Explain why many Americans in the 1930s supported a policy of isolationism .

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many Americans supported a policy of isolation in the 1930s. There were reasons for this.

One reason was that we were dealing with the Great Depression. We had many issues at home to resolve in order to get the economy back on track. When many Americans were concerned about putting food on the table, they weren’t going to be worried about what other countries were doing. Our government leaders understood this and felt the same way.

People were also concerned about getting involved in another war. There were reports that our involvement in World War I was done to help our industries make money. This was one of the main findings of the Nye Committee. Americans had no interest in getting involved in a war for that reason.

Americans also weren’t psychologically ready for another war. World War I ended in 1918, and we weren’t mentally prepared for being involved in another war. We felt that if we stayed out of world affairs, we wouldn’t get drawn into a conflict. This led to the passing of several neutrality laws designed to keep us from getting dragged into another conflict.

There were good reasons why we wanted to follow a policy of isolationism in the 1930s.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many Americans in the 1930s supported a policy of isolationism because they did not want the US to be pulled into another war in the way that the country had (they felt) been pulled into World War I.

Many Americans felt that WWI had really not been any of America's business.  They felt that the country had been pulled into the war because of the demands of businesses that had trade ties with the Allied Powers in Europe.  Because of this, they wanted policies that would avoid this sort of problem happening again.  They got their wish when Congress passed the Neutrality Acts of the '30s.

Overall, then, Americans during this time supported isolationism because they did not want to be drawn into more destructive wars that were not really any of the US's business.