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American Foreign Policy During World War II

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American foreign policy shifted drastically from the birth of the new nation to the beginning of the 20th century. George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796 left an admonition for the nation and isolationist roots from its founding President; however, by the early 1900s, William McKinley and other American Presidents took part in imperialistic foreign policy that represented a complete digression from Washington’s doctrine. After World War I and before the impending Second World War, American politics and foreign policy divided between the two aforementioned extremes. From 1935 to 1941, many American politicians and political parties opposed American participation in a Second World War and returned to America’s isolationist roots,…show more content…
Eisenhower, the practice began to be discussed during the period prior to World War II. Merchants of Death and “War is a Racket” were two pieces of writing, published in 1934 and 1935 respectively, that discussed the intentions of corporations and businesspeople to support war efforts in order to profit from the resulting manufacturing. As these ideas spread throughout the country, many Americans supported the isolationist movement. People began to make connections and grow increasingly skeptical as powerful and influential business leaders seemingly traded American citizens’ lives for mere profit. Public opinion regarding participation in further international conflict in World War II was also affected by history. Advocates of isolationism referenced George Washington’s precedent of isolationist roots. As one of the most admired figures in American history, Washington’s words had powerful effects on influencing public opinion towards non-interventionism. The recent history of World War I was also on the minds of the American people in the lead up to World War II. As Americans saw the massive amounts of deaths and destruction, they became weary of war. Morale was destroyed during the war and isolationism was protection from future loss and injury. Similarly to the effect of public opinion, Congressional action was also instrumental in shaping the politics of the period. Congressman felt no differently than the public after World War I. Referencing
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