The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor - Essay Example

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The author of the essay entitled "The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor" states that December 7, 1941, “…a date which will live in infamy…” is often quoted from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous speech to Congress after the attack upon Pearl Harbor. …
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The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor
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Download file to see previous pages Research suggests that the United States had been intercepting coded messages, one of which discussed the plans for the attack. Other information alluded that President Roosevelt wanted to enter the war and finally had a reason. Still, others believed that Roosevelt manipulated the United States into the war by withholding information from the American people. This paper will explore if Roosevelt did or did not covertly maneuver the United States into the Second World War and if he had access to information that could have prevented the attack upon Pearl Harbor.

In the 1930’s Japan’s aggressive actions were causing concern in the United States. Japan was in control of Manchuria by 1931 (DeAngelis, 13). By September of 1941, Japan had signed an agreement with Germany and Italy. Upon hearing of this pact, Roosevelt instituted an embargo on oil and gasoline shipments to Japan (DeAngelis, 13 -14). Essentially, the United States cut off strategic materials that Japan needed to keep up their war on China.

Japan had claimed to represent global Asian interests, the racial beliefs at the time, when in fact they had only Japan’s military/economic interests in mind. As the supplies from the United States dwindled, Japan claimed they were forced to sneak attack the United States in hopes of forcing our economic hand. Japan expected the United States would be so stunned and would sue for peace after a cursory attempt at fighting back. The Japanese thought that the U.S. citizenry was soft and lacked the Japanese fighting spirit, called bushido.

The basic argument at this time was Roosevelt attempted to use negotiations to force Japan’s back to the wall. However, the U.S. had a large interest group that eventually was known as the China First Lobby (Post World War II) that felt the Japanese were preying upon Chinese weaknesses at the time. It was politically expedient for Roosevelt to press the Japanese into backing off using the U.S.’s economic card as an advantage.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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