Ch 17: America and the Second World War

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn how the actions of authoritarian, nationalistic rulers in Germany, Italy and Japan drew America into another world war. These easy-to-follow lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

America and the Second World War - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The videos in this chapter are designed to put you on the front lines of World War II and help you understand how the global conflict unfolded in Europe, Africa and the Pacific. You'll also learn about the economic, governmental and social effects of the war in the United States. A key part of the chapter will cover the Holocaust, which culminated in the systematic extermination of 11 million people. Your instructor will also discuss the heavy American casualties in the Pacific, including those that occurred during the Bataan Death March.

At the end of the chapter, you'll learn how the development of the first atomic bomb changed the course of the war as well as the international conferences that decided the future of Europe and Germany. When you've finished watching the videos, you should have a working knowledge of:

  • The key figures and acts of aggression that caused World War II
  • The key developments and events associated with the European, North African and Pacific theaters
  • How the Holocaust unfolded, including anti-Semitism in Germany and Poland
  • How the war affected everyday life in America
  • The Manhattan Project and the use of the first atomic bomb
  • The key conferences of World War II

Video Objective
World War II: The Start of the Second World WarIdentify the causes of World War II.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War IIDescribe the assault on Pearl Harbor, including why the Japanese chose to attack.
The European Theater in World War II: The Eastern Front, Western Front and Fight for North AfricaDiscuss how the war developed in Europe and North Africa.
The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi GermanyExplain what is meant by 'The Holocaust' and Nazi Germany's 'Final Solution.'
The Pacific Ocean Theater of World War II: Japan vs. The AlliesDescribe the key battles that occurred in the Pacific as well as the plight of American prisoners of war.
The United States during World War II: The Home FrontDiscuss the changes that occurred in American government and society during the war.
Domestic Politics during World War II: History and Key FiguresIdentify the major personalities in American politics during the war.
Japanese Internment: Facts and HistorySummarize the Japanese internment during the war.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare during World War IIExplain how the development of the atomic bomb brought the war to an end.
The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: U.S. Diplomacy and International Politics during World War IIDiscuss the two key conferences of World War II.

11 Lessons in Chapter 17: America and the Second World War
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
World War II: The Start of the Second World War

1. World War II: The Start of the Second World War

Learn all about the start of World War II and why the League of Nations could not stop aggression by Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s, which led to the outbreak of this second global conflict.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II

2. The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack against Allied possessions in the Pacific, including the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After decades of conflict between the two nations, the U.S. declared war.

The European Theater in WWII: The Eastern Front, Western Front & Fight for North Africa

3. The European Theater in WWII: The Eastern Front, Western Front & Fight for North Africa

Hitler and Nazi Germany dominated the European fields of battle early in WWII. This lesson is an overview of key military operations between 1939 and 1943 in Europe on both the Eastern and Western fronts.

The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

4. The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

The Holocaust was the persecution and mass murder of as many as 11 million people by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Learn about the people they targeted, the progression of events leading up to the Final Solution and the end of the genocide in this lesson.

The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies

5. The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States entered WWII. Watch this video to learn about some of the key battles, as well as the general nature, of the Pacific theater of the war.

The United States During WWII: The Home Front

6. The United States During WWII: The Home Front

When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, life changed almost overnight for those on the battle front and on the home front. Learn about the war's dramatic and lasting effects on American government, economy and society.

Domestic Politics During World War II: The Election of 1940

7. Domestic Politics During World War II: The Election of 1940

The rest of the world was already fighting World War II, but the United States had a decision to make: should the nation stay out of it or try to save the day? Learn about this decision and more in this lesson.

Domestic Politics During World War II: The War Years (1941-1945)

8. Domestic Politics During World War II: The War Years (1941-1945)

Even during wartime, democracy continues. In this lesson, we'll learn how politics affected President Roosevelt's war policies and about the 1944 election and its implications for the post-war world.

Japanese-American Internment: Facts and History

9. Japanese-American Internment: Facts and History

The attack on Pearl Harbor unleashed a wave of fear and prejudice toward Japanese Americans. In this lesson, we'll learn how the government forced them into internment camps, what life in the camps was like, and how the internment affected the nation.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII

10. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII

As America and its WWII allies considered invading Japan, the Manhattan Project successfully developed an atomic weapon. Its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, precipitated VJ Day, the end of the Pacific war, on August 14, 1945.

The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II

11. The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II

Throughout the course of WWII, leaders of many Allied nations met many times to discuss strategy. Then, near the end of the war, two historic conferences shaped the post-war world.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support