Temple Hills, Maryland
Temple Hills is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Prince George's County, United States. Temple Hills borders the adjacent communities of Hillcrest Heights, Marlow Heights, Camp Springs, Oxon Hill; as of the 2010 census it had a population of 7,852. The community was named after Dr. Edward Temple, who in the 1860s lived in a home beside Henson Creek known as Moor Park. Within the area are numerous garden apartments and single family communities constructed from the 1950s through 1970s; the adjacent, unincorporated communities of Hillcrest Heights and Marlow Heights, which are home to both the Iverson Mall & Marlow Heights Shopping Center, which both serve the community of Temple Hills, are assigned Temple Hills addresses and zipcodes. Rosecroft Raceway is nearby in Oxon Hill. There are large public indoor and outdoor swimming pools operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the private Temple Hills Swim Club; the area is convenient to the Capital Beltway, the Metrorail Green Line, Andrews Air Force Base, the U.
S. Census Bureau, Capitol Hill. Since the clogged interstate Woodrow Wilson Bridge was widened in 2008, commuter access to Northern Virginia's booming job market has improved. Temple Hills is located at 38°48′38″N 76°56′47″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.4 square miles, all of it land. At the 2000 census, there were 7,792 people, 3,156 households and 1,937 families residing in the CDP; the population density was 5,756.1 per square mile. There were 3,388 housing units at an average density of 2,502.8/sq mi. The racial makeup of the CDP was 9.32% White, 85.01% African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 2.37% from other races, 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.39% of the population. There were 3,156 households of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.8% were married couples living together, 27.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.6% were non-families.
32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.11. Age distribution was 29.6% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 37.0% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, 4.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.2 males. The median household income was $44,868 and the median family income was $49,318. Males had a median income of $35,192 compared with $32,500 for females; the per capita income for the CDP was $21,939. About 9.9% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.4% of those under age 18 and 2.9% of those age 65 or over. Prince George's County Police Department District 4 Station in Glassmanor CDP, with an Oxon Hill postal address, serves the community; the United States Postal Service operates the Temple Hills Post Office in the Marlow Heights CDP, with a Temple Hills postal address.
It operates the Anacostia Carrier Annex in the Hillcrest Heights CDP with a Temple Hills postal address. The CDP is served by the Prince George's County Public Schools district. Samuel Chase and J. Frank Dent elementaries serve sections of the CDP. All residents of the CDP are zoned to Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Crossland High School. Crossland High has a Temple Hills postal address. Mark Davis, radio talk show host and columnist, now in Dallas-Ft. Worth, grew up in Temple Hills Mike Easton, bantamweight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship Peter Bergman, actor on The Young and the Restless William T. Randall, a Negro League baseball player Frank Small, Jr. member of U. S. House of Representatives Maryland's 5th District, 1953-1955, born in Temple Hills in 1896 Julian Peterson, linebacker for the Detroit Lions Michael A. Jackson, former sheriff Marlow Heights 60s and 70s
The Potomac River is located within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and flows from the Potomac Highlands into the Chesapeake Bay. The river is 405 miles long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles. In terms of area, this makes the Potomac River the fourth largest river along the Atlantic coast of the United States and the 21st largest in the United States. Over 5 million people live within the Potomac watershed; the river forms part of the borders between Maryland and Washington, D. C. on the left descending bank and West Virginia and Virginia on the river's right descending bank. The majority of the lower Potomac River is part of Maryland. Exceptions include a small tidal portion within the District of Columbia, the border with Virginia being delineated from "point to point". Except for a small portion of its headwaters in West Virginia, the North Branch Potomac River is considered part of Maryland to the low water mark on the opposite bank; the South Branch Potomac River lies within the state of West Virginia except for its headwaters, which lie in Virginia.
The Potomac River runs 405 miles from Fairfax Stone Historical Monument State Park in West Virginia on the Allegheny Plateau to Point Lookout and drains 14,679 square miles. The length of the river from the junction of its North and South Branches to Point Lookout is 302 miles; the average daily flow during the water years 1931-2018 was 11,498 cubic feet /s. The highest average daily flow recorded on the Potomac at Little Falls, was in March 1936 when it reached 426,000 cubic feet /s; the lowest average daily flow recorded at the same location was 601.0 cubic feet /s in September 1966 The highest crest of the Potomac registered at Little Falls was 28.10 ft, on March 19, 1936. The river has two sources; the source of the North Branch is at the Fairfax Stone located at the junction of Grant and Preston counties in West Virginia. The source of the South Branch is located near Hightown in northern Highland Virginia; the river's two branches converge just east of Green Spring in Hampshire County, West Virginia, to form the Potomac.
As it flows from its headwaters down to the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac traverses five geological provinces: the Appalachian Plateau, the Ridge and Valley, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont Plateau, the Atlantic coastal plain. Once the Potomac drops from the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line at Little Falls, tides further influence the river as it passes through Washington, D. C. and beyond. Salinity in the Potomac River Estuary increases thereafter with distance downstream; the estuary widens, reaching 11 statute miles wide at its mouth, between Point Lookout and Smith Point, before flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. "Potomac" is a European spelling of Patawomeck, the Algonquian name of a Native American village on its southern bank. Native Americans had different names for different parts of the river, calling the river above Great Falls Cohongarooton, meaning "honking geese" and "Patawomke" below the Falls, meaning "river of swans"; the spelling of the name has taken many forms over the years from "Patawomeck" to "Patomake", "Patowmack", numerous other variations in the 18th century and now "Potomac".
The river's name was decided upon as "Potomac" by the Board on Geographic Names in 1931. The river itself is at least 3.5 million years old extending back ten to twenty million years before present when the Atlantic Ocean lowered and exposed coastal sediments along the fall line. This included the area at Great Falls, which eroded into its present form during recent glaciation periods; the Potomac River brings together a variety of cultures throughout the watershed from the coal miners of upstream West Virginia to the urban residents of the nation's capital and, along the lower Potomac, the watermen of Virginia's Northern Neck. Being situated in an area rich in American history and American heritage has led to the Potomac being nicknamed "the Nation's River." George Washington, the first President of the United States, was born in, spent most of his life within, the Potomac basin. All of Washington, D. C. the nation's capital city lies within the watershed. The 1859 siege of Harper's Ferry at the river's confluence with the Shenandoah was a precursor to numerous epic battles of the American Civil War in and around the Potomac and its tributaries, such as the 1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff and the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown.
General Robert E. Lee crossed the river, thereby invading the North and threatening Washington, D. C. twice in campaigns climaxing in the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. Confederate General Jubal Early crossed the river in July 1864 on his attempted raid on the nation's capital; the river not only divided the Union from the Confederacy, but gave name to the Union's largest army, the Army of the Potomac. The Patowmack Canal was intended by George Washington to connect the Tidewater region near Georgetown with Cumberland, Maryland. Started in 1785 on the Virginia side of the river, it was not completed until 1802. Financial troubles led to the closure of the canal in 1830; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal operated along the banks of the Potomac in Maryland from 1831 to 1924 and connected Cumberland to Washington, D. C; this allowed freight to be transported around the rapids known as the
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi
Fort Washington Park
Fort Washington, located near the community of Fort Washington, was for many decades the only defensive fort protecting Washington D. C; the original fort, overlooking the Potomac River, was completed in 1809, was begun as Fort Warburton, but renamed in 1808. During the War of 1812, the fort was destroyed by its own garrison during a British advance; the current historic fort—maintained by the National Park Service—was constructed in 1824. It is a stone structure with a good cannon shot down the Potomac River; the fort was extensively remodeled in the 1890s. The Fort was turned over to the U. S. Department of the Interior in 1946 after its last military personnel departed; the expansive grounds of the present Fort Washington Park, with its extensive hiking/bicycle paths and river view, are a scenic venue for picnicking and outdoor recreation. Historical re-enactments are held periodically at the Fort, there is a small museum. In 2006, repairs were done to shore up the crumbling outer wall, in preparation for the 200th anniversary.
The Fort Washington Light, located below the fort, was established in 1857. The current tower, standing 28 feet tall, was constructed in 1882. Native Americans of the Piscataway tribe had long lived in the area where Piscataway Creek meets the Potomac River in southern Maryland and understood the defensive value of the promontory above the river there; when Governor Leonard Calvert first explored the area in 1634, he "found the surrounding heights covered with Indians, to the number of about five hundred, in hostile array." After securing peace with the Piscataway, in 1645 an act for the defense of the province established a garrison of 100 men at the same site at the mouth of Piscataway creek. In 1661, Edward Digges, former Colonial Governor of Virginia established The Manor of Warburton on 1200 acres bounded by Piscataway Creek, the Potomac River and Swan Creek, his heirs continued to live on the property throughout the Colonial period. When George Washington built Mount Vernon, it was directly across the river from Warburton Manor.
Washington would visit with the Digges family, or pass through Warburton after crossing the river on his way to Upper Marlboro or Annapolis, Maryland. Through these visits, from his vantage point at Mount Vernon, Washington became familiar with the Warburton location and came to understand its defensive advantages on the Potomac River. In 1794, as President, he directed Secretary of War Henry Knox to construct a fortification on the site, with a budget not to exceed $3,000; the money authorized was instead spent trying to construct a fort at Jones Point, on the Virginia side of the river. In 1798 Washington again urged that a fort be built at Digges Point. In 1805, when Congress was contemplating a second coastal fortification system, the Secretary of War directed Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Williams to evaluate Digges Point for a "circular battery, say of twelve cannon." Captain George Bomford was assigned to the work and the plans of Fort Madison at Annapolis were used for the Potomac fort.
It was soon discovered. Colonel Williams directed Captain Bomford to lay out the work again but on a reduced scale; the barracks was shifted to one wing shortened to accommodate the new design. Work commenced on April 14, 1808 and was completed on December 1, 1809, it was anticipated that 120 artillerymen would be assigned to the post as a wartime garrison and gunboats from the Navy Yard would support the fort. Captain Bomford described the fort as "an enclosed work of masonry comprehending a semi elliptical face with a circular flank on the side next to the Potomac." There were quarters for two companies and a total of 15 cannon. On the bluff above the fort, a masonry tower could house six additional cannons. Captain Bomford reported "Fort Washington was an attempt to adopt a standardized plan to an unsuitable site, it violated a fundamental rule in the art of fortifications—the fort must suit its site." When completed, it was the only fortification on the Potomac River. Perpendicular earthen walls stood 14 feet above the bottom of the ditch that surrounded the river side of the fort.
A tower facing the river contained six cannon. Although it mounted twelve or fifteen guns which commanded the river below its position, the American Brigadier General William H. Winder, commanding the military district around Washington, feared that a determined naval force could blast its way past the fort, it would have Washington at its mercy. A survey the previous year noted that the fort blockhouse was only able to resist musket fire, could be destroyed by a cannon as small as a twelve-pounder, its garrison consisted of 49 men under Captain Samuel T. Dyson, of the United States Army's Corps of Artillery, elements of the U. S. 9th and 12th Infantry Regiments. On June 18, 1812, in response to British impressment of American sailors and other grievances, the United States declared war on the United Kingdom. At the time, Britain was at war with Napoleonic France and, with their fleet thus engaged, there was little activity along or against the American coasts. A British squadron did make an attempt to ascend the Potomac in July 1813, but turned back after meeting some resistance from militia and encountering treacherous shoals.
As concern for the security of Washington rose, Major Pierre L'Enfant was sent to evaluate the fort and reported "the whole original design was bad and it is impossible to make a perfect work of it by any alterations." The Secretary of the Navy ordered an additional water battery of 9 guns to be built and manned by seamen under Lieutenant Decius Wadsworth. At this time, the name
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy is a statutory officer and the head of the Department of the Navy, a military department within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Secretary of the Navy must be a civilian by law, at least 5 years removed from active military service; the Secretary is appointed by the President and requires confirmation by a majority vote of the Senate. The Secretary of the Navy was, from its creation in 1798, a member of the President's Cabinet until 1949, when the Secretary of the Navy was by amendments to the National Security Act of 1947 made subordinate to the Secretary of Defense; the Department of the Navy consists of two Uniformed Services: the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. The Secretary of the Navy is responsible for, has statutory authority to "conduct all the affairs of the Department of the Navy", i.e. as its chief executive officer, subject to the limits of the law, the directions of the President and the Secretary of Defense.
In effect, all authority within the Navy and Marine Corps, unless exempted by law, is derivative of the authority vested in the Secretary of the Navy. Enumerated responsibilities of the SECNAV in the before-mentioned section are: recruiting, supplying, training and demobilizing; the Secretary oversees the construction and repair of naval ships and facilities. SECNAV is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the President or the Secretary of Defense; the Secretary of the Navy is a member of the Defense Acquisition Board, chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Logistics. Furthermore, the Secretary has several statutory responsibilities under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with respect to the administration of the military justice system for the Navy & the Marine Corps, including the authority to convene general courts-martial and to commute sentences.
The principal military advisers to the SECNAV are the two service chiefs of the naval services: for matters regarding the Navy the Chief of Naval Operations, for matters regarding the Marine Corps the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The CNO and the Commandant act as the principal executive agents of the SECNAV within their respective services to implement the orders of the Secretary; the United States Navy Regulations is the principal regulatory document of the Department of the Navy, any changes to it can only be approved by the Secretary of the Navy. Whenever the United States Coast Guard operates as a service within the Department of the Navy, the Secretary of the Navy has the same powers and duties with respect to the Coast Guard as the Secretary of Homeland Security when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Department of the Navy; the Office of the Secretary of the Navy known within DoD as the Navy Secretariat or just as the Secretariat in a DoN setting, is the immediate headquarters staff that supports the Secretary in discharging his duties.
The principal officials of the Secretariat include the Under Secretary of the Navy, the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy, the General Counsel of the Department of the Navy, the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, the Naval Inspector General, the Chief of Legislative Affairs, the Chief of Naval Research. The Office of the Secretary of the Navy has sole responsibility within the Department of the Navy for acquisition, auditing and information management, legislative affairs, public affairs and development; the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps have their own separate staffs, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters Marine Corps. Military awards of the United States Department of the Navy Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards Stephen Mallory, the only Secretary of the Navy of the Confederate States of America Official website
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo