FDR and Isolationism

  • Created by: Lily
  • Created on: 10-05-13 12:20

Why isolationism?

  • Pacifists opposed all war
  • Traditional Foreign Policy
  • "never again" after WWI
  • The Merchants of Death had duped America
  • Disappointment in the League of Nations
  • Pre-occupation with fighting the Depression
  • German-American immigrants supported Nazi Party
  • Disappointment in the French-British policy of appeasement
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Roosevelt - "the closet internationalist"

  • Supported the League of Nations
  • Became more isolationist by 1932
  • Had a strong isolationist wing
  • Signed a number of neutrality agreements but later sought to modify them 
  • He did not like that they restricted his ability to distinguish between the aggressor and the victim
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The Neutrality Acts

  • 1935: General embargo on trading in arms/war materials with all parties in a war. It also declared that American citizens travelling on warring ships travelled at their own risk. Set to expire after six months.
  • 1936: Renewed the 1935 act for another 14 months. Also forbade all loans/credits to belligerents. Did not cover "civil wars".
  • 1937: Provisions of the earlier acts, without expiration date, cover civil wars. U.S. ships were prohibited from transporting any passengers or articles to belligerents, and U.S. citizens were forbidden from traveling on ships of belligerent nations.
  • 1939: allowing for arms trade with belligerent nations on a cash-and-carry basis, Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1937 were repealed, American citizens and ships were barred from entering war zones and the National Munitions Control Board was charged with issuing licenses for all arms imports and exports. Arms trade without a license became a federal crime

(Cash & carry = arms could be bought as long as they were paid for/collected by the buyer)

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Isolationism and America First

  • Isolationism remained strong even after Germany invaded Poland
  • A year later the America First Comittee was set up
  • Members included: Father Coughlin, Lindbergh, Henry Ford, Seantor Borah, Representative NYE
  • Gained 850,000 members in total
  • Dominated the 1940 election
  • Non- inverionist pressure group against the American entry into WWII
  • One of the largest anti-war orginisations ever
  • Shut down after Pearl Harbour
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When did Roosevelt abandon neutrality?

  • 1939 Cash & Carry Act - favoured Britain as Germany did not have the finance for it
  • 1940 Destroyer for Bases Agreement
  • 1941 Lend Lease Agreement - declaration of economic warfare (extended to Britain and Russia)
  • 1941 - Roosevelt gave naval  authority to sink any u-boat in sight
  • 1941 Alantic Charter - condemed aggression and called for the rights of self-determinaation/free spech/free trade
  • Japanese economic sanctions?
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