U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
Bureau of Public Affairs
Office of the Historian
Timeline of U.S. Diplomatic History


Diplomacy and the Road to Another War

By the late 1930s, the United States continued its efforts to stay out of the wars in Europe and Asia. As the failure of disarmament, the peace movement, and the doctrine of appeasement became clear, Congress passed a series of neutrality acts designed to prevent the United States from being drawn into the widespread international conflict that the U.S. Government believed to be inevitable. In 1940, U.S. policy slowly began to shift from neutrality to non-belligerency by providing aid to the nations at war with the Axis Powers--Germany, Italy and Japan. In response to the growing emergency, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called upon the American people to prepare for war. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval installation at Pearl Harbor, and the United States formally entered the Second World War. Meetings between those powers allied in the war against the Axis powers provided the framework for the postwar world. Two major issues would become of major importance to postwar foreign policy, the prevention of another global conflict and the influence of nuclear weapons on the international balance of power.

Key Issues and Events

  • Japan, China, the United States and the Road to Pearl Harbor, 1937-41
  • The Lima Pact, 1938
  • Mexican expropriation of foreign oil, 1938
  • American Isolationism in the 1930s
  • Henry Luce and 20th Century U.S. Internationalism
  • The Atlantic Conference & Charter, 1941
  • Lend-Lease, 1940/1941-1945
  • US Interests and the Middle East, 1941-1945
  • US-Soviet Alliance, 1941-1945
  • Repeal of Chinese Exclusion Act, 1943
  • Wartime Conferences Overview, 1941-45
  • The Casablanca Conference, 1943
  • The Cairo Conference, 1943
  • The Teheran Conference, 1941
  • Bretton Woods Conference, 1944
  • The Yalta Conference, 1945
  • The Potsdam Conference, 1945
  • The Formation of the United Nations, 1945

    U.S. Department of State
    USA.govU.S. Department of StateWhat's New  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
    The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
    About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information