December 7, 1941. A date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Churchill had begged Roosevelt to enter the war against the Axis (Japan, Germany, Italy) for months, but without casus belli, the American President refused. The US had a tradition of “non-interventionism” in European affairs, and its Congress had passed Neutrality Acts in the 1930s to prevent US entanglement in the power politics of the old world that might lead to war. The attack on Pearl Harbor marked a violent end to this era, and the beginning of America’s rise to the centre of world power.