Isolation and Security: Ideas and Interests in Twentieth-Century American Foreign Policy

By Alexander Deconde | Go to book overview

1. Alexander DeConde
On Twentieth-Century Isolationism

We should, as the Second World War recedes into the distance, try-- more conscientiously than we have done--to understand the motives and assumptions of those who described themselves as isolationists as well as the motives and assumptions of those who took a contrary view.

DEXTER PERKINS, 1956

SINCE THE FOUNDING of the Federal Republic in 1789 and through the nineteenth century the idea of political isolation from Europe has probably formed our most fundamental theory of foreign policy. Through that century of relative peace and into the strife-torn twentieth century Americans equated isolation, the desire to live their lives in peace and quiet and to work out their national destiny unhampered by foreign commitments, with patriotism. Isolation appeared to them to be a naturally ordained and permanent condition, and something distinctively American. It became an American tradition, a sacred legacy on the same lofty level as religion.

Americans were deeply conscious of isolation's historical roots; they associated isolation with the Founding Fathers and the heroes of the Revolution, particularly with George Washington. No administration in the nineteenth century dared depart from an isolationist policy, nor did any need to. Only in the twentieth century did statesmen seriously challenge isolation. Although a product of geographical circumstances and international politics which made possible aloofness from Europe, nineteenth-century isolation also stemmed from the idea that events in Europe could not injure the things Americans cherish.

Isolation through most of the nineteenth century was a doctrine of self-preservation, a broad idea of self-interest. There was little danger in that century that we would intervene in the affairs of Europe or that we would need European

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Isolation and Security: Ideas and Interests in Twentieth-Century American Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 212

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.