USA Foreign Policy 1929-1990
These were the 3 main American Foreign policies during this period
1920s and 30s
- In 1929, America was following a traditional policy of isolation, based on the traditional ideals from the Monroe Doctrine, signed in 1823
- America tried to keep to this policy by signing Neutrality Acts, saying that the US couldn't supply weapons or loans to warring countries.
- However, this was difficult to maintain economically, as the US was in a depression, and got around these Neutrality Acts with Cash & Carry systems, which allowed them to provide weapons with countries that could play straight away. This was leading to the end of isolationism.
- Another thing that contributed towards the end of isolation was the growth of Japanese power in the Pacific. After the Washington Naval Conference (1921) Japan had had its naval powers cut significantly in the Pacific. However, the Japanese invaded Manchuria and left the League of Nations. They also invaded Indo-China and planned war with the US. The end of isolation was confirmed with the bombing of Pearl Harbour, when America declared war on Japan.
World War 2
- During the war, America had a huge impact. They helped Britain invade Algeria (Battle of El Alamein.) The Japanese also suffered their first defeat at the Battle of Midway in 1942. In 1943, American troops invaded Italy, and in 1944, there were the D-Day landings. In the Pacific, the US fought the Battle of Leyte-Gulf, which was the biggest sea battle in History (October 1944.)
- In 1945, Roosevelt (US), Stalin (USSR), and Churchill (GB), met at Yalta. Japan rejected the Potsdam Treaty in July, by which time Germany had surrendered in May. Truman became President in April 1945, after Roosevelt suffered from a brain haemorrage, and had set to work in the construction of the Atomic Bomb, the first of which was dropped on Hiroshima on the 6th August 1945. 140,000 people were killed. However, Hirohito and Japan still refused to surrender, so the USA bombed Nagasaki on 9th August 1945, with up to 75,000 people killed. Eventually, on the 15th August 1945, Japan accepted the Potsdam surrender terms, and WW2 ended.
1950s - 70s - The Cold War
- After WW2, the US followed a policy of Containment as a result of the growing fear of communism in the country. The heart of this "Cold War" was in Berlin, in the Eastern Region of Germany (the Russian sector.) This was significant as it gave the Western countries a foot in the Communist Sector. Berlin, like Germany, had been divided into 4 sections post-war, but in 1948, the USSR called a blockade of Berlin to try and cut off all links and…
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