The isolationism of the Monroe Doctrine, reaffirmed by simple-minded Neutrality Acts in the 1930s, became obsolete on 7 December 1941 when 353 Japanese carrier-borne aircraft made a surprise attack on America’s Pacific base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Congress declared war on Japan the following day; Germany and Italy, as Japan’s allies, declared war on the United States on 11 December. America’s history since then has been one of increasingly intricate global involvement and fluctuating national confidence.
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