The Myth of Isolationism

Back to Isolationism?

Incomplete Picture. Example of how the 1920s is frequently taught. Notice that it focuses on diplomatic and government actions and does not give a complete picture of economic engagement.
Hearkening back to Washington’s Farewell Address











The aftermath of the League fight and on until the beginning of WW II is often portrayed as a time of Isolationist sentiment in the United States.  After a brief fling as a world power during WW I, the rejection of the League of Nations ushered in an era of profound conservatism in foreign relations, with Americans hedonistically embracing the “Roaring 20s.”  In reality there was a lot more going on with America’s engagement with the world during this period.  As you browse through and engage this topic ask yourself what actions (or non-actions) did the US take to make it appear “Isolationist?” To what extent did the US return to its pre-war foreign policy predilections (or not)?  Can you interpret US actions as Empire building and/or Isolationist?  What is the relationship between Unilateralism and Isolationism?  Did the US follow a consistent foreign policy impulse throughout the decade in all parts of the world?


Isolationism and Empire Copyright © by James McKay. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book