How far was US foreign policy completely isolationist between 1919-41?
At the end of World War One, the American public were completely against becoming entangled in another European war which would cost American soldier’s lives and be expensive to the economy; this was a feeling which also ran through Congress. The feeling became known as ‘isolationism’. An isolationist policy meant that it focused on domestic affairs and disregarded international issues. During the period, particularly as World War Two grew nearer, it became increasingly difficult for US foreign policy to avoid becoming involved with foreign situations. Despite this, much of foreign policy during the period could be considered isolationist; this essay will attempt to show how far it was completely isolation between 1919 and 1941.
The first display of US isolationism was the rejection of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the refusal to join the League of Nations. The then president Woodrow Wilson was a keen believer in internationalism, and was responsible for the creation of the League of Nations because of his Fourteen Points which he pushed for at the Paris Peace Conferences. However, the American Public and Congress saw the League of Nations as a way to permanently attach the US to the affairs of Europe, and they believed the League would call upon America above the other member nations as it was the strongest country militarily and economically after the First World War. Despite the refusal to join the League, there was strong support for membership of the World Court, in order to have a role in keeping peace; this meant the US would be able to prevent wars so they would not have to commit troops and finance into conflict.
Throughout much of the 1920s, Charles Hughes and Herbert Hoover were the men in charge of US foreign policy. They both felt that diplomatic involvement was needed to maintain world peace; followed by economic involvement to support the recovery of struggling...
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