Pearl Harbor

The period prior to the attacks on Pearl Harbor was a time of intense fighting on the frontlines of World War II. The German war machine continued to gain momentum while it devastated everything in its destructive path. Russia and England were desperately trying to hold off the German juggernaut as it made its way through Europe. America's role in the war at this point was to remain neutral and isolated, but in reality its contributions to the Allied powers were growing. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the American government supported the Allies militarily, verbally and financially. The US gave 50 old destroyers to England and gave $7 billion dollars to England in a lend/lease deal and $1 billion dollars to Russia in the same fashion. FDR also gave his "Four Freedoms" speech in which he outlined and espoused the motives behind England's war efforts. FDR's impatience to enter the war was clearly evident. With the gravity of the war escalating and the existence of the free world threatened, FDR searched for a reason to dive into the war efforts directly. With the foreknowledge of the future attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR deliberately withheld this vital information from the general public to become involved in the global war. FDR knew that the US was an isolationist country and that the only way to enter the war was for a direct attack on America to take place. FDR's foreknowledge fed into his desire to join the war.
Contrary to common belief, the ruthless and shocking attacks on Pearl Harbor were no surprise. According to the events going on at that time, an assault by Japan was expected (Document A). The US placed economic sanctions on Japanese goods and was currently giving aid to China despite the fact that the navy department advised the president not to further aggravate the hostile relations between the US and Japan. Furthermore, the war department provided additional information indicating a Japanese …


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