1930s American Foreign Policy Analysis

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Because of the extreme economic struggle of the Great Depression during the 1930s, the United States tried its hardest to stay out of the battles and tensions of World War II. Many Americans were very concerned about the internal issues happening rather than the rising dangers and crumbling democracies around them as the war unfolded. However, as the conditions continued to worsen and even the strongest of countries began to fall, attention finally turned towards the issue of foreign affairs The American foreign policy changed throughout the early to mid twentieth century as Americans acknowledged the rising threat of fascism in Europe and the endangerment of American democracy, ending the ideal of isolationism and began the era of interventionism. …show more content…
Because of these debts, the economy diminished, allowing for Adolf Hitler to rise as dictator and begin his infamous raids and attacks. However, most of Europe did not react to these attacks, and the United States remained in a state of isolationism, dealing with their own economic crisis and fearing another war. They chose to remain grounded to focus on the domestic issues and calm their imperialistic desires, as well as continue to better the booming market and economy of the 1920s. Many Americans opposed the Treaty of Versailles. Warren Harding even claimed that the League of Nations, which was proposed by Woodrow Wilson, would be a “deadly blow to our constitutional integrity” (Document A), and Charles Evans Hughes, the Secretary of State, called for the immediate limitation of armament production (Document B). The sense of isolationism was extremely strong during the 1920s, but as the overexpansion of credit and Europe’s reliance on American investments caused the economy to crash, Americans began to doubt the benefits of the ideology. As Hitler’s power began to rise during the 30s, many Americans still believed that they could avoid the issue through a policy of appeasement (Document G), though it failed and both Britain and France …show more content…
During the 1940 election, both Republicans and Democrats supported the development of the air force and the navy while still withholding the Monroe Doctrine (Document E). The Americans were not completely supportive of the idea of getting involved with the war, but they did believe that they should become militarily prepared in case of conflict. The Destroyer Deal, accepted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940 but done without Congress’ permission (Document F), exchanged 50 destroyer vessels with the British in exchange for the British bases in North America. This deal, as well as the Cash and Carry Policy and the Lend-Lease Act, showed that, although the United States was not officially involved in the war effort, they were indirectly supporting the Allies forces.
The event that finally lead to the United States’ declaration of war was the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Nothing, even the Nanking Massacre, in which the Japanese sexually assaulted tens of thousands of women and murdered hundreds of thousands of people, set off the Americans enough to intervene (Document D). The bombing directly affected the Americans and immediately, everyone agreed that intervention was finally necessary. It was no surprise; with the economic and political influence that the United States held on the world stage,

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