Essay, Pages 5 (1185 words)
Isolationism is generally a policy of nonparticipation in the international political and economic relations. It basically combines non-intervention in military policies and economic protectionism. Isolationism is a belief that originated from the United States’ opposition in war intervention, allowing alliances and organizations. On the other hand, internationalism is a call for stronger economic and political cooperation, theoretically for the benefit of the international community. Isolationism The isolationism in US was anchored on the basis of neutrality.
Neutrality, in international law is a policy that adheres to the non-engagement in wars.
The first doctrine of Neutrality was issued by George Washington. However, this rule of neutrality was viewed with two “deceptive” assumptions as being neither a judge nor party in conflicts which doesn’t employ biased opinions; and that belligerents do not respect sovereignty of neutral states. However, the role of neutralism broke down at the event of the two world wars, which reflected the changes of interdependence among the states.
Aside from economic targets, military targets also covered every nation, thus rejecting the tenets of neutrality at hand.
Moreover, World Wars has underpinned isolationism by the end of nineteenth century. America’s isolationism broke down in the twentieth century when they started entering into treaties to strengthen commercial supremacy. The Spanish American War pushed US to acquire alliances and commitments in the Far East and the Caribbean. Following this course, isolationists in the US have started to decline its power and influence, when the US government started supporting their Allies amidst the First World War (Jonas, 1966).
After the World War I, US, under the regime of Woodrow Wilson entered the League of Nations. Entry to the League of Nations is a means of entry towards collective security, thus challenging the political position of isolationists. The League served as bridge for international alliance – arbiter for territorial disputes brought by the war, and served as international police to avoid another war breakout. Though the League failed in containing the Second World War and was finally disbanded in 1946, it brought about the birth of United Nations in the international scene.
That by 1930s, internationalism has finally reached America, rooted from their goal to contain rising dictatorships in the global arena. The interval between the two world wars developed a sense of “commitment” among the American government to world law, collective security and a sense of policing the international arena, thus forming internationalism. Rise of Internationalism The Great Depression in America has caused people to be more concerned in reviving the economy. And as if seeing another war performance could bring in dictatorship in US, citizens still favored isolationism.
Though, the Depression still has pushed countries particularly US and Britain together to boost their withering economies. The Japanese militarism gave them opportunities to commit aggressions in the South East Asia, uniting with Germany and Italy. Japan also signed a neutrality pact with the USSR to protect its borders. The continuing aggressions of Japanese military and government, and pursuing of certain territories created hostilities between Japan and United States, which led to American oil embargoes.
American protectionism in Eastern Asia had caused further friction with Japan. Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor, marked the end of classic isolationism in US. The simultaneous Japanese attacks against US allies intensified and prompted both sides to form alliances against each other. When US became a member of the United Nations, and the America First Committee was broken up. It followed that US also agreed to engage in the military alliance, North Atlantic Treaty Organization. And in 1950s and 1960s, US intervened in wars against the Koreans and Vietnamese, respectively.
The US emergence as superpower after the Second World War, marked the start of internationalism. The war and downfall of France, prompted American president Roosevelt to become more linked towards other countries by sending aids to the Allied powers. US became more and more involved in foreign relations, as they were active participant for the NATO, and they instigated the Marshall Plan. Their efforts to contain the spread of communism has gotten them more indulged in global expansion. (Cole, 1983). The Post World War and the Nazis
The effects of the World War 1 prompted the rise of Hitler into power and lead the Nationalist Socialist Party in Germany. This reorganization in the German government was a direct opposition to the rising internationalism trend set by the United States. As the Nazi government has changed their policies from the old Bolshevik ways towards centralization of power and hierarchal constitution. At the brink of 1930s totalitarian control of the state was employed and leadership of the government were attributed to loyal Nazis and pure German bloods.
Hitler eliminated all liberal democratic opponents in the government as a policy of his reorganization of the German Society, thus promoting centralization of the State. The effects of Nazism in the international order is employed in the remilitarization of the Rhine Island, formation of the Italo-German Fascist Axis that opposed the US led alliance, intervention into the Spanish Civil War, non aggression pact with the Soviet and the invasion of Poland which resulted in the outbreak of the Second World War.
Laws and Treaties Effected in 1926 – 1941
- Versailles Treaty – although the Versailles Treaty was founded in 1919, it was an important benchmark in peace keeping vis-a-vis the grounds for isolationism and internationalism. After the World War I, borders were redrawn and new political ideas were bounded, thus each ethnicity now vying for their own national interests. It brought communism to consolidate powers, and prompted anit-communist countries such as the US to promote containment of such.
- Washington Conference of 1921 – a treaty signed towards respect for Pacific possessions and to guarantee and open door and Chinese independence.
- Rogers Act of 1924 – this act merged diplomatic and consular services to create Foreign Services. This is viewed as the imperial legacy of 1898 war.
- Good Neighborism of 1927 – Hoover and Coolidge sought an end for military interventions. Marines were pulled back, although they were also returned after two years in Nicaragua.
- Clark Memo of 1928 – it repudiated “police power” notion of US doctrines, but still reserved the right for intervention as defense in case of wars.
- Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 – this was signed by 64 nations including Japan and Germany. It says: “to outlaw war as an “instrument of national policy” but more an “international kiss” with no means of enforcement
- Stimson Doctrine of 1931 – this one abolished the Black Chamber in 1929. it was considered as the high tide of isolationism, though Japan was given no sanctions when it invaded Manchuria.
- 1936 Neutrality Pact – forbid US loans to nations at war
- 1937 Pittman Resolution – prohibited Americans to travel on ships of belligerent powers
- 1939 Neutrality Pact – allowed US vessels to convoy war materials to Britain
- 1941 Lend-Lease Act – appropriated $7 billion as aid for the Axis foes Robbins, Bruce. (1999) Feeling global: Inernationalism in Distress. Cole, Wayne S. (1983) America, Roosevelt, and the Isolationists, 1932–1945. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Manfred Jonas. (1966) Isolationism in America, 1935–1941.