What Happened After Pearl Harbor

Beyond the 1941 Attack: What Happened After Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941 – the day that will forever be commemorated as the “date which will live in infamy” by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt – the Japanese unexpectedly attacked the United States’ naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Seventy-five years ago, hundreds of Japanese bomber planes targeted the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, plunging America into shock and mourning for the more than 2,000 US military personnel who perished on this infamous date.

This tragic event catalyzed an overwhelming unity of purpose across the nation. In response to this unprovoked aggression, the United States declared war on Japan, marking America’s official entry into World War II and signaling a pivotal shift in the global conflict.

The Shift in United States Policy and Life

Reflecting on what happened after Pearl Harbor, the attack dramatically transformed lives and shifted the course of U.S. foreign policy regarding World War II. In the wake of this pivotal event on December 5, 2014, the once prolonged and weakening debate was conclusively settled, marking a significant change in the nation’s stance. President Roosevelt’s address to a joint session further underscored the impact of Pearl Harbor, altering the global balance of power in a manner reminiscent of the earlier Taranto attack.

This period in history is also vividly remembered through family narratives, capturing the profound adjustments in American life post-Pearl Harbor. The event not only reshaped America’s role on the world stage but, akin to the aftermath of 9/11, led to irreversible changes in American society. The community news and stories from Waikiki students offer a glimpse into the transformed lives and societal shifts that ensued following what happened after Pearl Harbor.

Military and Governmental Responses After December 7

General Marshall, testifying before the Congressional Committee, was asked: Did the President of the United States, in your opinion, have a right to assume that the commands in Hawaii were properly alerted on the morning of December 7?” The General replied: I think he had every right to assume that.”

Only a few hours after the Japanese devastating strike on Pearl Harbor, Japan formally declared war against the United States. The day after Rankin spoke on the House floor. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing relocation.

The Global Implications of the Attack

After Japan’s surprise attack and the declaration of war on the United States by Germany and the European Axis powers within a week, the Atlantic and Pacific wars became a truly world war.

The term was first applied in 1949 to the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Sates, generally came to be regarded as the only two superpower, and confronted each other in the cold war.

The Cold War Era

It pitted a fascist coalition striving for world supremacy-the Axis trio of Germany, Japan and Italy-against an unlikely Grand Alliance of four great powers, who united despite their incompatible ideologies-Communism in Soviet Union and Capitalist Britain, France and the United States.

In 1780 John Adams told the French foreign minister, comte de Vergennes, that the “United States of America are a great and powerful people, whatever European statesmen may think of them.”

The Economic Recovery and International Relations

When Germany and Japan were defeated in 1945, American policymakers were careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past in constructing a new post-war order.

British foreign policy in the nineteenth century aimed at maintaining a network of free trade and ensuring the continuance of a stable balance of power on the European continent.

Japan’s Economic Strategy and International Relations 

A shrewed trade policy (middlemanship) gave Japan larger shares in many Western markets, an imbalance that caused some tensions with the U.S. According to Washington Post “Last year, Japanese investments in the United States hit a record $424 billion, directly supporting more than 860,000 American jobs and making Japan the No. 1 international job creator in the United States.” The U.S.-Japan partnership continues to bloom which helps both countries to grow economically.