Discuss the causes of the Second World War, why and how the U.S. got into the war, the general course of the war, and the war’s impact on the U.S. at home and on U.S. foreign policy.
The Second World War started in the context of the growing confrontation between Germany and its allies, on the one hand, and winners in the First World War, including Great Britain, France, and the US. Germany and its allies wanted to regain the leading position after their defeat in the First World War. The deep economic problems forced leaders of many countries to enhance militarization since the militarization created new jobs and solved partially economic problems. In such a situation, Germany invested abundantly into its militarization and conducted aggressive foreign policy occupying neighboring smaller states, until its intervention into Poland provoked the beginning of the Second World War. Japan also conducted expansionist foreign policy occupying China and other territories of Asia and attacking the US at Pearl Harbor, which became the turning point for the US to enter into the war because the attack on Pearl Harbor forced the US to enter the war against Japan and, therefore, Germany because they were allies. The US defeated Japan successfully and pushed them back from the US borders conducting active military operations in the Asia-Pacific region on Pacific islands mainly. In 1944, the US supported the opening of the Western front that turned out to be crucial for the defeat of Germany, which proved to be unable to struggle on two fronts, against the allies on the West and the USSR on the East. The Second World War made the US one of the two superpowers and boosted the US economy creating new jobs and developing the American export, while the post-war recovery of Europe contributed to large export of American goods to Europe as well as large borrowings of European countries from the US.