Japan's Expansion And U.S. Policies To The Pearl Harbor Attack

2345 words - 10 pages

At 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 7, 1941, an American destroyer Ward, in the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, opened fire to a small Japanese submarine that secretly passed Pearl Harbor's antisubmarine gate, which was opened for the minesweeper Crossbill to enter the base. (Wels 111) This was the first shot of the Pearl Harbor attack. The attack was an unexpected attack from Japan to the United States, which caused a heavy loss. About twenty-one vessels damaged, 323 planes shattered, and more than three thousand Americans wounded or dead. (Wels 133-135) The disastrous attack was a response from Japan to some U.S. policies. During World War II, Japan's endless expansion forced the U.S. government to make policies, which were the support to the Allies and Chinese government, and the suppression of Japan's access to resources. Those policies influenced Japan to attack Pearl Harbor.
Before the Pearl Harbor attack and the join of the United States, the countries that were participating in the World War II were mostly divided into two groups. One was the Axis, which was led by the Nazis, and was constituted by Germany, Italy, Japan and other Nazis countries. The main goal of the Axis was to expand. The other group was the Allies, which was constituted by countries that were opposite to the Axis, and was led by countries such as Britain, the Soviets, and the Free French, which was the opposing-Nazi French government led by General de Gaulle after the Nazis conquered Paris and the original French government fell. (The History Channel website)
During 1935 and 1939, the United States Congress passed the Neutrality Act, including an arm embargo, to declare that they would not involve in foreign conflict. (Miller Center) However, as a nation that was not in the World War II, the United States began to aid the Allies with materials in the late 1939, which shows the opposition to the Axis. President Roosevelt reasserted the Neutrality Act by dropping the arm embargo in September, 1939, which allows the Allies to buy arms from the United States. Specifically, he allowed the belligerents to purchase American arms on "cash and carry" basis, which only permitted the purchase with cash and to transport purchased items by themselves. He also claimed that the United States would support Britain with all aid "short of war", which gave physical and mental support to the British government, and threat to the Nazis as well. In September 1940, Japan signed Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, which confirmed the alliance of the three countries as the Axis. (Waller XIV) The United States realized the necessity of being allies with European countries, such as Britain, otherwise the United States would be between the two Nazi European countries beyond the Atlantic Ocean and Japan in the Pacific area. In March, 1941, Congress passed Lend-Lease program to further extend their support to the Allies. The Lend-Lease program allowed the Allies countries to continue...

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