Assess the View America Followed a Deeply Isolationist Role in the Period 1920-41

Assess the view America followed a deeply isolationist role in the period 1920-41

Passage A does not agree that America followed a deeply isolationist foreign policy in the period 1920-41. McCoy argues that whilst the US did return to ‘isolationist’ ways in the 1920s, it was only to a certain extent as the US still played a role in the world with the interests of the country in mind. This is a fairly accurate statement as the US was a prime mover in the Washington Disarmament conference in 1921. The US attempted to reduce armaments and control the forces that provoked and lead to war, so that the US could maintain peace around the world. This level of interest and concern strongly highlights the point McCoy is putting across, namely that America was not deeply isolated and was directly involved in world affairs since its interests demanded it. McCoy is also correct on the aggressive business approach America took throughout the 1920s. This was enabled through the ‘Good Neighbour’ policy, especially in the Latin America countries. In the 1920s, most Latin America countries were subject to strong US economic influence, with the volume of trading totalling to $3.2 billion. Therefore, there is great accuracy and evidence supporting McCoy’s view, primarily since America’s economic interests and activities in global affairs do not correspond with the argument that it was isolated.  

However, whilst America still had a strong economic influence in Latin America, its political interference did decrease. This was shown in the Dominican Republic in 1924, as Coolidge began to withdraw American troops. This, therefore, does provide strong signs of isolationism in the 1920s, as America no longer believed it had a policing role in Latin America. Furthermore, McCoy only briefly mentions America avoiding ‘entangled alliances’. This is not emphasised enough from the historian as it was an important indication that America was isolated from the rest of the world, particularly...