US Foreign Policy - Adams State University

U. S. Foreign Policy
From Peculiar Isolationism to Global
War, 1920-1941
Peculiar Isolationism
• U. S. didn’t join L. of N., but kept and observer
• U. S. had high tariffs, but Charles Dawes headed a
Reparations Adjustment Commission.
• U. S. rejected World Court, but hosted Washington
Armaments Conference (5 power treaty, 4 power
treaty, and 9 power treaty)
• Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)
Good Neighbor Policy
• J. Reuben Clark memorandum: renounced
intervention in Lat. America via Monroe Doctrine
• Roosevelt supported 1933 Pan. Am. Conference
Resolution renouncing interventionism
• 1934—Marines withdrawn from Nicaragua and
Haiti and Platt Amendment (protectorate) over
Cuba abrogated
• Brief interregnum between TR and Cold War.
Destruction of WWI Peace
• Japan occupied Manchuria (1931)
• U. S. backing of Open Door is hollow;
Japan occupied China proper in 1937
• Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1935
• Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in 1936
• Japan and Germany withdraw from League
of Nations in 1933
Neutrality Acts
• Neutrality Act of 1935—no sale of weapons where
state of war exists
• Neutrality Act amended in ’36—no loans to
• Neutrality Act amended in ’37 to cover Civil Wars
(Sp. Civil War)
• 2d Neutrality Act ’37—all of the above, plus no U.
S. travel on belligerent’s ships, no armed U. S.
merchant ships; cash-and carry on non-military
goods to belligerents at President’s discretion.
Retreat from Isolation
• FDR didn’t invoke c & c in China under 2d
Neutrality Act
• Ludlow Amendment—nat’l referendum to declare
war—almost passed congress in 1938
• 3rd Neutrality Act (1939)—cash and carry for arms
and food; U. S. ships couldn’t travel to designated
war zones (real retreat from 1937 act)
Expanding Axis
• Anschluss between Germany and Austria (1938)
• Sudetenland Crisis (1938)
• Blitzkrieg vs. Poland, September 1, 1939—France
and Britain declare war on Germany
• Phony War yields to new Blitzkrieg in 1940—
Denmark attacked (April 9); France surrendered
(June 22); Miracle at Dunkirk (June); London
Blitz (July 1940)
U. S. Response
• Increased defense spending ($17 billion in
• National Defense Research Committee—
created OSRAD and Manhattan Project
• Burke-Wadworth Peacetime Draft
• Destroyers for Bases deal
• FDR wins 3rd term over America Firsters
and Wendell Willkie
Arsenal of Democracy
• Lend-Lease (January 1941)
• Lend-Lease Aide extended to Russia in early days
of Barbarossa
• August 1941—Atlantic Charter—war aims: selfdetermination for all peoples; equal access to raw
materials; economic cooperation; freedom of the
seas; new system of general security.
• Shoot on Sight orders following Greer (Sept.);
Merchantmen armed following Ruben James
Japan’s Greater East Asia CoProsperity Sphere
• Japan continues conquest of China and builds
airfields into Indochina.
• July 2, 1940—U. S. loans $ to China and Congress
authorized FDR to restrict export of arms and
strategic material to Japan
• Sept. 27, 1940, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome Axis
• Jap. Signed non-Aggression Pact w/ Soviets, April
13, 1941
• Japan placed Indochina under protectorate
• FDR froze Japanese assets in U. S.; stopped oil
shipments; merged Philippine army w/ U. S. army.
The Coming of War in Pacific
• Militarists dominated Japan’s cabinet; gamble on
getting Indonesian oil by destroying U. S. military
presence in Pacific
• Operation Winds—Destroy Pacific fleet so it can’t
come to aid of Philippines
• Dec. 7, 1941—three U. S. battleships sunk, one
grounded, one capsized: 150 U. S. planes
destroyed and 2,400 soldiers and citizens killed
• U. S. declared war on Japan on Dec. 8; Italy and
Germany declare war on U. S. on Dec. 11.