Social Studies - 2019-20

USII.7b - World War II Major Events & The Holocaust

The student will apply social science skills to understand the major causes and effects of American involvement in World War II by

b) locating and describing the major events and turning points of the war in Europe and the Pacific;

Adopted: 2015


The decision for the United States to participate in WWII, and the ultimate participation of the United States in WWII was a transformative event for the nation and its role in the world.

What does it mean to be a global leader?

How have foreign affairs shaped or influenced modern American society?


Despite initial Axis success in both Europe and the Pacific, the Allies persevered and ultimately defeated Germany and Japan.

The Holocaust is an example of prejudice, discrimination, and genocide taken to the extreme.


Major events and turning points of World War II

 Germany invaded Poland, setting off war in Europe. The Soviet Union also invaded Poland and the Baltic nations.

 Germany invaded France and captured Paris.

 Germany bombed London, and the Battle of Britain began.

 The United States gave Britain war supplies and old naval warships in return for military bases in Bermuda and the Caribbean (Lend-Lease).

 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

 After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States.

 The United States declared war on Japan and Germany.

 The United States was victorious over Japan in the Battle of Midway. This victory was the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union defeated Germany at Stalingrad, marking the turning point of the war in Eastern Europe.

 American and other Allied troops landed in Normandy, France, on D-Day to begin the liberation of Western Europe.

 The United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) in 1945, forcing Japan to surrender and ending World War II.

The Holocaust

 Anti-Semitism

 Aryan supremacy

 Systematic attempt to rid Europe of all Jews

 Tactics:

o Boycott of Jewish stores

o Discriminatory laws

o Segregation

o Ghettos

o Imprisonment and killing of Jews and others in concentration camps and death camps

 Liberation by Allied forces of Jews and others who survived in concentration camps


Updated: Jul 02, 2019