America in the 1920's


Rejecting the league - Isolationism and its effect

Why the USA stayed neutral until 1917:

- They didnt want to be involved with Europe as the problems didnt involve them.

-Lots of German immigrants didn't want to go to war with their own country.

- Cost of money and men.

How American joined the war?:

- Germany in despiration. Its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic forced them to enter the war in defence of its own shipping.

- The Lusitania cruise ship was sunk costing the lives of 200 Americans.

What they learnt from being in the war:

- Never again to get involved with Eurpoean war = isolation

- Never send men to batte again in a war thats nothing to do with them = isolation

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Rejecting the league - Isolationism and its effect

Wilson's arguments and why America SHOULD join the League of Nations:

- Need the support of the combined powers of the great nations of the world (everyone friendly).

- Peace throughout all countries.

- America had to stand to lead peace.

- League needed America otherwise it would collapse and the Treaty of Versailles with it.

- They would make the world a better place if they would lead it.

Senator Cabot Lodge's arguments why America SHOULD NOT join the league

- Lost 100,000 men for Europe and never again are we loosing men not on our land.

- American would have to take charge which is too much work. If anything went wrong, they would have to pay, they would be landed with a burden, money would be wasted and power decrease.

- "Europe will destroy her power for good"

- Solve America's problems first

- "I follow but one flag" - America first - do not take orders form foreign countries.

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Rejecting the league - Isolationism and its effect

Methods Wilson used to try to persuade Americans to join the League:

- Went on a speaking tour by train across the USA to try and persuade people. he stopped at many towns.

- He died doing it.

Who was elected as new president in 1920? - Warren Harding (1921-1923)

What did he mean by:

- "Normalcy" - grow America again -  back to normal and return to life before the war.

- "We seek no part in directing the destines of the world" - keep to themselves and America comes first.

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Rejecting the league - Isolationism and its effect

How did the war help USA grow in economic power?:

- Able to export to areas of the world controlled by European countries whilst they are focused on war (billions worth of goods).

- Overtook Germany in chemical production and becasme the biggest exporter in the world.

- Tarrifs put on foriegn goods made American goods cheaper and therefore supporting American industries and farmers.

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Effects of isolationism


- Boom

- Less competition

- Tarrifs


- Repulican gov,

- Turn back on League of Nations

- Crippled


- Suspician of immigrants and foreigners

- WASPs dominated 

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Why did the Republican Part governments impose this:

-  Stop people buying goods from foreign countries.

- Wartime boom = countries had not been able to sell goods to USA in war and buisnessmen wanted this to continue (wanted to it to keep increasing).

- Increase in wages -  tarrifs would protect American's jobs.

- Wanted American to be isolationist (economic isolation)

Key features of tarrifs:

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