Was the U.S. right to enter into WWII?Was the U.S. right to enter into WWII? If so, when should the U.S. have gotten involved? If not, could the U.S. have done anything to prevent it?

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We certainly should have gotten involved in World War II, as we were one of the decisive reasons Germany was defeated, and the reason Japan was defeated.  It was justified, no doubt in my mind.

It was not politically possible, though, for Franklin Delano Roosevelt to get us involved in World War II any earlier than he did.  The country was just coming out of the Great Depression, and was deeply isolationist.  If he had taken us to war in 1939 when Hitler attacked Poland, he may well have lost re-election in 1940.  Americans felt it was a European war and wanted to sit this one out if possible.

It would have been easier to stop Hitler if we had gotten involved in the war earlier, but there was nothing we could have done to prevent the war.  Hitler was determined to have a European empire and we were not in a position to do much about it.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While I normally do not embrace war as an option because of its strengthening of the state over the lives of the individual, I do believe that the Second World War necessitated United States entry.  Striking after the bombing of Pearl Harbor seemed to be an appropriate response.  I think that I would have wished for sooner U.S. entry in light of what was happening in Europe and the humanitarian violations being committed against Jewish individuals as well as others at the hands of the European Fascists.  The period in which the United States remained isolationist, the building of prison/ work/ death camps and the desire to eliminate the Jewish presence in Europe were strong enough reasons to enter the war sooner.  I understand that Americans were retreating in their isolation, but I still believe that the conditions demanded intervention.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The US had no choice but to enter WWII when it did.  Once the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, there was no way that the US could stand by and allow that to happen without a response.

In hindsight, the US should probably have gotten involved against Germany earlier.  We know now that the Nazis were a totally evil regime.  But at the time, we only knew that they were somewhat antisemitic, but so were a lot of countries back then.

I do not think that the US could have gotten involved any earlier, though, because US public opinion was so clearly against getting involved in another war that was none of our business.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Not only was the US right to enter World War II, we should have entered much sooner. We were selfish to try to stay out of it and quietly stay in Britain's corner while Hitler took a joyride through Europe. History could have been very different if we had not waited for Japan, and we might not have been attacked at all.
atyourservice | Student

I believe the u.s.a was right to join, they had been to out of it and kept to themselves yet despite their isolationist beliefs they were still attacked on their own land/base they had to defend themselves somehow, japan had no right to provoke the u.s.a like that especially when they were not involved.

I don't think the u.s.a should have joined earlier like some people do, as i do not like the idea of war plus many of the citizens were against, sure it might have been seen as selfish for them not to join earlier on but imagine how many more lives would have been lost, also if they had joined earlier their army would have had many more casualties and they wouldn't have been as strong of an enemy, seeing as the reason they won was because the u.s.a unlike the other European countries still had a large army and strong weapons which weren't wasted, i believe they joined at the right time and if they had done it earlier they might not have won, and it would have been a much harder battle.

krishna-agrawala | Student

The aims and actions of Hitler, which can be directly held responsible for the World War II, as well as highly inhuman and deplorable things like were a threat to the peace, well being and freedom of almost entire humanity. Unfortunately, Hitler, achieved considerable success in his evil designs.

Defeating Hitler in these evil designs, in which people like Mussolini of Italy and Stalin of Russia were quite willing to cooperate, was very essential. Please note that Russia did have a no war pact with Germany, and entered the war against Germany on June 22, 1941, nearly 21 months after start of the war, when Germany invaded it. Under these condition it would have been very difficult to defeat Hitler and his other possible supporting countries, without the support of USA.

USA had a decisive effect on the outcome of the war because of its economic and military power. The geographical location of USA, which kept it away from direct attack on its soil except for the Pearl Harbour Bombing, also helped. It is not inconceivable that, without support of USA , the allied forces may have failed to stop Hitler. Also it is possible that with successes of Hitler, more countries may have agreed to actively followed the approach of Hitler.

USA, initially supported the efforts of Allied countries only through supply of war material, and joined directly on Pearl Harbour Bombing by Japan. Without this initial indirect support, the initial success of Germany could have been much more spectacular, enabling it to gain support of many of the countries which joined the Allied side. Thus no support from USA could have been disastrous.

If USA gad joind the war actively from the begining, perhaps the successees and progress of Hitler could have been checked earlier, cutting dwn the total duration as well as the damages of world War II.