isolationism

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

isolationism

isolationism, a national policy of abstaining from political, military, or economic alliances or agreements with other countries. Isolationism may be adopted in order to devote a country's energies to becoming self-sufficient or addressing domestic problems, or sometimes to contain foreign influence. Many countries have had policies of isolationism at one time, including China, Japan, Albania, Paraguay, and North Korea.

Political and military isolationism has been a recurring sentiment in the United States, beginning with George Washington's Farewell Address in 1796, in which he warned the young nation against becoming involved in European politics and wars. The aspects of isolationism inform the Monroe Doctrine (1823), which opposed European intervention in the Western Hemisphere, especially in Latin America, and stated that the United States would not interfere in European affairs. The country's reluctant participation in World War I marked a departure from its former policy, but the losses suffered in war and the failure of Woodrow Wilson's internationalism caused public opinion to once more turn against foreign entanglements, and contributed to the U.S. rejection of the League of Nations.

Isolationism again became a popular political stance in the 1920s and 30s. The Neutrality Act of 1935 was a reaction to the American public's fear of being involved in another costly war. The Great Depression also caused Americans to turn their concerns inward during this time. A strong noninterventionist lobby, led by the America First Committee and its popular spokesman Charles Lindbergh, was able to keep the United States from entering World War II until the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. President Franklin Roosevelt and other U.S. leaders subsequently supported establishing the United Nations and America's active participation in it. After the war, the rise of the Soviet Union and its sphere of influence (and strong U.S. opposition to that), improved communication and transportion, increased world trade, and other changes made it impossible for the United States to again cut itself off from the rest of the world.

See S. Dunn, 1940: FDR, Wilkie, Lindbergh, Hitler—The Election amid the Storm (2013); L. Olson, Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight over World War II, 1939–1941 (2013).

Notes for this article

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 article

This article 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 article

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

Cited article

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 article

isolationism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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

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.