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The United States and World War II - Essay Example

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The United States and World War II Before World War II, the United States was beset by various political and economic issues. For one, the isolationist foreign and national policies which allowed the US to avoid political or economic entanglements with other countries (Encyclopedia Britannica) were widely accepted…
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The United States and World War II
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Download file to see previous pages Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities” (Washington). When German submarines attacked American ships during World War I (WWI), the U.S. was forced to abandon its isolationist policy in order to defend its territories. After the war, however, the US was quick to repudiate the Treaty of Versailles and declined to become a member of the League of Nations and the article from the National Bureau of Economic Research (Lozada) provided the answer. The United States was in recession before the war and, since economic activities centered on providing war needs, the economy benefited. For one, unemployment declined from 7.9% to 1.4% because most unemployed men were recruited by the military (Lozada). Meanwhile, tax income increased from 1.5% in 1915 to 18% in 1918. The US was back on its feet again and it did not need assistance from other countries. And yet, because most production in the US at the time was directed towards the provision of war supplies, when the war ended, production led to a halt. Forced to face its own distress, the country turned inward and refused to be sucked into the war again, particularly because there have been claims that the U.S. involvement in WWI was due to the “machinations of arms merchants or Wall Street bankers” (“The return of U.S. isolationism”) aiming to recover their losses. Aside from this, Germany was funding isolationist statesmen in order to ensure US neutrality in World War II (WWII). To prevent the country from engaging in another war, the Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1936 were passed which prohibited the “sale of war material to belligerents and forbade any exports to belligerents not paid for with cash and carried in their own ships” (“The return of U.S. isolationism”). To counter the Neutrality Acts, President Frank Delano Roosevelt urged Americans to become good neighbors and to lend their arms to the British. Through this new policy, the US did not need to send in troops, but they were allowed to aid the Allied forces by lending them the arms they needed to fight against the Axis forces. Hence, it meant that the US would only be loaning previously created armaments and no soldiers would be sent out. While U.S. position was isolationist, the Democrats knew that the country would be a target of attack because it had no real allies. True enough, in just a few months after the Lend-Lease Act was passed, the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, hence, pitching the United States into another battle. Because of the long regime of isolationism policy, many soldiers were unprepared for the war. Moreover, the country did not have adequate equipments it could use to launch large scale campaigns. To address its war-time needs, the President Roosevelt created the War Production Board in 1942 ( “United States”). Because of the increase in demand for war supplies, the United States found itself earning and recovering. Unemployment has dropped. Though many were employed in the military, civilian employment rose from 46,000,000 in 1940 to 53,000,000 in 1945 ( “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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