pearl harbor Essay

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Pearl Harbor: Isolationism

     It is a common held belief that America has historically been a nation driven by the ideology of isolationism. The best cases for these arguments are through our unwillingness to participate in either world war. The lynch pin being the events that happened in Pearl Harbor. I will try to dispel this theory in my essay.
     On December 7th, 1941 war was forced upon America by the Japanese assault on Peal Harbor, and declarations of war by Germany and Italy four days later. It is a myth that Franklin D. Roosevelt was anxious to bring America into the war, and was prevented from doing so by the overwhelming isolationist spirit of the American people. The
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China, too, was isolationist for thousands of years, albeit an empire at the same time. The British were habitually isolationist even during the centuries when they were acquiring an empire embracing a quarter of the world’s surface. The British always regarded the English Channel as a cordon sanitaire to protect them from what they saw as the Continental disease of war. The Spanish too were misled by the Pyrenees, and the Russians by the Great Plains, into believing that isolationism was feasible as well as desirable.
     The United States, however, has always been an internationalist country. Given the sheer size of the Atlantic (and the Pacific), with its temptation to hermitry, the early colonists and rulers of the United States were remarkably international minded. The Pilgrim Fathers did not cut themselves off from Europe, but sought to erect a ‘City on a Hill’ precisely to serve as an example to the Old World. The original Thirteen Colonies had, as a rule, closer links with Europe than with each other, focusing on London and Paris, rather than on Boston or Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin had perhaps a better claim to be called a cosmopolitan than any other figure on either side of the Atlantic. He believed strongly in negotiations and in mutually advantageous treaties

     -3- between nations. America’s ruling elite was always far more

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