Charles A. Beard and American Foreign Policy

By Thomas C. Kennedy | Go to book overview

4
The Peace Settlement to the Great Depression, 1919-1930

DURING the period from the peace settlement to the Great Depression,1 Beard's thinking on world affairs was marked by alternating moods of optimism and pessimism that coincided, respectively, with many features of liberal internationalist and liberal isolationist thought in America during the 1920s.2 Consistent with his conviction that it had been necessary and desirable for the United States to adopt a belligerent status in 1917-18, throughout the 1920s Beard frequently emphasized the responsible and active role which America would have to assume in foreign affairs. Immediately after the war and through 1930, he was generally sanguine in his appraisal of the prospects for international peace and stability.

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1
The material in this chapter, with slight revisions, appeared in the author's "Charles A. Beard in Midpassage."
2
The terms "liberal internationalist" and "liberal isolationist" are derived from Eric F. Goldman's delineation of progressive-liberal opinion in regard to American foreign policy during and after World War I. The liberal internationalist was basically wedded to the notion of collective security in the promotion of world peace, which meant support of American intervention in World War I and extensive participation in world affairs, including membership in the League of Nations following the end of hostilities. The liberal isolationist, on the other hand, was distinguished by his attachment to an economic interpretation of war, a fear that war meant the end of domestic reform and compromised civil liberties, a skeptical attitude toward the league, and, by the 1930s, a "deep-seated disillusionment with Wilsonianism": Rendezvous with Destiny, pp. 223-61, 374-76.

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Charles A. Beard and American Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - The Formative Years, 1874-1904 1
  • 2 - Years of Academic Achievement And Controversy, 1904-1914 15
  • 3 - The War Years, 1914-1919 28
  • 4 - The Peace Settlement to the Great Depression, 1919-1930 40
  • 5 - Formulating a Philosophy Of Isolationism, 1931-1935) 58
  • 6 - Waging the Cause of Neutrality, 1935-1941 78
  • 7 - Beard During World War Ii, 1941-1945 105
  • 8 - The Efforts to Confirm a Thesis, 1945-1948 128
  • 9 - Epilogue 154
  • Appendix 169
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 193
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