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    Isolationists Isolationists Presentation Transcript

    • Isolationists???? • Although opponents characterized American foreign policy during the 1920’s as isolationist, the United States in fact played a more active role than at almost any other time in its history up to that point. • --expand the nation’s influence abroad • --preserve the widest possible scope for American freedom of action
    • • The US was determined to be a major power in the world • To extend its trade • To influence other nations in ways Americans believed would be beneficial • but not limit its freedom—no League of Nations, World Court—operate powerfully and alone
    • Ways the US was Active • Washington Conference 1921-US, Britain and Japan—proposed a dramatic reduction in the fleets of all 3 nations • Five-Power Pact 1922- an attempt to protect the peace and the economic interest of the US • Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928- 60 nations signed an agreement to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy (no enforcement)
    • Debt Crisis • Circular Loans-overall the 1920’s saw the growing influence of American banks and corporations throughout Europe and Latin America
    • US Faced a Choice • Adopt a more energetic form of internationalism --firmer and more meaningful association with other nations • Or • It could resort to nationalism and rely on it own devices for dealing with its and the world’s problems • For the next 6 years it would experiment with elements of both approaches
    • Isolationism and Internationalism • Upon taking office FDR in 1933 knew the US could not remain long isolated from world affairs—he was an internationalist at heart.
    • After England and France declared war on Germany, President Roosevelt declared the United States neutral. Yet he was determined to help the 2 countries in their fight against Hitler.
    • Neutrality Act of 1939 • Congress was mirroring public pressure during the growing international instability of the 1930’s by passing a series of Neutrality Acts of 1935,1936, and 1937—made it illegal for Americans to sell arms to any country at war • Neutrality Act of 1939—warring nations could buy weapons from the US only if they paid cash and carried the arms on their own ships.
    • America First Committee • After the fall of France, public opinion did shift but dissenters existed and had strong people representing them—Robert Wood (former president of Sears and Roebuck), Charles Lindbergh, a large portion of the Republican Party—fringe groups who were Nazi sympathizers and anti-semetics
    • The Election of 1940 • No President had ever run for 3 terms before but FDR decided to. He steered a careful course between neutrality and intervention but in the end, voters re elected him in a wide margin, preferring to stick with a president they knew during this crisis period.
    • Wendell Willkie • The Republican party nominated someone who had no political experience, but was charming and announced his intentions to keep America out of the war. • “Better a 3rd term, than a 3rd rater” • FDR received 55% of the vote
    • The Lend-Lease Act • FDR warned that if Britain fell, an “unholy alliance” would keep trying to conquer the world, and then, “all of us in all the Americas would be living at the point of a gun”. FDR argued that the US should become the “great arsenal of democracy”. • This act sent weapons to Britain if Britain promised to return or pay rent for them after the war.
    • Four Freedoms Speech • January -1941 ; speech by FDR that outlined the four principles of freedom (speech, religion, from want, and from fear) This helped inspire Americans into patriotism. ; in turn inspired Americans into pro war sentiments
    • Atlantic Charter • A secret maritime meeting between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and UK prime minister Winston Churchill-to discuss strategies if the US declared war on Germany. • “certain common principles” “better future for the world” “final destruction of the Nazi tyranny” • FDR believed the American people would not support a decision to enter the war unless directly attacked
    • Japan Attacks the United States • America Embargoes Japan: Japan depended on the US for many key materials-iron, steel and oil, 80% of Japan’s oil came from the US. But the Japanese were threatening the British territories in the Pacific so: • --FDR first blocked the sale of airplane fuel and iron to Japan • He started to send aid to China
    • • Japanese were furious—they positioned themselves to attack Hong Kong and Singapore. • FDR then froze all Japanese assets in the US and reduced the amount of oil being shipped to Japan.
    • FDR sent Gen. Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines to build up America defenses there.
    • • FDR made it clear he would lift the oil embargo if Japan withdrew from Indochina and made peace with China. With the war with China in jeopardy because of a lack of oil and other resources, the Japanese military began making plans to attack the resource rich British and Dutch colonies in southeast Asia. Also seize the Philippines and attack the American fleet at Pearl Harbor.
    • Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor • While Japanese officials were in Washington negotiating in good faith, they were planning an attack at Pearl Harbor. US knew an attack was coming just not sure where. Although some clues pointed to Hawaii most officials doubted it because it was too long a distance.
    • Results of the Attack • December 7, 1941 • 21 ships sank or damaged • 8 battleships sank • 3 cruisers • 4 destroyers • 188 airplanes • Killed 2,403 and 1,178 injured
    • • The next day FDR makes a speech to declare war on Japan • “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy” • Germany declares war on the United States