Enduring Understandings

  • Western democracies responded to Axis aggression with appeasement until the Nazi invasion of Poland.
  • Early in World War II, Axis forces overran most of Europe and the Pacific, then the tide began to turn in favor of the Allies.
  • Neutral at first, the United States joined the Allies after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
  • The Nazis carried out a plan to exterminate European Jews, now known as the Holocaust.
  • After the failed Nazi siege of Stalingrad and the D-Day landings at Normandy, Allied troops closed in on Germany.
  • The dropping of atomic bombs on Japan ended the war, but the decision was controversial.
Video screen shot with a play button of an older man and a young boy walking on the street, talking.

Watch the My Story Video

to witness an interview with a survivor of the bombing of Britain.


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments