Why Did The USA Become Isolationist After The Great War?


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Richard Marsden answered
After WWI the USA cut herself off from involvement in world affairs and became isolationist. She refused to join the League of Nations, introduced tariffs or foreign manufacturers, and would not even ratify the Treaty of Versailles. This policy was to continue until the Japanese attacked Pearl.Harbor on Dec 7th 1941.

The reasons for this policy were numerous. Firstly, the Republicans who had a majority in the Senate were strongly against Woodrow Wilson's ideas for a League of Nations. They thought that it would drag the USA into further overseas wars meaning the death of more of their soldiers. Secondly, in 1920, Waren Harding was elected President. He too was isolationist and said, " Lets get back to normal"- which meant concentrating on making USA prosperous and forgetting about overseas issues.

The Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles, partly because they did not like the President, thinking he had too big a say in foreign affairs. Many Americans saw the First World War as a conflict fought out by greedy European Empires and didn't want anything more to do with their ambitions.

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