"A return to normalcy" - Foreign Policy in the 1920's

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  • Created by: Lily
  • Created on: 08-05-13 20:56

"A return to normalcy"

  • League of Nations was a "dead issue"
  • Removal of wartime restrictions
  • Rejection of continued involvement in international affairs
  • Reverse the Progressivism of the Wilson years
  • Return to laissez-faire politics. 
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Hughes & Hoover

  • Harding realised he was not wise enough to direct foreign policy so left this to Herbert Hoover and Charles Evans Hughes.

What did they seek to obtain?

1. Diplomatic involvement to maintain world peace

2. Economic involvement to support and encourage the development of European countries struggling after WWI.

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Foreign policy problems

  • How to maintain political and economic control of Latin America
  • How to contain Germany but also allow it to recover
  • How to cope with the Soviet Union and it's revolutionary beliefs
  • How to manage competition in the Far East, especially China
  • How to recover war debts from the allies and reparations from Germany
  • How to reassure Frances security as Germany recovered
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Isolationist vs Imperialism policies

Isolationist Policies

  • Immigration restriction Acts
  • Refusal to join the World Court
  • Withdrawal of American troops from Cuba/Dominican Republic/Nicaragua
  • Clark Memorandum officaally repudiates the Roosevelt Corollary

Involvement Policies

  • Support for the League and attendance of 40 meetings
  • 1924 Dawes Plan to reschedule Germanys payments
  • Washington Naval Conference 1921-3: 1. limits of naval capacity, 2. Britain, Japan, France & Britaian consult each other on Pacific matters, 3. territorial position of China
  • Kellog-Briand Pact 1928 renounced the use of war
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Sucesses vs Failings


  • Reduced naval spedning & prevented a Naval Race
  • Ensured war debts would be paid by helping Germany with reparation payments
  • Better relations with Latin America/Japan
  • Outlaw of war appeased the public


  • Washington Naval conference lacked enforcement
  • Kellog-Briand Pact also had no mechanism for enforcement
  • Japan feeling resentfull
  • Germany were pressed for reparations, allies were impaitent
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