November 2, - James A. Garfield, Republican is elected president over Winfield S. Hancock, the Democratic candidate. Garfield receives Electoral College votes to for Hancock, but barely wins the popular vote with a majority of only 7, voters.
The nineteen twenties are remembered as a quiet period in American foreign policy. The nation was at peace. Americans elected three Republican presidents in a row: These conservatives in the White House were generally more interested in economic growth at home than in relations with other countries.
But the United States had become a world power. It was tied to other countries by trade, politics and shared interests.
And America had gained new economic strength. This week in our series, Bob Doughty and Shirley Griffith discuss American foreign policy during the nineteen twenties. Before World War One, foreigners invested more money in the United States than Americans invested in other countries -- America on global affairs 1880 1929 three billion dollars more.
The war changed this. By nineteen nineteen, Americans had almost three billion dollars more invested in other countries than foreign citizens had invested in the United States. American foreign investments continued to increase greatly during the nineteen twenties.
Increased foreign investment was not the only sign of growing American economic power. By the end of World War One, the United States produced more goods and services than any other nation, both in total and per person.
Americans had more steel, food, cloth, and coal than even the richest foreign nations.
By nineteen twenty, the United States national income was greater than the combined incomes of Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and seventeen smaller countries. In fact, one of the most important issues of this period was the economic aid the United States had provided European nations during World War One.
Americans lent the Allied countries seven billion dollars during the war. Shortly after the war, they lent another three billion dollars. The Allies borrowed most of the money for military equipment and food and other needs of their people.
The Allied nations suffered far greater losses of property and population than the United States during the war. And when peace came, they called on the United States to cancel the loans America had made. France, Britain, and the other Allied nations said the United States should not expect them to re-pay the loans.
The United States refused to cancel the debts. President Coolidge spoke for most Americans when he said, simply: However, the European nations had little money to pay their loans.
France tried to get the money by demanding payments from Germany for having started the war. As a result, German miners in the area reduced coal production. And France and Germany moved toward an economic crisis and possible new armed conflict. An international group intervened and negotiated a settlement to the crisis.
American bankers agreed to lend money to Germany to pay its war debts to the Allies. And the Allies used the money to pay their debts to the United States. They said the debts and the new payment plan put foolish pressure on the weak European economies.
They said this made the German currency especially weak. And they warned that a weak economy would lead to serious social problems in Germany and other countries. However, most Americans did not understand the serious effect that international economic policies could have on the future of world peace.
They believed that it was wrong for the Europeans -- or anyone -- to borrow money and then refuse to pay it back. Many Americans of the nineteen twenties also failed to recognize that a strong national military force would become increasingly important in the coming years.
President Coolidge requested very limited military spending from the Congress. And many conservative military leaders refused to spend much money on such new kinds of equipment as submarines and airplanes.
Some Americans did understand that the United States was now a world power and needed a strong and modern fighting force. One general, Billy Mitchell, publicly criticized the military leadership for not building new weapons.
But most Americans were not interested. Many Americans continued to oppose arms spending until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in nineteen forty-one. American policy toward the League of Nations did not change much in the nineteen twenties.This edition's examination guidance has recently been updated for the IB guide for HL Option 2, History of the Americas, Topic Emergence of the Americas in global affairs The renowned IB Diploma History series, combining compelling narratives with academic rigor.
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