• AS: American History

TSR Wiki > Study Help > Exams and Qualifications > A Levels > A Level Subject Guides > American History

1. An introduction to Isolationism and the Monroe Doctorine

USA adopted the policy of isolationism straight when it was founded by the founding fathers, who were originally British, and developed the country of USA. Isolationism means not to get involved in foreign affairs, and instead to focus on their own country. This led to a law being passed by Monroe and presedent George Washington, called the Monroe Doctorine. This is a doctorine that states that America must not be involved in world affairs, and it became part of their principal which is said to be against America if it was broken. It was developed in 1890.

2. Immigration

America was said to be the "land of the free" and is still now refered to as this title. Many people from across the world saw America as a land of oppertunity, free from oppression, such as what Russia faced in 1890. It was regarded to many as a safe haven, and America was being described as a moseic of different cultures.

However, there has been fears due to immigration spreading across North America, even before the First World War started. Many American nativists believed that they were "stealing" their country, and said that they had "a foul stench in the air". Indeed, many people were racist, such as the Klu Klux Klan, who were supposidly religious.

Another fear from immigration was due to the Prohibition in 1920, which came after the participation of America in the First World War. Alcohol was not strictly a immigration issue, but it certainly increased because of it. Movements such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), were highly against it, because it meant that violence and social disaster was more common. Therefore, such movements tried to cleanse society, some even as far as to smash up bars, such as Carrie Nation, the leader of the WCTU.

The First and concequently the Secound World War made immigrants not trusted, especially German immigrants, as USA had been fighting Germany in WWI. Therefore, such rummers spread that they were spies, and would betray the USA, thus making their country win the war. Thus, strict laws were placed on immigration, which decreased the amount of people immigrating to the USA.

Different religous groups did not get on well, such as Christians and Jews. This is because they had different religous beliefs. 

The spread of deseases, such as Tubercolosis (TB), which is a highly infectous desease, which can be passed on from a person to another really quickly. This may cause serious illness or death to the pure American born people. Even if they do not die, their care for people, would make them sad, as people important to them die because of it.




3. Break from isolationism into Interventionism

People such as Therodore Roosevelt (sometimes refered to as TR), believed interventionism was important, and so did Woodrow Wilson, but for their own seperate reasons. While Woodrow Wilson wanted to be part of the League of Nations, an organisation by representatives of countries, in order to stop any acts of agression, TR wanted militiral, economic, and navil control. He relised that America could benefit from resorces from other countries especially from China, which formed the 'Open Door Policy', led out by John Hay. This policy stated that they would be intiled to trade in China, and helped stop China being split by European countries, which caused them fear. This was mainly because Europe espesially Britian, wanted trade in China, which seemed to undermine the USA's power. It is worth taking note that America was not a world superpower at the time, and thus felt the need to become one.

However, the spark towards interventionism really occured due to the Spanish-American War. Although, it had nothing to do with them, America had trade interests in Spain, and saw the opportunity of abusing their power in help of the . Based on the revolt against Cuba, Spain was regarded as being brutal, and monsters. Posters around America showed that, however one could say that they planned this as a result of them fighting the war in spain. The people who expressed this nature in newspapers and posters, were known as the 'Yellow Press'. There was an election going on, in which the population desired war, so in order to gain support, polititions agreed to it.

But it didn't stop there. Other countries became in domination of USA, especially Latin America and other spanish colonies such as the Fillopinos. They were governed by USA, and then became a protocterate, still in American control, but not directly by it.

Such people, such as Mahan stressed the importance of naval power. This is one of the people who influenced Theordore Roosevelt, as he became aware that trading and Naval basses are important, and sparked Roosevelt to create the 'Panama Cannal', between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Ofcorce, A new state Panama had to be created. The cannal is regarded as one of Roosevelt's most successive policies.

There were also people such as Presedent McKinly and Woodrow Wilson, who avocated openly for this. Ofcorce, Woodrow Wilson wanted to be part of the League of Nations, but he also did some acts of agression towards countries, such as the Mexico, and hence conquering it. Him trying again after this had failed, shows his determination for conquerince, and as he was the presedent which led America in the Secound World War.

--Note: This is not complete yet. This will be updated soon.

Try Learn together, TSR's study area

revision notes




a study planner

of discussions

Would you rather find

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE