Dbq: Foreign Policy

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During the early to mid-twentieth century, the United States entered a period of deep isolationism in response to the policies of foreign countries. American foreign policy consisted of two goals, isolationism and neutrality, however, the countries views changed during the time period of 1930-1941 in response to the Great Depression, attempted neutralities with foreign countries, dictatorships, and attacks from other countries. In the very beginning of the 1930s, the United States was faced with a major crisis, the Great Depression. This low period was a time that America was in a severe economic decline which affected their relationships with other countries. In response to this, many nations came together at the London Conference to develop a worldwide solution to the Great Depression and how to pay back their massive debts which had accumulated during WWI, since they all agreed they could not pay them. However, Roosevelt wanted America to remain isolated from everyone else, therefore he left the conference and as a result no solution to the economic problem was found. One year later, the Johnson Debt Default Act was passed which forbid any countries, who owed debt, to borrow more from the United States, and in response to the other nations’ only agreement at the London Conference (Document B). Following his isolationistic views, Roosevelt adopted a “good neighbor” policy with Latin America in hopes of getting rid of any liabilities that might occur. As a result, the Tydings-McDuffie Act was established giving the Philippines their independence after a certain number of years, as long as they could support themselves financially and politically. Next, Roosevelt, along with Secretary of State Hull, passed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act which lowered any active tariff policies and allowed for a future of a free-trade economic system with other countries, further strengthening America’s isolationism. These isolationistic ideas of ignoring what

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