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America's History in the Making

A Growing Global Power

Theme 3

While increasingly involved economically with Europe, the United States turned away politically and socially from Europe and focused on the Americas.

Historians have traditionally viewed the decade following World War I as a period of isolationism in which the United States retreated from the rest of the world, but there is evidence to support the argument that America significantly increased its involvement in international affairs. The United States led the effort to resolve the international financial problems attributed to the war and tried to reduce naval weapons. It also took an active role in the regional politics of the Western Hemisphere by intervening in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. Before and after the war, the thread of continuity was to maintain a climate of stability in the Western Hemisphere that safeguarded America's economic and military interests. After World War I, the United States became increasingly involved with Europe economically, but the U.S. turned away politically and socially from Europe and focused on the Americas.

Primary Sources


Text Artifact

Speech by Henry Cabot Lodge Objecting to the League of Nations

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., speaking against the U.S. joining the League of Nations, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on August 12, 1919, http://www.etsu.edu/cas/history/docs/lodgeagainst.htm (accessed February 15, 2007).

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