U.S. In the Interwar Years: A Nation to Blame

The historical issue this paper will address is the role of the United States in the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s. Some claim that the U.S. attempted to exert a positive influence on global affairs during this period, pointing out that Wilson's rhetoric included talk of disarmament and free trade, and that Roosevelt issued similar terms on the world stage.

Others argue that behind the rhetoric was an opposite tendency by the U.S. To increase its arms, destabilize regions that threatened noncompliance with U.S. interests, and to act contrarily to peace proposals.

The claims for the first point may be supported by the fact that Wilson and Roosevelt both employed rhetoric designed to give an impression of pacific aims and good will. Even in private, records exist showing that U.S. leaders did favor idealistic goals. However, the same records...
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