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Isolationism is a national policy of avoiding political or economic entanglements with other countries.


Isolationism has been a recurrent theme in U.S. history. It was given expression in the Farewell Address of Pres. George Washington and in the early 19th-century Monroe Doctrine. The term is most often applied to the political atmosphere in the U.S. in the 1930s. The failure of Pres. Woodrow Wilson's internationalism, liberal opposition to war as an instrument of policy, and the rigors of the Great Depression were among the reasons for Americans' reluctance to concern themselves with the growth of fascism in Europe. The Johnson Act (1934) and the Neutrality Acts (1935) effectively prevented economic or military aid to any country involved in the European disputes that were to escalate into World War II. U.S. isolationism encouraged the British in their policy off appeasement and contributed to French paralysis in the face of the growing threat posed by Nazi Germany.

Due to the exsistance of the America First movement, as well as other powerful isolationist organisations, Predisedent Roosevelt did not mention Germany and Italy in his speech to Congress on 8 December, as he did not have enough political support to name Japan's allies in the request for a declaration of war.[1]


  1. Roberts, Andrew. The Storm of War - A new history of the Second World War. Penguin Books. ISBN 978 0 141 02928 3. (2010). Page 194