Author

Barbara Evans

Date of Award

Winter 1967

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Abstract

In the late nineteen-thirties "isolationism" determined American attitudes toward Europe. Basically, the term, used to describe that period, refers to the beliefs which decreed that the United States should have no part in foreign quarrels.

This paper will attempt to analyze the feelings of the majority of Americans. Many men counseled non-involvement for many reasons, and extremists ranged from the Catholic priest, Father Coughlin, a man with definite pro-German sympathies, to Charles A. Lindberg, who thought that Hitler could not be beaten. Attention here will not be directed at these extremely small fringe groups, but at the "average" American, as far as his thought can be known, and at the political leaders of the period, as far as they allow their thoughts to be known.

Neither will an attempt be made to describe geographical variations in the strength of isolationism, for the polls do not reveal significant differences in reactions to events. They show that Middle and Far West tended to be slightly stronger in their adherence to this philosophy than were the East and South, and the observation is supported by the fact that isolationist leaders in Congress represented the former areas. The data, however, are not sufficient to permit any further generalization.

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