- Explain the causes of American isolationism
in the 1930s: domestic depression, disillusion with World War I, hostility
to arms dealers and other merchants of death.
REFERENCE: Manfred Jonas, Isolationism
in America, 1935 - 1941 (1966).
- Examine the erosion of isolationism in
response to the aggressions of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and the Japanese
warlords. Show the transition in American thinking from indifference to fear
for democracy, as appeasement only fed the dictators appetites.
REFERENCE: David M. Kennedy, Freedom
from Fear (1999).
- Describe the fierce debates between internationalists
and isolationists, especially from 1939 to 1941. The emphasis might be on
Roosevelts carefully calibrated strategy of increasing aid at each
stage, but never so rapidly as to hand the isolationists a political victory.
REFERENCE: Kenneth S. Davis, Franklin
D. Roosevelt: Into the Storm, 1937 - 1941 (1993).
- Discuss the Japanese-American negotiations
and the conflicts that set the stage for Pearl Harbor.
REFERENCE: Donald Cameron Watt, How
the War Came: The Immediate Origins of the Second World War, 1938 - 1939 (1989).