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Avoid the Hustle

The evolution of American foreign policy in the 1930s
Background: In 1938, in Munich, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made a deal with Adolph Hitler allowing Nazi Germany to annex Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. Hailed as a hero for his diplomacy at the time, Chamberlain is now widely reviled for his policy of “appeasement” to Nazi aggression. Yet one year later, Chamberlain led Britain into war against Germany in defense of Poland once it became clear that appeasement had failed. By contrast, the US did little to halt Hitler’s initial expansion, and entered into the war only gradually, attempting, until attacked directly, to sway the outcome without going to war itself. Never again would the US remain so aloof for so long from such a momentous international affair. As such, the Second World War represents a turning point in American foreign affairs, and it is perhaps hard for us to understand why the US took so long to take effective action against the Axis Powers.



Resources: In your response, draw from material from AT LEAST TWO of the following documents and videos:


  1. Hogan, H. (Writer). (2003). World War II: The road to war. [Television series episode]. In R. Hawksworth (Executive producer), America in the 20th Century. New York, NY: Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=36220&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref= 
  2. Hogan, H. (Writer). (2003).  World War II: The world at war. [Television series episode]. In R. Hawksworth (Executive producer), America in the 20th Century. New York, NY: Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=36221&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref= 
  3. Lindbergh, C. (1941, Sept. 11).  Des Moines speech. Retrieved fromhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lindbergh/filmmore/reference/primary/desmoinesspeech.html
  4. United States Congress. (1936, Feb. 24).  The Nye report. Retrieved fromhttps://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/nye.htm 
  5. Roosevelt, F. D. (1939, Sept. 3).  Address of the President delivered by radio from the White House.Retrieved from http://www.mhric.org/fdr/chat14.html  
  6. United States Congress. (1936, Feb. 24).  Neutrality act.Retrieved fromhttps://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/interwar/neutrality2.htm  
  7. United States Congress. (1941).  Lend-lease act.  Retrieved from http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=71&page=transcript
Instructions: Please post a substantive discussion post of at least 200 words that examines the evolution of American foreign policy in the 1930s:What arguments were made in favor of isolationism? How and why did America’s isolationist stance erode entering into the 1940s? How did American foreign policy goals shape the American approach to the war? 

The evolution of American foreign policy in the 1930s

Background: In 1938, in Munich, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made a deal with Adolph Hitler allowing Nazi Germany to annex Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. Hailed as a hero for his diplomacy at the time, Chamberlain is now widely reviled for his policy of “appeasement” to Nazi aggression. Yet one year later, Chamberlain led Britain into war against Germany in defense of Poland once it became clear that appeasement had failed. By contrast, the US did little to halt Hitler’s initial expansion, and entered into the war only gradually, attempting, until attacked directly, to sway the outcome without going to war itself. Never again would the US remain so aloof for so long from such a momentous international affair. As such, the Second World War represents a turning point in American foreign affairs, and it is perhaps hard for us to understand why the US took so long to take effective action against the Axis Powers.



Resources: In your response, draw from material from AT LEAST TWO of the following documents and videos:


  1. Hogan, H. (Writer). (2003). World War II: The road to war. [Television series episode]. In R. Hawksworth (Executive producer), America in the 20th Century. New York, NY: Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=36220&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref= 
  2. Hogan, H. (Writer). (2003).  World War II: The world at war. [Television series episode]. In R. Hawksworth (Executive producer), America in the 20th Century. New York, NY: Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=36221&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref= 
  3. Lindbergh, C. (1941, Sept. 11).  Des Moines speech. Retrieved fromhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lindbergh/filmmore/reference/primary/desmoinesspeech.html
  4. United States Congress. (1936, Feb. 24).  The Nye report. Retrieved fromhttps://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/nye.htm 
  5. Roosevelt, F. D. (1939, Sept. 3).  Address of the President delivered by radio from the White House.Retrieved from http://www.mhric.org/fdr/chat14.html  
  6. United States Congress. (1936, Feb. 24).  Neutrality act.Retrieved fromhttps://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/interwar/neutrality2.htm  
  7. United States Congress. (1941).  Lend-lease act.  Retrieved from http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=71&page=transcript
Instructions: Please post a substantive discussion post of at least 200 words that examines the evolution of American foreign policy in the 1930s:What arguments were made in favor of isolationism? How and why did America’s isolationist stance erode entering into the 1940s? How did American foreign policy goals shape the American approach to the war?