Post World War
Perhaps one of the greatest dramas of the 20th century was the redefinition of the role of the United States in the world. From 1815 to 1915, the United States had opted to stay away from (isolated) all European quarrels. Although “isolated”, the United States still, in 1898, acquired the Philippines, imposed itself on Cuba, and acquired new exclusive rights in Latin America (Hogan, 2003).
Even then, as late as 1915, with the sinking of the Lusitania threatening to draw the United States into war with Germany for the first time, the prospect of interfering with European affairs remained violently controversial.
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In deed, the controversy was so intense that when President Woodrow Wilson declared that the Germans would be held to a “strict accountability” if they provoked the United States again, his Secretary of State resigned, arguing that such a stance would definitely draw the United States into the war (United States Congress, 1936).
After WWII was over in 1945, the United States was at the forefront in the formation of a collective security organization, dubbed the United Nations Organization, effectively radically shifting from its traditional policy of isolationism to one of mutual support and inclusivity (United States Congress, 1936).
Hogan, H. (Writer). (2003). World War II: The road to war. [Television series episode]. In R.
United States Congress. (1936, Feb. 24). Neutrality Act. Retrieved August 24, 2014,
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