America in the 1920's.

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History Project : America


The USA is large country with a complex governmental structure. After President Woodrow

WIlson returned to the USA after is efforts at Versailles (post World War I), he found that most

Americans no longer wanted anything to do with the rest of the world. Since gaining

independance from Britain in 1783, the American people had tried to avoid foreign

entanglements and concentrated on building up the strength of their nation.

There were two main reasons for this :-

*        Over one hundred thousand American had been killed during the war. This left many

families without a "bread-winner" and consequently without money.

*        The war itself had badly disrupted trade with other countries.

In 1920, half the people in America had been born outside the USA. They were mostly

Eurpoean settlers who had left their homes and come to America to start a new life.

For many, Europe was associated with poverty and harsh governments. Also, since the

communist uprising in Russia had just been completed and communist ideals were beginning to

infiltrate into Western Europe, they wanted to avoid any contact with Europe as many

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Americans deeply opposed comunism.

Woodrow Wilson had hoped that the USA would play a big part in world affairs and created a

"League of Nations" plan that would involve many countries. In spite of its obvious bonuses, he

found little support for it. The USA never signed the Treaty of Versailles and never joined the

League of Nations. This policy came to be called isolationism: the wish to stay out of any

involvement with other countries.


Even though the American population at that time disliked foreigners, they were still attracting a

large number of ...

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