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The period of 1914-1941 was a hectic time in not only American, but world history. American foreign policy was influenced heavily by an isolationist sentiment, the causes for this can be traced to the causes and effects of WWI and the Great Depression, as well as complex economic investments that challenged the strength of the isolationist sentiment.

During its time, WWI was the most destructive war the world had ever seen. Due to advances in weapon technology, such as trench warfare and the invention of the machine gun, the killing power both sides had was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. The effect of this immensely destructive war can be seen in the rise of the isolationist perspective. No one wanted to go through such a horror …show more content…

The beginning of this isolationist movement began prior to WWI and that can be seen within Document 1. This document is an excerpt from current President Woodrow Wilson, who at the time was calling for American neutrality in the war. This was given in 1914 at the very beginning of WWI. Wilson’s choice for neutrality was an easy one due to the United States having nothing to do with instigating the war and upheld an isolationist position. Three years later in 1917, Wilson decided to enter the war which can be seen in Document 2. Despite Wilson entering the war as explained in the excerpt, this also serves as a testament to the strength of the isolationist sentiment as even though the USS Maine was attacked, he still was reluctant to become involved in the war, still much preferring the isolationist position. However, Document 2 does show bias, which can be seen when referring back to the sheer amount of criticism Wilson received after the attack on the USS Maine. Wilson attempted to …show more content…

Due to the American economy being in such turmoil, the last thing anybody wanted was a war, which in turn led to increased support for isolationism. This effect can be seen within Document 5, an excerpt from Bennett Champ Clark. This excerpt is time stamped right in the middle of the Great Depression, 1935. It revisits the isolationist position that was held before and at the start of WWI. The reason that isolationist sentiments are rising in popularity again is due to the American economy being in shambles in the midst of the Great Depression. This provides insight to one of the main causes for the strong isolationist sentiment in American foreign policy in the sense that they had way too many problems back home to be even thinking about another war. People were starving to death and unemployment rates were at an all-time high. This economic instability led to widespread opposition to any war and led to an increased support for neutrality and isolationism. Furthermore, Document 6 is an excerpt from current president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the Great Depression in 1937. This excerpt provides a strong isolationist position and very strong opposition to war. However, this shows bias due to FDR being president during the Great Depression and he is already pushing legislature, such as the New Deal, in attempt to relieve

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