to enter this European crisis.
One very important additional thing that we have to consider is the people’s views and thought’s regarding the United States going to war. The people’s view did play a major role in this declaration of Neutrality. A poll taken in 1939 revealed that ninety-four per cent of the citizens did not want the United States to enter the war. The shock of World War one had still not left, and entering a new war, they felt, would be foolish. These were principles here on which most Americans (ninety-four percent as of 1939) agreed. To promote these principles the United States would have to avoid all foreign...