Interventionism in World War I
Explain how the U. S. moved from Isolationism to Interventionism in World War I, during World War II, and the Korean War. In each talk about the goals, success and mistakes. In conclusion, what have the U. S. learned and how does past experience relate to current challenges? “World War I and the League of Nations When Europe went to war in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson vowed to break the tradition of American Isolation. However, Wilson’s neutrality policies worked to favor England and France.
German attacks on American ships and Germany’s attempt to ally with Mexico eventually led Wilson to seek Congressional approval for a Declaration of War in 1917. In keeping with the American preference to see itself as morally superior to the Europeans, Wilson said the United States needed to go to war to “vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world against selfish and autocratic power” and because “the world must be made safe for democracy. ” Only the most ardent isolationists failed to vote for war.
Wilson believed that if, after a peace settlement was reached, the world would be spared another devastating conflict. But his mostly republican opposition was not convinced some feared the United States would become the world’s policeman if it joined the league. Other isolationists argued Congress would lose its power over warmaking. The Senate rejected the treaty that would have ratified American participation in the organization. Code: 31678128 History 2 Page 2
Order type: Term Paper Deadline: July 12, 2007 8:09 World War II and the rise of Internationalism In the 1930s Japan’s invasion of China and Nazi Germany’s militarism had reinforced American’s conventional isolationists sentiments. Americans were already concerned about the expansion of Federal Powers to revive the economy; they feared involvement in another war could bring a dictatorship to American soil. Although isolationism was a nationwide and bipartisan phenomenon, its strongholds were in landlocked Midwestern, Great Plains, and rocky mountain states.
Important ethnic groups also favored isolationism. The Germans, Irish, Italians, and Scandinavians isolationist leaders in Congress, such as senators William E. Borrah of Idaho, Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota, and Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan led investigations that concluded greedy arms makers and Wall Street Bankers had unduly influenced President Wilson’s decision to become involved in World War I. If it was mistake to have fought that last war, as another war loomed, most Americans concluded that the United States should remain aloof from old world conflicts.
When the first signs of overt aggression were evident in 1935 with Italy’s Ethiopian conquest and Germany’s 1936 reoccupation of the Rhineland, isolationists fashioned neutrality legislation. Congress passed laws forbidding arms sales and loans to warring nations, and restricting American travel on belligerent ships. Only in the wake of Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland did the tide of public opinion being to turn against Isolationism. ” Source: http://www. answers. com/topic/isolationism Code: 31678128 History Page 3
Order type: Term Paper Deadline: July 12, 2007 8:09 “Conflict between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in which at least 2. 5 million persons lost their lives. The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South. The United Nations with the United States as the principal participant, joined the war on the side of the South Koreans, and the People’s Republic of China, came to North Korea’s aid.
After more than a million combat casualties had been suffered on both sides, the fighting ended in July 1953 with Korea still divided into two hostile States. Negotiations in 1954 produced no further agreement, and the frontline has been accepted ever since as the de facto boundary between North and South Korea. ” Source: http://www. britannica. com/eb/article-9046072/Korean-War As much as possible a country must be isolated from the problems of other countries. I think, the best way to describe Isolationism is ‘mind your own business.
But it seems both World Wars 1 and 2 have similar situations as to why the United States ended up participating in a war. Of which in the first place nobody wants war and as much as possible that must be avoided. That is the goal of the United States. In a war, there must be two sides only. And the United States has been in the sides of the good guys and eventually winning the war and assuring a lasting peace. This success, which affects the whole world, such that, war is not a solution to solve the opposing issues between the two or more countries. For me, success in this case is when peace
Code: 31678128 History Page 4 Order type: Term Paper Deadline: July 12, 2007 8:09 Has finally been obtained. And talking of mistakes, for me, going into a war is a great mistake in itself. But the situations was such that no one can avoid it anymore, that is because there was a country who was really aggressive and will really attack. And whatever was the reasons of Germany and Japan, war cannot be justified no matter what. If the United States committed a mistake or not, I think the war with Iraq was a mistake.
But it was also a mistake if the United States did not attack Iraq at all. Because the United States was on a compromising situation. And up to now nobody could directly say who was behind the “9/11” attack. And I think if no attack was made on Iraq, another similar to 9/11s is going to happen anywhere else in the world. Conclusion: Countries are like people, though isolationism is a natural attitude but when another country needs help, such as to depend itself from attacks and that will affect the peace and order situations in the community of nations.
Then to intervene must be justifiable on in that particular case only. A country like the United States could both exercise Isolationism and Interventionism. Because situations cannot be the same at all times and we should react properly for ever situations or events to take place and to face those problems either singularly or helping each other. At this very moment, the problems of mankind are getting worst such that all the people in the world must help each other and war will just become an exception.
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