Topic 13: The Second World War and the Americas (1933–1945)

Growing hostilities in Europe and Asia presented challenges to the Americas. Although a policy of isolation was initially followed, America and Canada found themselves involved indirectly and then directly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Although the main theatres of war were in Europe and in Asia, the war had a dramatic impact on both the economy and on social development of the region.

Specifically this unit covers the following which are covered on the pages below:

  • The reaction of the Americas to events in Europe and Asia from 1933 to 1941
  • The involvement of any two countries of the Americas in the war
  • The impact of the war on women and minorities along with the impact of conscription
  • The treatment of Japanese Americans, Japanese Latin Americans and Japanese Canadians
  • The causes and impact of the use of the Atomic bomb against Japan
  • The economic and diplomatic impact of the war on any two countries of the Americas

1. Reactions to events in Europe and Asia, 1933 - 1941

This page looks at the reasons for US isolationism and the reaction of America to events in Europe and Asia. Also Roosevelt's actions with regard to Latin America.Guiding questions:

2. Involvement and participation of the US and Canada

Both Canada and the US were involved in fighting in Europe; Canada from 1940 and the US from 1942. In Asia, Canadian troops were involved in the resistance of Hong Kong. However it was US troops that...

3. Social impact of the Second World War

The Second World War impacted on the role of women, African Americans and minority groups in America. All groups were involved to some degree in the war effort and this led to changes in their lives -...

4. The use of Atomic weapons against Japan

The Second World War finally ended in the Pacific following the US' decision to drop two Atomic bombs on Japan - the first on the city of Hiroshima and the second on the city of Nagasaki. The first explosion...

5. Economic and diplomatic effects of the Second World War

The economic and diplomatic effects of the Second World War.The Second World War had a profound impact on the economy of the United States and on its diplomatic role in the world. Although Canada's role...

6. Treatment of Japanese citizens in the Americas

One of the darker episodes of the Second World War in the Americas is the treatment of Japanese citizens. This page gives ATL on the causes and consequences of the internment of Japanese in America, Canada...

7. The Second World War and the Americas: videos

Here are some suggestions for videos on this topic along with links to other pages that have relevant videos.The Road to War series is excellent for the build up to war.The Road to War: America is on...

8. The Second World War and the Americas: Essay frames and writing exercises

This page contains a variety of essay writing exercises and essay plans for this topic.Task One: Essay planningTo what extent did Roosevelt support an isolationist foreign policy with regard to events...

9. The Second World War and the Americas: Extra resources

On this page you will find resources on this topic that might be useful for students doing further research for IAs or Extended Essays.These books are all very readable and students will find them useful...

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