Why Did the U.S. Get Involved in World War II?

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The United States got involved in World War II after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack occurred after the United States refused to continue trading iron and gasoline to Japan. Japan needed these items to continue their war with China.

Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans were reluctant to get involved in the war. Many political leaders believed the best approach would be to limit America’s involvement in foreign affairs.

In 1935, Congress passed the Neutrality Act to prohibit arms manufacturers from exporting firearms and ammunition to countries at war. When the Act was renewed in 1936, Congress also prohibited American citizens from making loans to foreign nations involved in conflict.

The Lend-Lease Act was passed in 1941. This act allowed the president to transfer defense materials to certain countries. These supplies were transferred to China, Britain, the Soviet Union and other countries.

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This prompted the United States to officially enter the war. Italy and Germany quickly declared war on the U.S. One of the most famous events involving American soldiers was the Normandy invasion. On June 6, 1944, General Eisenhower led allied troops into France. They were able to liberate Paris by the end of August during the same year.