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US foreign policy from January 8th 1918 to December 7th 1941

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by

Ross Black

on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of US foreign policy from January 8th 1918 to December 7th 1941

US foreign policy from January 8th 1918 to December 7th 1941
Why those dates?
January 8th 1918
December 7th 1941
Summary of the 14 points
There should be no secret alliances between countries
Freedom of the seas in peace and war
The reduction of trade barriers among nations
The general reduction of armaments
The adjustment of colonial claims in the interest of the inhabitants as well as of the colonial powers
Decolonisation and Nationalist independence movements - Gandhi, Kenyatta
The evacuation of Russian territory and a welcome for its government to the society of nations
The restoration of Belgian territories in Germany
The evacuation of all French territory, including Alsace-Lorraine
The readjustment of Italian boundaries along clearly recognizable lines of nationality
Independence for various national groups in Austria-Hungary
The restoration of the Balkan nations and free access to the sea for Serbia
Protection for minorities in Turkey and the free passage of the ships of all nations through the Dardanelles
Independence for Poland, including access to the sea
A league of nations to protect "mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike."
The Polish/Danzig corridor
Why Pearl Harbor?
Military/Strategic Interests
Alfred T. Mahan  The Influence of Sea Power on History: 1660-1783
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
Commodore Matthew Perry Opens Up Japan: 1853
The Japanese View of Commodore Perry
So why did the League of Nations fail?
Britain and France
However, both countries had suffered terribly during the war. Their economies and armed forces were badly weakened.
This meant that they were usually unwilling to intervene in conflicts when this might cost them money or men.
After the horror of 1914–18, the French and British public were very much against conflict. This meant their governments were unwilling to go to war, even to protect long-term peace.
In addition, Britain and France did not always agree.
Britain and France were the only two major powers continually represented in the League. This meant that in effect, they pretty much ran the League as they wanted to.
Membership
It was not only the USA and Russia that did not join the League.
Germany and the other defeated powers were barred from joining until they had shown their willingness to abide by the terms of the peace treaties.
Many people saw the League as a “winners’ club”.
As part of the League’s job was to uphold the peace treaties, it often appeared to be acting against Germany and the defeated nations.
Why the L of N failed
F
rench and British self interest
A
bsent powers - USA
I
neffective sanctions
L
ack of an armed force
U
nfair treaty
R
eaching decisions too slowly
E
uropean club, everyone had to agree
Full transcript