Why was your country involved in World War II?

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well this youtube clip is about Australia and WWII
Australia was involved in WWII mostly due to their personal ties with Britain and how many Australians still saw Britain as the Motherland. Although Australia did have the final say on whether or not they took part, they wanted to keep the relationship with the British empire strong. A few hours after Britain declared war on Germany, The Australian Prime Minister at the time, Robert Menzies, broadcasted to Australia that since Britain was at war then so was Australia, except there was no great outpouring of emotion like the First World War. Everyone knew about the harshness of war and no-one was keen to go through it all again after such a short time.

The first phase of the war was from 1939 to the end of 1941. During this time the war was with Germany and its allies, including Italy. When the war started to have an impact on the UK the british empire was forced to begin the battle against their enimies. Being an allie of the British Empire, and the hatred for Hitler was the main reason for Australia joining the war. During the begining of the war Australian soilders where sent where the British Empire needed them but at home on the Australian homefront the war did change many thing, like woman rights, but the war didnt seem too big a deal too the public as it hadnt reached Australia yet. It was only when the great fortress at Singapore fell, later in the war, that people started to think the war was very close and coming to Australia. Australia itself was now directly under attack,for the first time in history.

The second phase of the war for Australia began in 1941 when Japan attacked the US and began to advance into the south-east Asia. Australia was in a strategic location which was why American troops came to Australia before adventuring up to Papua New Guinea. Australia was attacked at home by the Japanese who bombed Darwin and attacked Sydney Harbour by entering via submarines .It was the first time in Australia's history that Australia was under direct threat.

Australia's relationship with England was that if we helped them, that they would help us when we needed it. Therefore we joined the war in Europe and helped England with the war effort. But when the time came that Australia was threatened by the Japanese, England failed to help us. So we looked for America as our relationship with them increased, we started to look to them as a protectorate for us.
external image Menzies_Robert_BANNER.jpg
Robert Menzies- the Prime minister at the time and broadcasted to Australia that they were now at war

The attack on Pearl Harbor was completely unforeseen, but there had been tension between the U.S. and Japan. The United States had been acting hostile and aggressive in regards to Japan. The Japanese government believed that they needed to take their neighbor's land and control their imports, and that this was the only solution to their own demographic and economic troubles. This led to Japan declaring war on China in 1937. The United States knew that China, with no accessibility trade, oil in particular, and the flow of money, Japan would dominate and continue to expand. The Japanese responded to this by refusing to be pushed backward. Tokyo and Washington D.C. negotiated for months at a time but it became increasingly obvious that both sides were immovable. They were on the brink of war. Even with all of the tension, no one really thought that Japan would start the war and attack first. It did seem incredibly inconvenient, as Hawaii and Japan are nearly 4,000 miles apart. America did not expect an attack on their own turf, and as a result the naval base at Pearl Harbor was unprepared. For Japan, The United States’ Pearl Harbor was a sitting duck.

The question of how involved the United States should become in the European war deeply divided the country. On the one hand, President Roosevelt and the so-called "internationalists" claimed that a program of aid to Great Britain and other countries fighting against Germany would make actual U.S. participation in the war unnecessary. On the other side stood those who were called "isolationists," who believed that the president's policies were making it increasingly likely that the country would end up in another disastrous foreign war. This debate was never resolved due to the Japanese aircraft attack on Pearl Harbor. At this point it was clear that, like it or not, the United States would be a full participant in the Second World War.

Just before eight o’clock on the morning of December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating: The Japanese managed to cripple or destroy almost twenty American naval vessels, including eighteen enormous battleships, and nearly 300 airplanes. In addition, dry docks and airfields were depleted. By the time the attack was over, every battleship in Pearl Harbor was destroyed. Almost 2,500 American soldiers and sailors died in the attacks, and another 1,000 were wounded.
On December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed to Congress to declare war on Japan; Congress approved this declaration with just one vote in disagreement. After the attacks on Pearl Harbor, for the first time after years of discussion and debate, the American people were united in their determination to go to war. The Japanese had wanted to prod the United States into an agreement to lift the economic sanctions against them; instead, they had pushed their adversary into a global conflict that ultimately resulted in Japan’s first occupation by a foreign power.
Three days later (December 11, 1941), Japanese allies Germany and Italy declared war against the United States. For the second time, Congress reciprocated. Two years after the start of the conflict with Japan, the United States entered World War II.

After the war had started in Europe in 1939, Americans were separated into who wanted to be included in the war and who wanted to stay out of it. Canada arranged full attack on Britain and war was in the region of Canada. The majority of Americans wanted no part in the war, but President Roosevelt supplied war materials and weapons to the Allies through sale, lease, and loan. More than 50 billion dollars worth of war materials were sent to the Allies within 4 years, including guns, trucks, and other vehicles and material. Draft laws were used in the U.S. to build its army. The first U.S. troops to arrive in Europe was in 1942 but weren’t put into action until about a year later. By 1945 there was about 6 million in the Army. Also women were able to take part through the Women’s Army Corps and WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), which were prompted by Eleanor Roosevelt. Factories converted from everyday appliances to war weapons and supplies in a blink of an eye. Women took the place of men working in war plants when the men went into the war. By 1945 more than 2 million women worked in the war industries. It was then discovered that women could do 8 out of the 10 jobs that men normally did; this encouraged the role of women to start changing.

The United States joined in with Germany, Japan and Italy in War World 2 in 1941. One year before in March the Lend Ease act was passed, it stated that Roosevelt could direct aid to whomever he wanted. This meant that the U.S was no longer neutral. By 1945 it cost us 42 billion dollars. Hitler begin taking over Europe, FDR decided to help aid the British and their troops. The hated rid starting building up, not after Pearl Harbor but before. It started when the Japanese invaded Manchuria on September 1931. China was in the middle of a depression, that’s when the Japanese got a strong foot in. The United States then became close friends with Russia. The Russians began to become angry that Japan was taking over China, since we were close friends with Russia it also made us mad. The Japanese invaded China. This violated the “Kellogg-Briand Pact” that was passed in 1929. They then announced war as national policy. We threatened Japan that if they did not remove themselves from China we would discontinue trading oil with them. Japan decided to stay. We stopped trading oil with them just as we threatened to. Japan eventually had to leave China. Not without a grudge against the United States. The Pearl Harbor bombing was Japan expressing their utter hate rid for us.

Sources Cited:
“Pearl Harbor.” 2012. The History Channel website. Oct 22 2012, 3:34 http://www.history.com/topics/pearl-harbor.