Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933. Hitler believed that pure-blooded Germans were descendants of an ancient Aryan race. This “master race,” according to Hitler, was destined to rule over other groups. To create “living space” for his master race, Hitler began invading other European nations. After initially appeasing Hitler’s aggressive actions, Britain and France finally declared war on Germany following the German invasion in Poland in 1939. This marked the start of World War II in Europe.
The United States did not join the Allied side in World War II until 1941. In response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, the United States declared war on Japan. Many Americans became fearful of potential Japanese attacks on the West Coast. The U.S. government believed Japanese Americans might be loyal to Japan in the event of a Japanese invasion. As a result, Japanese Americans on the West Coast were forced to leave their homes and businesses and move to internment camps. About 120,000 Japanese Americans, many of whom were U.S. citizens, were sent to internment camps.
The decades following World War II were a time of economic expansion and growth. The GI Bill provided funds for veterans to go to college and obtain low-interest housing loans. Over one million veterans used the GI Bill to pursue higher education. A growing economy and greater personal wealth also helped increase the birthrate, causing a baby boom in the 1950s. With growing incomes and families, many Americans began moving from cities to suburbs.
Ohio's New Learning Standards: K-12 Social Studies
High School American History
Content Statement 22: The United States mobilization of its economic and military resources during World War II brought significant changes to American society.
Content Statement 29: The postwar economic boom, greatly affected by advances in science, produced epic changes in American life