Roosevelt and Isolationism

5742 Words23 Pages
From Isolationism to War

Patrick Williams

Dr. B.G. McDonald HIE 366 15 April 2011

On 7 December 1941, shortly after seven in the morning, Japanese airmen, amidst the cries of "Banzai", commenced the bombing of Pearl Harbour, leaving them to wonder if the Americans had ever heard of the 1904 surprise attack on the Russian Naval base at Port Arthur. In less than twenty-four hours after the Japanese aggression, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would address the congress:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.... I ask that the Congress
…show more content…
Hull based his assumptions on the fact that if countries could trade freely their economies would become interdependent that they could not risk going to war.[17] While his immediate hopes were dashed as a result of FDR's bombshell telegram at the 1933 London Conference, Hull was able to extract from the Congress Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act in 1934.[18] Hull's multilateral plans were tempered by the FDR administrations's preference towards a bilateral agreements and nationalistic policies. It is not surprising that FDR's policy reflected a tendency towards nationalist posture. Considering the recent past, historical precedence, public opinion and an influential isolationist senate governmental policies reflected the rejection of Wilson's idealism. The factors contributing to American isolationism are varied and at times controversial. Consider political scientist Samuel Lubell's thesis that ethnic minorities were the impetus for interwar isolationism.[19] Lubell argues that Americans of German, Irish, Scandinavian, and Italian origin, for a variety of reasons, felt embittered over the outcome of World War I, and reacted strongly against Democratic attempts to an international approach to world affairs (which would be decidedly pro-British and anti-German, anti-Italian).[20] However, it is commonly asserted that: "...most historians have found it
Get Access