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The Interwar Years 1921-1941. Diplomacy, Isolationism, and Intervention. The Diplomacy of the New Era / 1920-1929. League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920. From 1934-1935, it had 58 members.

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the interwar years 1921 1941

The Interwar Years1921-1941

Diplomacy, Isolationism, and Intervention

the diplomacy of the new era 1920 1929
The Diplomacy of the New Era / 1920-1929
  • League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920. From 1934-1935, it had 58 members.
  • League goals included: disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation, diplomacy and improving global quality of life.
  • The League lacked its own armed force and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, keep to economic sanctions which the League ordered, or provide an army, when needed, for the League to use.
diplomacy of the new era failure of the league of nations
Diplomacy of the New Era: Failure of the League of Nations
  • The origins of the League as an organisation created by the Allied Powers as part of the peace settlement at the end of the first world war led to it being viewed as a "League of Victors”. It also tied the League to the Treaty of Versailles so that when the Treaty became discredited and unpopular, this reflected on the League.
  • The League required a unanimous vote of its fifteen, member Council to enact a resolution; conclusive and effective action was difficult, if not impossible.
  • Member states. Most notably missing was the position that the United States of America was supposed to play in the League, not only in terms of helping to ensure world peace and security but also in financing the League. The League was the cornerstone of Wilson’s Fourteen Points.
diplomacy of the new era failure of the league of nations5
Diplomacy of the New Era: Failure of the League of Nations
  • Collective security by the League required nations to act against states they considered friends, and sometimes against national interests, to support states in which they had no interest. Ex. Mussolini and Ethiopia
  • The League depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions. Britain and France, were reluctant to use sanctions or military action on behalf of the League.
  • The League's advocacy of disarmament for members while at the same time advocating collective security unwittingly deprived it of the only forceful means by which its authority could be upheld.

Moral Suasion in Punch Magazine 1920

u s diplomacy of the new era harding coolidge
U.S. Diplomacy of the New Era / Harding-Coolidge
  • 1921 Harding administration ended any chance of the U.S. joining the League by negotiating separate peace treaties with the Central Powers (i.e. Germany)
  • Sec. of State, Charles Evans Hughes sought the advantages of peace w/o the burden of “collective security”.
  • Pursue stable world order via independent internationalism, not withdraw from world
  • Isolationist only in the sense that US wants to avoid war and entanglements, esp. in Europe
  • Tries non-military methods to shape world (economic persuasion)
u s diplomacy of the new era
U.S. Diplomacy of the New Era:
  • Washington Conference 1921:
    • U.S. goal to negotiate an end to the global naval arms race.
    • Scrap 2 million tons of existing shipping. OK. What?
    • Five-Power Pact 1922 limited naval tonnage and armaments, US & GB-5 tons, Japan- 3 tons, France & Italy- 1.75In effect, Pact gives Japan control of the Pacific. How and to what ends?
    • Nine Power Pact continue Open Door Policy on China
    • Four Power Pact US, GB, France, and Japan promise to respect each other’s Pacific Territories and cooperate to prevent aggression
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928:
    • US & France alliance aimed at Germany banning war as a instrument of foreign policy. Eventually 48 nations sign on
    • Enforced by “moral force” of world opinion.
debt and diplomacy
Debt and Diplomacy
  • US leaders assume that US economic expansion abroad will create a stable world
  • By 1920s, US is a prominent world creditor, manufacturer, exporter, and investor
  • US products, including movies, saturate globe; foreign reaction to Americanization is mixed
  • US Government assists cultural and economic expansion (ITT, RCA, Pan American Airlines) including Latin America
debt and diplomacy9
Debt and Diplomacy
  • U.S. foreign policy in 1920’s was aimed at protecting foreign trade (overseas markets for US goods). Washington Conference and Kellogg-Briand helped. How?
  • U.S. primary overseas market was Europe (still recovering from the Great War)
    • Great Britain and France owed the U.S. creditors 11 billion dollars
    • Germany was strapped with 32 billion in reparations to Allied Powers
  • Dawes Plan 1924
    • U.S. make loans to Germany so that it could pay reparations to GB and France. GB and FR would reduce the payment amounts.
    • Reparations payments to GB and France were used to pay its debt to U.S. banks
  • U.S. banking and corporations were inexorably tied to Europe.
  • Fordney-McCumber Act 1922. Tariffs make it difficult for German companies to sell goods, lowering tax revenue, making reparation payments impossible
hoover s foreign policy 1928 1932
Hoover’s Foreign Policy / 1928-1932
  • Latin America
    • 1928, goodwill tour, Hoover renounces the Roosevelt Corollary of Monroe Doctrine
    • Begins formulation of Good Neighbor Policy (nonintervention), Clark Memorandum withdrawing U.S. Marines from Haiti and Nicaragua
    • U.S. helped negotiate the Treaty of Lima 1929, ending a 60 yr conflict between Chile and Peru
    • 1931, Mexican Repatriation Program, forced migration of 500,000 Mexicans to ease burden on municipal/state aid programs
hoover s foreign policy 1928 193211
Hoover’s Foreign Policy / 1928-1932
  • Europe
    • Proposed the Hoover Moratorium to help Germany make reparations, rejected by France
    • 1931, European countries begin defaulting on U.S. loans
    • Economic instability created a climate for political and social unrest, capitalism seemed to be failing
    • Mussolini’s Fascist Party took power in Italy in 1922, and threatened expansion by the 1930’s
    • Weimar Republic lost popular support and Hitler’s National Socialist (Nazi) Party consolidated power by 1932
hoover s foreign policy 1928 193212
Hoover’s Foreign Policy / 1928-1932
  • Asia
    • Japan’s economic depression, Stalin’s Soviet Union to north, and Chiang Kai-shek expanding into Manchuria.
    • Manchuria, part of China, under Japanese economic control since 1905
    • Militarists staged a coup in Japan in 1931 and invaded Manchuria beginning the Sino-Japanese War
    • China in turmoil. Civil war between Chiang (Kuomintang) and Mao Zedong (Communist)
fdr hegemony in latin america 1933 1939
FDR: Hegemony in Latin America1933-1939
  • US dominance (economic, military, and political) grows after 1920
  • In reaction to growing nationalist protests in LA, US tries less overt means to keep control
  • FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy reduces anti-Americanism without loss of US power and influence
  • USA trains national guards and backs local dictators (Trujillo, Somoza, Batista)
fdr hegemony in latin america 1933 193914
FDR: Hegemony in Latin America 1933-1939
  • Puerto Rico (US protectorate) an example of US paternalism
  • Mexico offers most serious challenge to US as it seeks control of its raw materials (oil)
  • Fearing Mexican-Axis trade, FDR concedes Mexico can control its land/oil (1942); a big victory for Latin American nationalists
  • FDR also endorses non-interventionism (1936) and Pan-American consultation
fdr isolationism internationalism 1933 1939
FDR: Isolationism & Internationalism 1933-1939
  • FDR’s faced two (interrelated) challenges: economic recovery and the crisis in Europe
  • 1933 World Economic Conference. FDR announces that U.S. will allow gold backed value of the dollar to fall (making U.S. goods competitive in Europe)
  • 1934 FDR signs legislation forbidding loans to foreign countries in arrears. In effect, ending the circular loans used to pay WW I costs.
  • 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act. Lower tariffs by 50% with trade partners who do the same. Increased exports 40%. But?
isolationism internationalism 1933 1939
Isolationism & Internationalism 1933-1939
  • 1933 USSR eases Comintern anti-US propaganda, in return, U.S. officially recognizes the Soviet Union.
  • Good Neighbor Policy. Cordell Hull announces
    • “No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another” (replace military pressure with economic pressure)
u s isolationism
U.S. Isolationism
  • Geneva Conference- arms limitation talks
    • 1933, Hitler and Mussolini withdraw
    • 1935, Japan withdraws from Washington Conference naval agreements
  • Reasons for U.S. isolationism:
    • Failure of “internationalists” and the League to limit aggression (ex. Japan-China and Italy-Ethiopia)
    • Populist politicians, Nye Committee Report blaming munitions & banking industry for U.S. involvement in WW I.
    • Public opinion against U.S. involvement in Europe, leading to the Neutrality Acts
u s isolationism neutrality acts
U.S. Isolationism / Neutrality Acts
  • Neutrality Acts 1935,’36,’37. Congress responds to constituents to prevent a repeat of the events that lead U.S. into WW I.
    • Neutrality Act 1935- imposed a general embargo on trading in arms & war materials with all parties in a war, declared that American citizens traveling on warring ships traveled at their own risk.
    • Act 1936- renewed the 1935 act for another 14 months. It also forbade all loans or credits to belligerents. Did not include civil war (i.e. Spain)
u s isolationism neutrality acts 1937
U.S. Isolationism / Neutrality Acts 1937
  • Included provisions of the earlier acts, without expiration date, extended to cover civil wars as well. U.S. ships prohibited from transporting any passengers or articles to belligerents, and U.S. citizens were forbidden from traveling on ships of belligerent nations.
  • In a concession to FDR, a "cash and carry" provision was devised : the President could permit the sale of non-arms to belligerents as long as the recipients arranged for the transport and paid immediately in cash,
  • Hopefully this would not draw the U.S. into the conflict.
  • Roosevelt believed that cash and carry would aid France and Great Britain in the event of a war with Germany, since they were the only countries that controlled the seas and were able to take advantage of the provision
u s isolationism neutrality acts 193720
U.S. Isolationism / Neutrality Acts 1937
  • Neutrality Act 1937
    • Sino-Japanese War. FDR supports China's efforts to defend & did not invoke the Neutrality Acts and allowed arms shipments to China.
    • This outraged the isolationists in Congress who claimed that the spirit of the law was being undermined. Roosevelt stated that he would prohibit American ships from transporting arms to the belligerents, but he allowed British ships to transport American arms to China.
    • Extended 1939 to provide assistance to Great Britain
u s isolationism quarantine speech
U.S. Isolationism / Quarantine Speech
  • October 1937
    • FDR warns that Japanese aggression is a threat to world peace and that aggressors should be “quarantined” by the world community to prevent the spread of the “contagion of war”
    • Public reaction to the speech was overwhelmingly hostile. Most saw it as FDR’s attempt to justify and further aid to belligerent nations
    • December 1937, Japanese warplanes attack and sink the USS Panay on the Yangtze River. U.S. isolationists accepted Japan’s account of the incident as an accident
u s isolationism munich conference
U.S. Isolationism / Munich Conference
  • German aggression:
    • 1936, against Versailles, revives German army and occupies the Rhineland (ceded to France)
    • March 1938, Anschluss with Austria
    • September 1938, annexation of the Sudetenland (western Czechoslovakia)
  • Munich Conference- G.B., France and Germany
    • Hitler claims that his territorial claims are complete and Chamberlain declares “peace in our time”
  • Six months later Germany occupies all of Czech. And turns his attention to Poland
    • GB and France pledge to defend Poland from Nazi attack
war begins
War Begins
  • Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, August 1939. Germany and USSR promised not to join any grouping of powers that was “directly or indirectly aimed at the other party”.
    • Included a secret protocol dividing the countries of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, & Romania into Nazi and Soviet spheres of influence, anticipating "territorial and political rearrangements" of these countries' territories. All were subsequently invaded, occupied, or forced to cede territory by Nazi Germany, the USSR, or both.
  • September 1, 1939, Hitler invades Poland, GB and France declare war on Germany
war begins24
War Begins
  • “This nation shall remain a neutral nation. But I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well.” ~FDR
  • Neutrality Act of 1939, forbids U.S. ships in war zones but allows “cash & carry” for arms.
  • “Phony War” Hitler waits. Stalin takes Latvia, Estonia & Lithuania. Finland fights back.
  • Spring 1940, Blitz against Denmark, Norway, Netherlands. France falls on June 22.
  • Collaborators establish Vichy government, GB flee to Dunkirk
war begins us intervention
War Begins / US Intervention
  • May 1940, FDR asks Congress for 1 billion in defense funds. Gets it!
  • Gallup poll, June 1940- German victory not a concern. July 1940 (after France falls)- 66% of Americans polled believed Germany was a threat to the U.S.
  • Fight for Freedom Committee- declare war now
  • America First Committee- nonintervention, Lindberg, Sen. Gerald Nye, & Hearst Publishing.
  • FDR runs for unprecedented third term. Beats Willkie with 55% of the popular vote
war begins us intervention26
War Begins / US Intervention
  • England near bankruptcy and cannot afford “cash & carry” FDR introduces “Lend-Lease”
    • Lend or lease arms to any nation deemed “vital to the defense of the United States”
    • GB (and other allies USSR) get weapons on the “promise’ to pay later
    • Sec of War Henry Stimson urges US convoy protection to British shipping. U.S. interprets Monroe (West Hemisphere) to include Iceland
war begins us intervention28
War Begins / US Intervention
  • Germany invades USSR, Operation Barbarossa
    • US extends lend-lease to USSR
  • Oct. 1941, German u-boats sink the USS Reuben James
    • US arms merchant fleet
us intervention atlantic charter
US Intervention / Atlantic Charter
  • It was drafted at the Atlantic Conference (codenamed Riviera) by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, aboard warships in a secure anchorage in Ship Harbour, Newfoundland, and was issued as a joint declaration on 14 August 1941
  • Outlines the war goals and goals of the post war world
us intervention atlantic charter30
US Intervention / Atlantic Charter
  • In brief, the eight points were:
    • No territorial gains were to be sought by the United States or the United Kingdom.
    • Territorial adjustments must be in accord with the wishes of the peoples concerned.
    • All peoples had a right to self-determination.
    • Trade barriers were to be lowered.
    • There was to be global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare.
    • Freedom from want and fear;
    • Freedom of the seas;
    • Disarmament of aggressor nations, postwar common disarmament
us japan
US / Japan
  • Tripartite Pact- loose defensive pact between Japan, Germany, and Italy
  • U.S. trade embargo imposed on Japan as punishment (and stall) Japanese control of the Pacific Islands
  • Militarists seized control of the government, replacing Prince Konoye with Gen. Hideki Tojo
    • Invade Vietnam and plan to invade Dutch East India to break US supply line to China
  • Tojo refused to yield on the issue of China
  • Henry Stimson~ “I have washed my hands of the Japanese situation, and its in the hands of …the Army and Navy”
us japan32
US / Japan
  • Dec 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attacked
  • U.S. naval force in the Pacific is greatly reduced by the loss of 8 battleships, 188 airplanes and 2,000 soldiers
  • Dec 8, FDR asks for a declaration of war.
  • Dec 11 Germany & Italy declare war on U.S.
    • U.S. reciprocates