Cam Stevens EDIT

America and Isolationism

Cartoon depicting America's foreign policy.
Cartoon depicting America's foreign policy.


Isolationism or non-interventionism is a policy where a country rejects to enter into any alliances, international agreements and foreign trade or economic commitments.The idea of this is to allow all of the country's resources to development within its own borders while maintaining a peaceful front with foreign countries.

Early Nineteen Hundreds


From early on in the life of the country we call the United States, came many indications or signs that it was isolating itself from the world. This isolation was from Europe particularly, for Americans thought that Europeans were war crazed people who had still not learned how to solve conflicts without the use of violence. When World War One broke out the U.S maintained their strict policy of isolationism. Although they still traded and exported goods to countries involved, such as Britain and France, they were not physically fighting in the war. It was not until a German submarine shot and sank an American ship in 1917, did the Americans join the war. After the war was over the American President Woodrow Wilson came up with his famous Fourteen Points which would ensure an everlasting peace. The U.S. Senate, however, rejected to join the League of Nations and declined the Treaty of Versailles. The United States had no interest in these groups because they didn't want to get involved in European affairs. In fact these wars were promoting to keep non-democratic colonies, the U.S was severly against this idea. The Americans were not only isolationistic with their military endevours, but also with their economy. Additionally, in 1922, the United States brought in the Fordney McCumber Tariff. This tariff was a law in the United States that created a Tariff Commission to raise or lower rates by 50%. This was a post-World War I Republican defense against expected Europeans exports. Retaliatory tariffs sprang up. This tariff was also created so that the Americans would stop buying food in Europe. Both America's and Europe's crops were falling into a great decline, they started to sell for less and the prices were decreasing. Meaning that if the U.S didn't halt the importing of European products, America's prices would continue to fall. The Fordney McCumber Tariff stopped all these prices from declining greater. Another tariff introduced by the Americans was the Smoot-Hawley tariff.
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, of June 1930, raised US tariffs to historically high levels. This piece of legislation was originally intended to help protect domestic farmers against agricultural imports. The putting in place of these econmic sanctions was called economic isolationism. With so many economic nationalism and tarifffs being put up, by the U.S and other countries, it contributed to a depression felt around the whole world. Thirdly, the U.S isolated itself by introducing new
Immigration laws. These laws stopped the nation from being weakened by other nations. At this time it is safe to say that America was very distcriminative against people of ethnic backgrounds. Groups like The Ku Klux Klan were flourishing in America with numbers as high as five million. This "klan" believed in the racial superiority of white people and were anti-communist. The American people wished to preserve their country as a Protestant, white nation. These acts stopped the United States from being weakened by not letting the number of immigrants per year to rise over 3% of the population of America in 1910.

Mid-Nineteen Hundreds


Around the 1930's America started to ostracize itself even more from the world. They passed Neutrality Acts, reduced involvement in Latin America, and even withdrew from the Phillipines. All this started to change, however, as Roosevelt started to take steps out of exclution, and into intervention. With things such as 'destroyers for bases', "cash and carry", and even the Lend Lease Act America started to shed her old skin of segregation. When the Europeans once again started to fight, America once again stayed out of it. Not for very long, however, for an unprovoked attack on the American Naval base in Pearl Harbour by the Japanese brought them into the war. Once again the powerhouse that was America was at war. The country that would emerge from the smokey haze of war, however, would never be the same. Eventually America would turn to intervention and partake in wars such as Vietnam, the Gulf War and Iraq. Na na nahhhhh.

History Twelve Student Workbook-Jerry Falk
http://www.mpendray.co.uk/dpen2002/Pendray/Iso.htm
My Brain- Cam Stevens