A Terrifying Legacy | A Powder Keg in Europe | Alliances Lead to World War
The Conflict Widens | The Great War | New Opportunities in Black America
A Separate Peace | America Enters the Great War | The Doughboys
Allied Victory | Social Darwinism | The Rise of Hitler | The Holocaust
Germany Attempts to Dominate Europe | The Empire of the Rising Sun
America Responds | Global Conflict | Japanese Internment Camps
The Manhattan Project | Hiroshima and Nagasaki | Postwar
America tried to avoid becoming part of World War II, but it clearly had a preference. President Franklin Roosevelt convinced Congress to lend warships and other weapons to Great Britain. Many Americans opposed the President. These “isolationists” believed that Americans should not be involved in a war fought in Europe. This attitude changed when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
The Japanese and the Germans underestimated the determination of the American people. Factories began operating like never before. Americans worked double-shifts to create war materials. Movies and popular music focused the American people on the war effort. The American people were able to out-produce the combined German and Japanese war industries.
The war had many unexpected consequences. Virtually every
young man was fighting overseas, and factories needed workers to supply
the soldiers. Women left their homes and joined the workforce for the
first time. The military remained segregated during the war, but black
soldiers served the nation with bravery and courage. The valor and heroism
of these patriots were a factor in the eventual desegregation of the armed
forces after the war, and played a key role in the beginning of the American
Civil Rights movement. Finally, the government provided low cost loans
to the soldiers when they returned home from the war. Many impoverished
Americans had the opportunity to attend college and start businesses.
The war offered new opportunities for many Americans for the first time
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