About This Chapter
World War II - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Learn about the invasions that started World War II and the reasons the U.S. became involved in this chapter on world history. You'll be introduced to the major events that took place during the war and understand how it affected the U.S. home front. The professional instructors who teach these lessons will guide you through wartime events, post-war politics and the lasting effects of World War II. At the end of this chapter you should be familiar with:
- Hitler's invasion of Poland and Japan's invasion of China
- The attack on Pearl Harbor
- Anti-Semitism and genocide in Nazi Germany
- Pacific Ocean Theater
- D-Day Invasion
- Counter-culture of post-war America
|World War II: The Start of the Second World War||Introduces the invasions that started World War II and the world leaders who were involved. Describes the declarations of war.|
|The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II||Details Japan's aggressive efforts prior to the war and the signs warning of an attack on the U.S. Depicts the events of December 7, 1941.|
|The European Theater in World War II: The Eastern Front, Western Front and Fight for North Africa||Summarizes major military operations in Europe during the war. Discusses the allied invasions and strategies of the Axis powers and the Allies.|
|The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany||Lays out who was targeted during the Holocaust and Hitler's reasons for it. Examines events at Auschwitz and how the Holocaust ended.|
|The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies||Depicts key battles that took place in the Pacific Theater. Explains strategies on each side and details events leading up to the planned invasion of Japan by the Allies.|
|The United States During WWII: The Home Front||Looks at how the American government and economy was impacted by the war. Portrays social and lifestyle changes that took place in the U.S. while the country was at war.|
|The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany||Renders the events of Operation Overlord and the liberation of France. Depicts the Battle of the Bulge and VE Day.|
|Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII||Describes the Manhattan Project, Little Boy and Fat Man. Details the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the corresponding surrender by Japan.|
|Alliances and Expansions During World War II||Highlights the various countries that formed alliances during the war. Reviews the expansions that took place as a result of invasions.|
|The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II||Portrays the two critical conferences that took place near the end of the war. Examines how these conferences shaped post-war politics and international relations.|
|Post-War American Politics: Foreign & Domestic Policy||Details foreign policy strategies developed after the war. Examines the relationship between foreign and domestic policy.|
|Post-War American Life: Culture of the late 1940s & 1950s||Reviews cultural trends that emerged in the 1940s and 1950s. Discusses the baby boom, anti-Communism and musical influences of the era.|
|The Counter-Culture of Post-War America||Looks at the groups and individuals who rejected societal norms after the war. Details their beliefs and some of the stereotypes connected to these groups.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany
Operation Overlord, the invasion of Nazi-occupied Western Europe, began with the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, with Hitler's last stand taking place at the Battle of the Bulge. Learn about these and other events that contributed to the end of Nazi Germany.
8. 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.
9. Alliances and Expansions During World War II
In this lesson, we will examine the various alliances and territorial expansions surrounding the Second World War. We will see how these led to the outbreak of war and place them in historical context.
10. 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.
11. Post-War American Politics: Foreign & Domestic Policy
In this lesson, we will learn about American politics in the post-war era. We will highlight the broad contours of foreign and domestic policies, and learn how Americans planned to deal with the challenges of an increasingly complex world.
12. Post-War American Life: Culture of the late 1940s & 1950s
In this lesson, we will explore American postwar culture. We will learn what life was like throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s by highlighting important cultural trends.
13. The Counter-Culture of Post-War America
In this lesson we will explore the counter-culture of the postwar era. We will examine the groups and individuals who defied the conventions of mainstream society.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 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.
Other chapters within the World History: High School course
- Early World Civilizations
- Early Near East Civilizations
- Early Chinese Civilization
- Early Indian Civilization
- History of the Ancient Greeks
- History of The Roman Republic
- History of the Fall of Rome
- The Rise of Christianity
- Timeline of the Early Middle Ages
- The Medieval Warm Period
- Timeline of the High Middle Ages
- Eurasia and the Great Dynastic Empires
- The Late Middle Ages
- History of The European Renaissance
- The Reformation Across Europe
- The Age of Exploration
- The Enlightenment & World Revolutions
- World War I
- Between the World Wars
- Europe, Asia, the Middle East & Africa Post-War
- The Cold War
- Latin America Since 1900
- The 21st Century
- Teaching Resources for World History