Before its involvement in World War II, the United States tried to pursue peace among its neighboring nations. Many Americans that time thought that their country’s participation in World War I was a mistake that led to economic decline.
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Many American peace societies had soon tied up with bigger international movements. These movements called for international agreements to get rid of wars permanently. A few years later, many nations took part in the Kellogg-Briand Pact. All signatories pledged never to go to war.
But in the 1930s, a lot of Americans thought that the Kellogg-Briand Pact, as well as the other agreements, were not enough to maintain peace. Italy invaded Ethiopia, Japan occupied Manchuria, and Germany built armies again. Still, America stood by its view of neutrality.
When the war broke out in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt initially invoked America’s neutrality. However, it was clear that Germany was intentionally hurting other countries. Eventually, President Roosevelt offered to provide assistance to the allied forces, while keeping the U.S. out of the war.
During that time, many Americans thought that the involvement (by providing arms and military assistance), was an unnecessary “internationalist” move for the country. Eventually, Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, which made America a real participant of the war.
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