Roosevelt Isolationism

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As economic and social conditions remained in a state of stagnation within the U.S. and continued to worsen elsewhere, President Roosevelt attempted to involve the country in global affairs once again, hoping to benefit both the economy and the general welfare of the United States. Having learned some lessons from the colossal failure that was the Tariff Act of 1930, President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull managed to push a Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act through Congress in 1934. Rather than turning away other countries and their trade through the use of protective tariffs, the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act sought to stimulate international trade by “[giving] the executive broad authority to negotiate with other nations a …show more content…
Previous to the United States’ actual declaration of war and official involvement in the conflict, the Lend-Lease Act was passed on March 11, 1941 as a response to Britain’s desperate pleas for American aid in WWII. This act authorized the executive - namely, Roosevelt - to “sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of” any arms and or/other defense materials to “the government of any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States.” Rather than peace for the United States and American involvement in global affairs being mutually exclusive, both were truly necessary and sufficient to the existence of the other. The Act did raise some opposition from isolationists like Senator Hamilton Fish of New York or Representative Dewey Short of Missouri, but said opposition was truly “the last gasp of 1930s isolationism” and did little to prevent the passing of the actual act. Another important aspect of the act was what is symbolized. While the lending and leasing of war materials was intrinsically vital, it also represented a huge step towards the United States’ participation in the war. To the British, “...it offered reassurance that substantial assistance would soon be under way…” In order for the Lend-Lease Act to function properly, the United States sent convoys with their ships to protect the arms being transported to overseas nations at war. This alone solidified a more prominent foothold for American interventionism is the world, but an agreement known as the Atlantic Charter between Roosevelt and Prime minister Churchill of Britain stiffened

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