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Lecture 3

HIS 377 Lecture 3 Week 3 January 24th 2013 - Economic Diplomacy in the Interwar Years.doc

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Professor Candace Sobers

HIS 377 – 20 Century American Foreign Relations Lecture 3 Week 3 January 24 , 2013 Economic Diplomacy in the Interwar Years o Introduction: The Legend of Isolationism o Legislating War, Legislating Peace o The Legend of Isolationism: o Treaty of Versailles doesn’t end the war for the US – they never ratify it o British feel the treaty is vindictive, the French don’t care – they want security o American leadership was not established due to the failed ratification of the treaty o The idea of isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s is false o The US passes high tariffs o There was a lot of immigration to the US o A xenophobia developed  KKK, rhetoric of racism, etc o Allen Dulles “policy of Europeans is as devious as it was 100 years ago” o The popular sentiment of isolationism existed, but it was not true in practice o President Harding:  Greatest attribute was that he wasn’t Wilson  Won the 1920 election by a landslide with the promise of a return to normalcy  Hoover worked under him o President Coolidge:  Succeeds Harding who dies – not much to say about him  Not a strong diplomat o President Hoover:  Sends aid to the Soviet Union in 1921 during their famine  He was a secretary of commerce among other posts  All three of the presidents mentioned want to protect American trade and prosperity  The Republicans want to do this on their own terms o This period was positive until 1930 o Legislating War and Peace: o Washington Naval Conference – 1922:  Idea of disarmament to combat Japan and Britain  They want to avoid war, so they call for an overall disarmament  They were afraid Britain and Japan were heading towards war as they were competing in the pacific  Four power Treaty (US/BR/FR/JP) • If an issue arises in the pacific they will contact each other to discuss it  Five Power Treaty added Italy • The ratios of ships vary based on how many oceans a nation has to defend • This upsets Japan – they want to be considered a great power and they are only allowed to have a slightly smaller amount of ships than some of the other powers  Nine power treaty • US BR China Portugal, Netherlands, FR JP • All of the signatories agree to respect Chinas sovereignty • Quite successful initially, but Japan renounces it soon after • These treaties lack enforcement – no consequences for breaking it o Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928):  Outlaw war – agree to discussion  62 countries sign this pact  Doesn’t prevent war as there is no enforcement in place  Kellogg resolves the Nobel Prize for the Treaty of Locarno  This was considered a success at the time – people believe it may work o London Naval Conference, 1930:  US is becoming worried about the Japanese o All of these acts show that the US has not given up on foreign entanglements o Between 1922 and 1929 the US built 11 ships and Japan built 126 o Prosperity in the US is seen as building prosperity overseas and that prosperity maintains good order  Economic prosperity = global stability o Creating the Cooperative State: o America’s production capacity vastly increases during the 1920s o Becomes a world leader in production of oil o This era is also marked with protectionism and high tariffs in an effort to protect the booming American economy o They protect trade, to protect the American economy and to raise revenue o 1903 trusts are forming – TR busts them up o Federal Reserve Act, 1913  Centralizes control over currency evaluation o Income Tax (Sixteenth Amendment, 1913) o Federal Trade Commission, 1914  Regulate trade and ensure that unfair practices don’t take place o Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act, 1922  Protects American agriculture  Europeans cant afford to buy US goods and to export to the US  Europe cant raise enough revenue to pay its war
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