The most commonly accepted idea about World War II is that the United States entered the war because of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The truth is that the United States had promised to remain neutral throughout the war, specifically shown with the passing of the Acts of Neutrality in the mid-1930s. President Roosevelt however, was strongly against these acts and believed that the United States should not remain neutral. He also believed in helping the allied powers, those who were allies of the United States, during this time. His staff strongly urged him to put his focus on the United States and the betterment of his country, rather than focusing on what was occurring on another continent. However, Roosevelt knew that there was too much of a global issue to ignore. Roosevelt offered an ear to Prime Minister Churchill whenever he needed, and the two talked constantly about the war and how to proceed forward. While the United States passed the last Neutrality Act, Churchill and Roosevelt were talking about the United States Navy learning sonar and the possibility of the United States transporting several ships to the British for British use. The objective of this paper is to show that President Roosevelt always intended to go to war. Through the analysis of outside sources, as well as letters from Roosevelt to Churchill, the paper will show that the reason the United States went to war was not, in fact, due to Pearl Harbor, but because Roosevelt knew the United States could not remain neutral and was going to be involved in World War II.
Alexandra Rutkowski is a double major in History and Accounting. After graduation, she intends to find an accounting job before seeking a job that can help her put the skills she possesses for the betterment of others.