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tv   America First Foreign Policy 1914-45  CSPAN  May 26, 2018 2:00pm-3:43pm EDT

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them. there is a line. you crossed it. satirists found themselves advocating for truth, advocating for a functional judicial system. that is a very good point. i think it is going to increasingly be true. i will close it there to keep us all on time, and i will be around and i will love to keep talking. [applause] during the 1916 presidential election, woodrow wilson rand on the slogans "he kept us out of war" and "america first." next, a panel of historians analyze the impact of america first thinking on u.s. foreign-policy between world war i and world war ii. this is about an hour and 40 minutes. good morning everyone, it is great to see such an alive and
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vibrant crowd this early in the morning at the center. this is a terrific conference os oft goes to the eth the miller center and our long-standing commitment to bringing the lessons of history forward and connecting them to contemporary events. better not imagine a conference, a better framing, a better set of participants to help us do this today. we will be examining the history and future of an idea, america that, and we will see examining an idea also means examining the history of institutions and of individuals. and that the three are intrinsically connected. the idea that has long been associated with charles lindbergh, a global celebrity who suffered personal family tragedy and became embroiled and active in global affairs. this idea has a long history before lindbergh. but his speech at a rally in
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manhattan captured the concept in the public imagination. this was early in 1941. on theu.s. move forward glenn reese initiative, which has a connection, if you do not know. the one who designed lend lease -- glenn reese for roosevelt went on to become an ambassador to the united nations. it was aimed at supporting britain in the face of nazi aggression, and lindbergh was speaking out against it and in favor of america first, which was raised on believed that the strength and security in the nation lies on the security of its own people. it demands faith in an independent american destiny. this is not the policy of america first committee today, this is the policy of the
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america first committee today. it is a policy of not isolation, but independence. not defeat but of courage. it is a policy that lead this nation to success during the most trying years of our history, and in -- is a policy that will lead us to success again. a surprising reappearance of america first language in the 2016 presidential campaign. donald trump first started using america first, as far as i can tell, in march 2016, in the middle of the primary season. it became the headline of his national security strategy released at the end of last of his first year as president. even before that, when planning this conference, it let our conference organizers to ask where did america first as a set of ideas come from? who has nourished it during the past many decades?
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what impact has it had in now shaping america's relationships with the wider world, and what is its likely future? starting point, ideas matter. the framing of america first or any other national security slogan is important because of what it is we will do in the world and because it sets a framework for who we are in our government. our history, we can see that national security slogans have long had deep and lasting impact. liberal internationalism, containment, evil empire, democratic enlargement, axis of evil, george bush. we will also see that institutions matter. own governingour institutions, executive branch agencies like the state department and defense department that conduct foreign policy, but also the congress
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that pays for it. 1940 one, after lindbergh's speech, which voted to go to war, has not happened since then. but laws are also an important part of our institutional framework. the laws that barred us after world war i to lending -- from to countries with war debt and then glenn reese, which let us toward engagement. our parties are institutions as well, and our parties have been divided on the issues we will discuss today, from opposition to internationalism, as wonderfully laid out in william hitchcock's new book about eisenhower. as we will here today, it also obviously implicates international institutions -- the u.n., which was so instrumental.
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nato, the agreements on tariffs .nd trade, nafta and wto finally, individuals matter. not just those who articulate big ideas like lindbergh, nixon, or alternatively william, roosevelt, truman, and reagan. also thels are personnel that take on to a governing philosophy that inhabits our institution and advances these slogans in the day today and often incremental engagement of policy discussion. a slogan can set a paradigm and a set of assumptions around which an entire sociology of those that govern our country are built. those are long, often beyond the individuals that articulate them. the individuals that inhabit our institutions really take these ideas forward. so perhaps we are at the beginning of a rising generation of individuals who will inhabit
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our government and see america first as their governing philosophy -- or not. theefore we get started on first panel, i want to thank several of our own institution -- individuals who have helped build this institution. these people have worked tirelessly not just on this conference, but a series of conferences and convening's research that will follow this one. not only could we not do this without them, they are the ones who put this event together. we also want to thank our panelists. i enjoyed reading the papers that we will be hearing about today, meeting a few last night and the rich discussions we will have today and into the evening. come from as far away as norway, and was able to engineer the delivery of fedex passages to dinner last night.
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an extraordinary global compliment. two of our panelists had much shorter trips. they will join us later today. i did not see mike earlier this morning, our distinguished professor. in the stevens family, whose support has made this conference possible. william walker stevens embodies a lot of the policies we will be talking about today in his long career. primarily lived in charlottesville, and was born in 1928 in pennsylvania, but started living in charlottesville in 1950, when after princeton, he came to uva law school. he worked for the central intelligence agency, was stationed in berlin and tokyo, and returned to charlottesville of married carol wheeler maryland, and was one of the founders of the monticello , until 1967, when
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virginia national bank bought monticello national bank. he chaired until 1998, for almost 30 years. he was a special assistant at the u.s. mission to vietnam for economic warfare in saigon from 1966 to 1967. after that, he was president of a private company that invests in equities and real estate. he was a columnist for the charlottesville observer from 1993 to 2000, and in addition to the miller center, where he was part of our presidents are go, he was also involved in the governor's commonwealth counsel for the state of virginia, as well as the society of cincinnati. it is quite an extraordinary career and we have been delighted to be able to produce the stephenson conference on a biennial basis. this has been a signature of our foreign policy research and programming for some time. with all of that having been said, i want to introduce the individual or one of the
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individuals, the leading individual behind today's conference. inis fittingly the professor the history department as well as being an accomplished professor here at the miller center, has been dean of the college of the university of virginia and a friend and mentor to me even before my time at the miller center, but certainly since then. bring up mel l [applause] dr. leffler: so i am going to be brief, but i want to welcome everybody. i am so pleased, diane, that you are here. i want to thank bill for allowing will hitchcock, me, and stephanie to put this conference together and especially to the stephenson family, who has made this possible. say that i have been looking forward to this conference for a year.
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personally stunned when donald trump began campaigning on an america first program, about 18 or 24 months ago. perhaps i should not have been stunned, but honestly, i was. for me, and i think for a lot of people, america first was insularity,ith the isolationism, provincialism, anti-semitism, and appeasement that franklin roosevelt struggled to overcome in 1940 and 1941. i asked my out -- myself the obvious question. why would any candidate want to associate himself with that sort of a movement?
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and to this day, i am not quite certain whether donald trump understood the historical roots of america first when he initially associated himself with it or if he was really quite clever in doing so, because very quickly, i came to see that america first resonated. commonsensical. it garnered a lot of support, and yet for me, i thought it sounded quite ominous. am perplexeden i and troubled about historical issues and contemporary issues, i went to my colleague, will hitchcock, and asked him to explain this phenomenon to me. considerable his tion seek --- erudi
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seemed just as perplexed as i was. we decided why don't we, and the -- why don't we come together and discuss the life, meaning, and implications of america first? fullest --ill and itl antholis, who said sounded like a good idea, and as long as it is nine paterson -- nonpartisan, you may go ahead and do this. this was him it was, an effort to try and understand something that was truly important that was going on and had real historical roots. what interested will hitchcock and me and what i hope we will engage over the rest of the day is what does america first actually mean?
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what are the key ingredients of america first? and have these ingredients, these core ideas ,hanged and evolved over time and what are its roots? most interesting, i think, is how did america first resurface after it seems to be crushed, eradicated, destroyed in the wake of pearl harbor. how did it reemerge? course, we should all engage the real question -- should we be worried about america first? should we be worried about this? if so, why should we be worried? where is america first taking this country?
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importantreally issues -- and what are its implications domestically and internationally? what are the implications for the role of the american government in american life, with the nature of american and for the substance and content of america's role in the international arena. the papers for this conference -- they really are very good, stimulating, interesting, just as will hitchcock and i expected them to be -- as i read these papers, i can see much more clearly the long-term tangled threads of america first. i can see much more clearly -- i should have seen it right away -- but i didn't, the deep roots of america first in the traditions and in the practices of unilateralism, nativism, ethnocentrism,
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and free enterprise capitalism that have been core ingredients of this country. i can see that thinking about america first strictly in the 1941 does not and really encourage understanding of its appeal and its residents -- residents -- resonance. will understand it better as we discuss it further, but i am still worried and perplexed. i think your papers and dialogue whetherp us understand the american people and really peoples all over the world should be as worried as i am about america first, and if people should be as worried -- why?
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if they shouldn't be worried, why? i am happy to think and i am hoping that the presentations today, which we have encouraged to be short and sustained -- probing, will generate dialogue about these issues about the roots, the content, and the implications of america first. having said that, i would like to call the panelist, the first group of panelists to the table here and i once again want to thank stephanie and alfred and ed, all who have made this conference possible. and also my indispensable partner will hitchcock, who -- all of youlot here and worked to make this conference the success i know it will be. please come up, david, chris, norway, thankfrom
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you. [applause] >> morning. inm an associate professor oslo, norway. i will be chairing the first panel of the day on america globaln the era of conflict from 1914-1945. let me introduce our esteemed panelists. we have andrew preston, professor of american history at cambridge university, specializing in the history of u.s. foreign relations. among his many impressive achievements, he is a distinguished lecturer of the society of american historians. professor press and has written -- preston has written numerous books on national security and u.s. foreign relations, and is
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coeditor of a new book series with cambridge university press on military, war, and society in modern american history. so look for that. our second panelist is christopher nichols, a fellow you a ba that uva graduate, as well as associate director for the oregon state for humanities. he specializes, as do many today, on the history of the united states and its relation to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolation of them -- isolationism, internationalism, and globalization. old-age ands on the with was an andrew carnegie fellow. our third and final panelist is david milne, senior lecturer. andas written on rock duo the vietnam war, and on the intellectual history of u.s. foreign-policy from the spanish-american war to the present. he is senior editor of the oxford encyclopedia of american
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military and diplomatic history. we will have three presentations, 10 minutes each, and then i will start us off with some questions. professor preston, do you want to start? prof. preston: thanks, hilde. i also want to thank mel and will for inviting me, and stephanie for making sure everything has been running so smoothly and to help get us from and theway as norway u.k., where david and i live, and even oregon, deepest, darkest oregon. everything has gone extremely smoothly and i am happy to be here, so thank you to everyone for the invitation and the hard work you have put into this conference. said, what does america first mean? this is a question that is going to be shot through our proceedings today.
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policy terms, but i think more broadly, it means the freedom to pursue the american national interest, what is good for the united states, rather than sacrificing american interest to some greater international or multilateral good. the united states to do something that might be in the u.s. interest. terms, that iscy the populist edge, a hard-edged tone. -- thatd trump send when he gave his speech at the u.n., on one level, it means america is going to look after itself. of your as the leaders country will look after the interest of your country's first . everybody sort of broke into applause and agreed with him. on that surface level, it makes perfect sense. the populist edge comes from a is common to populism across the political spectrum on the left as well as the right, that it is a movement by people,
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for people, of people, against corrupt elites that are betraying the people's best interest, that elites are politics or foreign policy, and are doing something -- it might be in the interest of the elites, but not in the interest of the american people. that is certainly true in u.s. forest polity -- foreign-policy terms, and certainly true when donald trump speaks of foreign-policy. it is also true another populist movements around the world to some extent. david wouldnk disagree with me when i say it is certainly true in the country where we live in the u.k., during the debate over brexit and e.u. membership with the signature phrase, which was not britain first, although that was offered as a kind of phrase from time to time, but take back control. it is the notion that people need to take back control from the elites that are ruining the country. in foreign-policy terms, where does this idea come from?
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where does this hard-edged populism come from? my remit from this conference was to explore the idea before the era of world war ii. when mel invited me, he did not say how far back i should go or how far back he wanted me to go, he just said before 1940, because we have other panelists that will take care of that. i will touch on some of the earliest roots of america first, even before the phrase america first was used. it is important to room number that america first is not -- atous to isolationism least i do not think it is. it is analogous to noninvolvement in world affairs. it is also a knowledge is -- analogous to unilateralism. to me, that means the united states will act in the world, be a frequent -- it will frequently involve itself in rest of the world and will not be isolated,
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but it will act on american terms first and foremost, or perhaps on american terms only. in the united states, if this is what american first -- america first means, donald trump is on theven if he did not know meaning of what he was referring to, unilateralism has a very long history or very long track record, i should say, in american diplomatic history. it goes back, i think -- it goes back to the colonial period, but in terms of the united states, it goes back to john adams and -- model treaty of 7076 1776, which was in mind of joining some alliance with the french, but the treaty stipulated that there would not be any permanent alliances, he did not use that phrase, but no permanent relationships between the united states and france. wasas a treaty that supposed to be used as a kind of template, not just for relations
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with france, because the patrons desperately needed french help to fight the british. the treaty would provide a template for relations with all nations going forward after that. it did not actually work at the time. the french help was needed to desperately. the model treaty was pushed to one side, but it example five the thinking that -- exemplified -- andnking that reflected a lot of american thinking about the writer world -- wider world at the time. the united states had to act in the world on its own terms and preserve its freedom to maneuver. we moved to washington's farewell address in 1796, where he warned americans against permanent alliances. jefferson's inaugural address, where he warned against entangling alliances. the monro doctrine of 1823, in , johnjohn adams' son quincy adams, as secretary of
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state, essentially drafted the monro document -- monro doctrine was tot -- what that did the world into two halves, the western hemisphere, the new world, and the rest of the world. it was essentially a message that said never the twain shall meet. this is our backyard, this is your world. we will not get involved in your affairs, you do not get involved in hours. it was a warning against european powers not to re-colonize parts of latin america that were winning their independence from the spanish empire. also other aspects of the american unilateral tradition in the 19th and early fromcenturies, such as -- 1895. earlyited states and the 20th century was a frequent actor in world affairs, just always on its own. it always acted on its own and would not sign any permanent defense treaties or
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nonaggression treaties, and would not join in any permanent alliances, and did not do so until nato of 1949. unilateralism is therefore distinct and even in opposition to, especially in opposition to liberal internationalism, the dominant american worldview since world war ii, and a lot of commentators have argued over whether we are seeing the end of the liberal internationalist age with donald trump. it is a distinction or opposition to unilateralism because it is based on a notgnition that nations are just interconnected, but interdependent. therefore, nations with a lot of power have responsibilities to others. especially nations with great power, they also have great responsibility. woodrow wilson is the founder of
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liberal internationalism. that is why it is also known as wilsonianism. it included measures of spreading around the world, national self-determination, free trade, democracy, and international organization, which to wilson meant the league of nations. he was the founder of liberal internationalism. this is the will sony and -- onian vision. the first person to use the phrase america first in a foreign-policy context, first used in 19th century in anti-free-trade and populist movements on the left, and was used by the clan in the early to rail against immigrants, catholics, and jews, donald trump's father attended a rally. there is no evidence i can find where fred told donald this
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piece of information and that is where he got the inspiration for the phrase, but fred trump was there at a kkk rally where america first was invoked. it is supremely ironic that in a foreign-policy sense, the first person to use the phrase america first was the founder of liberal internationalism himself, woodrow wilson. he used it in a speech in 1915 to the daughters of the american waslution at a time when he trying to keep the united states out of the war. he used that phrase several 15-1916 -- 1915, the, to give support to policy of neutrality in the great war. what was going on was terrible, but what he had to do was keep in mind the american national interest. anduddenly reversed himself in 1916, the democratic party certainly mentioned this phrase.
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he ran on a phrase "he kept us out of the war," because americans did not want to join the war. by april 1917, he was asking congress for a declaration of war. he did a very quick about-face that has an interesting story -- i do not have time to get into those fourween months, he did bring the united states into world war i. when he did, he brought it into the war on terms that we would wilsonian, orl it on a platform of wilsonianism. and then, his critics, who were theyany at the time, as would have been in 1915 and 1916, wilson's critics then started using the phrase against him and proponents of neutrality, of continued neutrality and opposition to belligerency again using the term america first. crucially, to me at least,
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wilsonianism and his reasons for taking the united states into war were not underpinned by what we would call today national security. self defense, he occasionally mentioned reasons we might consider self-defense protection for the united states, but his reasons for going to war were not what i would consider to be reasons of self-defense. this returns us to the meaning of america first. foreign policy should be in the national interest, not in the interest of other nations. was pointed out over 40 years ago, if that is your view of the world, the world needs a , someone toun it help keep the peace. the problem of the interwar is that britain could not perform this role and america could not. this is a role fdr wanted the united states to play in the late 1930's,and and truman did after world war ii. but sometimes the benefits are
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not as obvious. when the cost of that role mounts, when it is not obvious why america is acting in a way, it does not seem to benefit americans. of internationalism amount alongside those costs, and this is where the idea of america first springs forth. >> i have a question? prof. preston: i am just wrapping up. once the immediate crisis passed, this is what happened to wilson in 1920. invented aroosevelt new way of perceiving self-defense called national eating --nd maneuver maneuvering the nation into war. i will turn things over to my co-panelists, who will look at fdr and america first and america first in much more detail. thank you. [applause]
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>> it is a pleasure to be here with you all. thanks to all of you. it is wonderfully organized and a pleasure to be here. at americas to look first itself, as someone who has studied the papers and written on the movement, and also to consider this the broader context in which the america first movement felt before world war ii and gesture to a few ways in which it has some lengths to the president. i think it is incumbent on us to underscore something that andrew preston said, which is that america first is neither an idea -- neither a 20th or a 21st term.y it is a 19th century term. we need to embrace that as we continue to have these meaningful conversations about the ways in which there are long-standing roots to what we are seeing today. the cry of america first initially emerged in the late the era ofy, in
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rapid industrialization, modernization, and urbanization really should not surprise us. this is the period in which americans from all walks of life had to try and figure out solutions tot -- questions that sounded remarkably like those today. poverty seems to follow progress , as one commentator noted. as the u.s. became a world power, for the first time with sufficient military and commercial power to take action, it activated the kinds of questions that andrew question -- andrew preston is talking about. we have our three policy pillars to start us off. we have washington, jefferson, and monroe. we have three compatible visions of unilateralist orientation in the world with domestic ramification. the central question in the 19th century in terms of what is america first is how do you balance foreign and domestic commitment? where do you lay priorities?
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that changes serve in 1900, when the u.s. can take more actions in the world. new questions about alliances, security structures, national security, unilateral bargaining, and i could go on. you think about all the various ways in which world power is a prerequisite for taking these next steps. the question at the turn of the 20th century is how do you update those formative kinds of concepts to meet the modern world? you can say that we are in a similar moment today, and that is where i want to end up. the questions are as simple and as born through democratic revolution as they operate in the world is an imperial power. was that right for a nation like this, and to some extent, we have been grappling with that question, is the u.s. and empire ?
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argue in my paper and a lot of my work that movements for america first focus their answers to such questions on non-entanglement, nonintervention, neutrality, and unilateralism. to my mind, the phrase america of unpacking a constellation of ideas that are properly located in an isolationist tradition. the first thing you should understand about that is that intellectuals, politicians, activists, or others, at least thinking, who walled andfully bounded formulations of isolationism. in 1940 and 1941, 1900, and in 2016-2018. we are essentially talking about, when we pivot around questions related to america first, are what are the proper degrees and types of u.s. engagement in the world? one other element i think is worth noting as the dirty word
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of isolationism comes up is that we often hear that people refuse to except that label. there were no self-styled isolationists. let's dive in one moment. the chair of the america first theretee, when he argued are two schools of thought in this country on the subject of foreign policy. they may be termed interventionist and isolationist. they are not exactly descriptive, because all interventionists are not extreme interventionists, and most isolationists are only to europe and asia, but not to the balance of north america and south america. what you get out of the america first committee is what andrew preston was just saying. a monro doctrine type vision of .hat america first meant you see that consistently throughout their arguments. they say that -- let me turn to
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their foundational principles to give us this. the four core principles of the america first committee as it was shared in the summer of 1940 with the following. on a.s. should concentrate strong defense for the hemisphere. there it is. an updated version of the monro doctrine. american democracy can only be y -- rved b lessons learned from world war i. the u.s. was pulled into world war i, arguably, by this logic and wilson's pro-war vet, commercial and financial interest. should be wars evaluated through this lens of historical concert. third, the america first committee would oppose any increase in supplies to england beyond the limitations of cash and carry, because central policy would imperil american strength and leads to active intervention in europe. the second part of that revisionist understanding of why became to be.s.
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drawn into world war i. with the lusitania having ammunition, extensive combatants, this is exactly the sort of way in issue can get pulled into war. the fourth main policy point of the america first committee demanded congress refrain from war, even if england is on the verge of defeat. one thing in looking at the landscape of the argument is how much they are for or against the british. there are fewer british haters in this movement than you might expect. haters infewer fdr this movement than you might expect. in fact, it is argued in the speech that i just quoted that is -- of england so long as they can actually pay in cash and carry the goods away from the u.s.. that is very convenient for america. it also would prevent the world war i scenario. the other thing that is
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interesting to note in this period and thinking about comparisons over time is that members of the america first committee hotly debated internally whether or not whether to be political. should they endorse candidates? before pearlst harbor, just before the end of 1941 at they even begin to encounter for all politics. the basic argument is that they would be one position advocacy groups, a noninterventionist. they would be against the war in all of its forms. so they don't wind up negotiating with any parties or candidates, despite they are a majority of republicans and a number of them are very outspoken. but they come from all walks of life. it is not just public and democrats. there are farmers, business leaders, intellectuals, shot throughout the america first committee. as thing i want to emphasize
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we think about this moment and as we think about the term meant in its day and the movement that they came across the political spectrum and partly, -- i would into, this is a long route which it passed lateral is him -- unilateralism, nonintervention, and keeping with how the u.s. should updated elf and its capacity for power, -- updated itself and its capacity for power, given the 1940's kind of moment. another thing interesting is to --nk through traditions positions on protectionism and trade. a lot of them were midwestern business leaders who were ok with some level of protectionism. again, the america first committee never formally had any policy stance on trade protectionism. and tried to avoid that, because even though there were quite a few of those aimed at the domestic market, many america first communities actually were free traders.
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they wind up not presuming any -- pursuing any formal position there a are -- either. what they did do, and it is absolutely worth noting, is that --ir appeals were power late powerfully nationalistic and xena phobic. they made strong claims that were premised on an insider-outsider kind of positioning and deeply coded as anglo-saxon white, that the u.s. was, is, and should be that. that was a problem for them in the way they tried to articulate their message and place it outside of where that would be receptive. they turned a deaf ear to anti-semitism, where it was usable throughout the country. they tried to channel their message in other ways and other places, but that inconsistency was clear and made most clear in
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september of 1940 one, when charles lindbergh made his famous des moines address, where he laid out an oppositional structure between what jewish americans might want and what american americans might want out of the war. i know we need to keep these brief, so what i would like to that the xenating phobic legacy continues to haunt anti-interventionist policy. one thing that is interesting about the america first moment is after 1941 and pearl harbor, anti-interventionism it self becomes hard -- tarred. the kinds of arguments that can be leveraged against the korean war by old conservatives, old america firsters, were harder to mount. you can see these echoes
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throughout the 20th century into the 21st century. i suppose i would like to argue that just as an attack on u.s. soil ended the america first movement on december 7, 1941, it seems to me that attack on u.s. soil on september 11, 2001 reinvigorated isolationist arguments. it shifted the rhetoric back to that relationship between who is a real american and two isn't? of threat, yous had a new foreign policy that seemed more relevant than ever, the concept of a fortress america, the need for new borders and a new security. that was a kind of claim that wilson was making in a speech that i cited and the charles lindbergh speech that i advocated. ways weings rose up in did not anticipate in the 1990's. in the post-cold war moment, a rise of isolationism did not -- a call for america first did not seem likely, although there were some in the papers did discuss it.
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it becomes much more politically mainstream after 9/11. what i think is interesting is we can think about the combination of wars abroad, cultural instability, the receptiveness of the populace to nationalist appeals and rising in inequality, cyclical recessions -- we might be arguing that it is 1940 and not 2018. thank you. [applause] >> ok, great. it is wonderful to be here. thank you so much for the invitation. in the context of this conference, with a nod to some of the papers that will happen later, i represent the chief of foreign labor, brought in to do a job that an american should be doing. [laughter] , 1940, president
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--sevelt an acute crisis. that morning, the french government had declared parison orphan city, ensuring -- press and orphan -- paris an orphan city. sensing blood and easy treasure, music weenies italy declared war on france afterwards, and fdr learned this news before he boarded his train in washington to come here to charlottesville. ignoring state department request to proceed cautiously, the president of the commencement addressed -- president's commencement address posed on failed italian duplicity, the hand that held the daggers had struck it into the back of his neighbor. he per trade america first -- portrayed as america firsters as
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america lasters. dominated by the democracy of force was an illusion. only 30% of the american public thought an allied victory was possible at that stage. as roosevelt aligned his nation with the suppose it "losers." "we will extend to the opponents of force the material resources of this nation, signs and signals, calls for speed, we will speed ahead." for president often characterized as indecisive, admiral howard stark had once grumbled how much a part of the democratic way of life will be -- led by mr. gallup if this was a purposeful speech that galvanized the nation and its allies, and can be slotted wider pattern of thrust,
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perry, retreat, and repeat. his ability to lead his nation was predicated on a keen sense of when the time is right to lead the public opinion and when it was wiser to wait for it to catch up. in this respect and others, how u.s. strategic interests package the necessity for bipartisan ofport, the medium communication, how roosevelt's decisions were shaped by memories of woodrow wilson the compliments and prevails a generation before. in wilson'sed administration as assistant secretary of the navy and had -- after theere president revealed his foreign-policy hand in 1917 and 1918. but he also drew appropriate lessons from the crushing disappointments that followed wilson's defeat in the senate. fdr was able to transcend america first, in other words,
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because he applied the lessons of a recent history in which he was a fully invested participant . of course, there are many other factors that can account for roosevelt's success, bringing the u.s. and closer alignment with great britain. , he encountered -- he also had a good fortune to run against a republican internationalist, who shared many of his views on the looming crisis. the america first committee gathered real momentum through 1940 and 1941 and charles lindbergh was a charismatic spokesman. but his notorious anti-semitic speech in des moines in september 1941 was met with fierce condemnation from all quarters, even william randall denounced itpers at the time.
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beyond being fortunate in his foreign and domestic adversities , roosevelt was also helped by nongovernmental organizations, such as the fight for freedom, the american committee for nonparticipation in japanese and most influential he, the committee to defend america by aiding the allies. the journalist and interventionist herbert agar wrote that the work of such groups helped roosevelt moved gingerly in the direction of saving a sleeping country. also had a powerful journalistic ally in the form of walter lippman, the most trusted, revered journalist of that era, whose today and tomorrow collins anticipated and often shaped our presidential action. finallynor roosevelt, fdr had a political partner able to reach constituencies that were beyond his reach. fdrthe strategies that himself employed, drawing from
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wilson struggle to achieve ,imilar and -- similar ends essex lane how he achieved anti-intervention sentiments. wilson was unable to communicate to the nation through radio, and what a difference it might have made to his presidency if he had. poignantly, wilson delivered his first ever live remote radio broadcast in which he lamented scent into's defense== isolationism from his home in 1923, long after his own battles had been lost. on theirst fireside chat banking crisis, during the very first week of his presidency, would transform -- was transformative as a political event. when you can see the presidency come directly into their own meaning fort a new the old phrase about a public man going to the country. in his efforts to mine america
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radio to aevelt used brilliant effect, and estimates suggest that 25% of the u.s. -- 75% of the u.s. population either listened to or read fireside chat december 29 of 1940, where he declared no man can tame a tiger by stroking it, and that we must be the great arsenal of democracy. in his broadcast, fdr also spoke ominously of german colonists working within the united states , that they were also american citizens, many of which in high places who unwittingly, in most cases, are aiding and abetting the work of these agents. the insinuation was clear and it was powerful. roosevelt employed a more homespun vernacular to rationalize ideas is that has
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land lease, which would keep peril in atlantic with the way. ining a press conference december 17, 1940, roosevelt compared glenn reese to providing a neighbor with a hose in an event that the house catches fire. what do i do ask roosevelt -- what do i do, ask roosevelt. this you have to pay me back? want $15, i want my garden hose back after the fire is over. who could disagree with logic such as this? andu.s. is leading the hose the water to doubt the fire, and that water was a difficult thing to return, but that is neither here nor there. they suggested that the resonators saying. at the time, roosevelt used roosevelt -- wilson as a foil to
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demonstrate how things had changed from then till now. how wrong had his predecessor been demanding neutrality from his fellow americans. frenchng the british and declarations of war on germany in 1939, fdr noted that even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or his conscience. was a pointed repudiation of president wilson's 1914 remark, that americans must "be impartial in thought as well as action." from a very early stage, fdr expressed no equivocation on inch party was at fault willing that european crisis. finally, fdr was acutely aware of wilson's failure to recruit republicans, and the dire consequences that followed. you travel to the paris peace conference, wilson declined to invite any republicans to accompany him.
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following the fall of france, fdr appointed frank knox, the 1936 public and vice presidential candidate and the secretary of the navy, and henry stimson, who was herbert hoover's terry of state. he was appointed as fdr's secretary of war. roosevelt gave stimson a free hand with his appointment. --e of these men had ever for fdr. wereca firsters undermined, the gop's "-- foreign policy wounds were exposed, this was a political masterstroke. and prior to the appointment, both knox and stimson had publicly called for the repeal of the neutrality and the a position of the draft. in realizing these goals subsequently, president
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roosevelt appeared to be following the leads of these widely respected republicans who now sat in his cabinet. and all of these actions, i think, fdr walked with the ghost hisoodrow wilson, attentiveness to wilson's presidency would only deepen over the course of the second world war. marredh his record was by significant failures in regards to race, the politically expedient renewal of jim crow, internshipights, the of 170,000 japanese americans, the majority of whom were u.s. roosevelt compliments were significant and testament attributes that had fallen out of fashion recently. political experience and attentiveness to history, and a willingness to remember and to learn from it. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for our three
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really, really interesting presentations. i thought i would start off by asking a couple of questions and then i will open it up to the audience. for my first question, it's to all three of you. i think we can argue the history of u.s. foreign relations since been writtenas more or less by the proponents of liberal internationalism, or at least internationalism. weremerica firsters portrayed as having been on the wrong side of history in 1941, which they admitted to and disbanded after parole harbor. they were labeled isolationists and as christopher pointed out, they excepted that label -- accepted that label. but according to the late michael hunt, historians should retire the label as a bit of pseudo-history. in thinking about the historical roots of america first, how
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would the three of you to find isolationism and does america first is that label? should we be using that term at all and we discussed -- at all when we discuss contemporary america first? [laughter] mean, is this on -- ok. lot, because chris wrote an entire book on that question, so i am sure he has a lot to a. , the reasoning behind what michael hunt said and what other people have said is that it is a term -- isolationism, isolation was used -- it is a term from a moment, a highly politicized moment in 1940, 1941 about intervention in europe and asia as well. because it was a highly politicized term, it was at that, we should -- an peit
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epithet, we should not use it in ways that crosses time period s for analysis. i see the point of that argument. we have to be sensitive to the word isolationism and its origins. that weuld be ways could use the term in a neutral, scholarly, kind of objective way. with that, i will turn it over to chris. >> let's see -- where to start? america first, like isolationism, is a phrase or .erm that is deeply charged it is often hurled as an epithet , so it is weaponize, and in weaponized,rm -- that iseaponized form, the norm is problem. both terms have been mangled, it's policy positions
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been imputed at or upon. it's an enormous problem. mangled, have been mistreated, maligned. should they be recovered? it mean to recover them? they should be recovered. his store sized, which means given anding them in moments. perspective, what are the constituent parts of these? hat's the constellation of ideas that are embedded there? have they been so powerful because if you're surprised that america first came roaring back, news for you, most of the ideas embedded many american are still very popular. first.izing the u.s. this is an incredibly popular
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argument. of the racial dynamics. they may not be popular when fully articulated, but as basic concepts that are rganizational and tap into the foundational founding fathers' kind of claims, they have deep resonance. how should you think about the term? one is what i said. if you reject the view, you were they arguing for? what's interesting about the america first movement, in articular, is they are arguing for the u.s. not to get dragged into a war bens the nation's best interest like world war ii. the rewriting of the history a the world war i moment as moment for liberal nationalism is a key part of that story. you can tell it differently. say between 1914 and 1917, a number of parties within groups, , individual intellectuals, across the political spectrum fought the u.s. ly against
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declaring war. keeping with a longstanding tradition. then you could move further back and you could say, the 1998 and peerists in first evented entanglements. they didn't prevent cuba, the but ppines or puerto rico, further e no annexations. right? so no triumphal narrative for them. confronting y of it. one other thought. america firsters are presented mantle.ming the they used all different kinds of nomenclature. there are variations,
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hemispherism. unit ral lattism also fit into this. key canism was also a phrase. if you don't like america first, one you sm would be could swap in and that fits in with the longer trend. rejection of the league of senate, the he representative from idaho, solationalist in american tradition, argued that that policy was an americanist one nd that went back to washington, jefferson, and monroe, that the u.s. should not multilateral organizations nd combining multilateral agreements. >> much has been written, fdr, the coalition he put together to win the successive elections workers, g blue collar african-americans, southern segregationists, college professors, jewish, you know, a remarkable coalition. america first,
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nti-interventionism also can span this wide variety or this political spectrum. beard, chris mentioned, and i think robert will mention ater on today, he was someone who believed that the u.s. must retrench, must retreat from commitments overseas. simply because these ommitments could lead to overreach and problems with regard to the impact that this u.s. have on the also it's potential empire in the making. had lso because america enough problems without going perfect other nations and beard was vech attempting to handle inner-city poverty, gross in wealth.s chris discusses this in the book. isolationism grabs quite a few and scholars are often very of the to point out some
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difficulties, problems with the term isolationism. everything.apture there are always exceptions. many often use it regardless hroughout the course of the book because it does communicate certain sensibility which for reasons that you weight.ed, i think carry >> i mean, all terms are like that political terms, conservatism. they are all contested. my second and last question is aiming to connect world war contemporary politics. as i said, america first was associated with those being on history and soof for a long time after world war of our here comes all surprise in 2016 when this term as so popular, it was seen lost in history and not a term that anyone would want to pick
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up. buchanan picked it up in the 1990s. cookie right a wing experiment that would go nowhere which was correct until rump appropriated it and won the presidency, partly with the slogan. first so in that you guys know so much firstthe original america period what is it that trump understood about america first perhaps we didn't see in 2016? apply in hisdid he adoption of the slogan that resonated with americans in 2016? >> i think he understood, i his as chris mentioned in paper, that this sort of be involved in the world in order to solve the world's problems, it's very united states. it's very popular in a lot of other countries, too, but in a big diverse country like the states, which takes on a lot of international often,sibilities that are
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f they then bear costs, are difficult oh explain to the american people, why are we doing this? it doesn't seem to be in our it's like the cliche from vietnam, why are they shooting at us? to help these people. a cliche that came forth in the iraq war. sense that america is wasting its blood and treasure really f of causes that don't, they don't bring any benefit to the united states, it purchase of broad among americans. actually, one of the things, if you read my paper, that i would in my paper, i sort of i wouldhe 1990s moment, take that bit out of my paper, rite said america first didn't really reemerge until trump but and he understood that never won high office but cuban devastatingly politician. sr. ask george bush
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ross perot had the same kind of message. i'm not sure if perot used the these erica first but powerful and trump understood that. whether he knew of the america past, even if he did i don't think it would have bothered him because it played his message. when these commitments start to bear a huge amount of costs and ask, why are we doing this? nd along comes somebody like donald trump, or others, they have basically the field open to one else is no willing to go there. no one else is willing to lead said, rebellion of pitchforks but donald trump was and it was highly effective. >> i have a few thoughts to add. if we think of the hallmarks of the so-called interwar period, and i prefer not to call that it because no one living then that way. in fact, virtually everybody policy ng for foreign
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issues was trying to prevent the next war. we call it?ld s. 1920s, 1930 [laughter] >> that's so boring. >> we could prioritize it. one paragraph to say. but think about some of the hallmarks. restriction and racism. security concerns. the red scare. union activism. strikes. go forward and you think to u.s. marines are stationed caribbean, and there is an anti-imperialist impulse that goes hand-in-hand politics of the isolationists of that era. naacp, to pull americans out haiti in the 1920s in. formal u.s. hard power applications and looking for soft power and other ways of being involved in the world,
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today.e salient that is to say, it's not like s, moments of 1930 view isolationism, if that could ever be possible. u.s. was deeply involved in war. america was on virtually every ommittee of the league of nations even though the u.s. wasn't formally a part. s moment, economic concerns, rising inequality, approach nhard power to u.s. involvement in the world sounds like some of the say, then moments, to, 1990s, and then you get the attack of 2001. that's when you see a set of politics that are ripe for the plucking at the highest level. that's what you get out of the america first call that's not and 1941, except that everybody in the america first movement knew they elect a president. they all knew they couldn't even find a party to support. was toew their only hope go broad base. one issue out of the war and not candidates ies and
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to have any hope of pushing back nto the u.s. entry into the war. >> i'll just add to that, particularly the g.o.p. trump did very effectively, in invoking america was he used the war in very n 2003 and used it effectively against jed bush in as well,r, marco rubio and this is a parallel actually able to bama, who was defeat hillary clinton in the primaries, in part, because of because of his opposition to the iraq war and hillary's support. only area i can think of where the parallel, a between obama and trump. n the g.o.p., the great advocate for entrench. probably in this period was rand of years before. in the run-up to the election, i remember i was finishing a a book, and when i
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talked about the resurgence of talked isolationism i mostly about rand paul, and, of course, he was defeated, went trump picked up his mantle but he did use this very effectively. bviously in regards to the electorate at large, it was trade and protectionism. think, first, i resonated with the american voting public but when it came attacking the republican iraq that nt, it was trump really used effectively. we have some time for questions from the audience. >> we'll start with professor hitchcock. >> university of virginia, thank you very much. wonderful panel. starting to learn a great deal. are of mel's questions starting to be answered in my head. presentations, you have done a great service to us to help us understand the long origins and the roots of
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unilateralism re nd you've made a strong case that it's far more americanism at the creation of the nation is.n internationalism and, in fact, you've done such a you've , i think caricatured the persistence in the last century. want you to say a little bit more about the persistence of internationalism since 1917. in a way that were it not for the political wiles f two very clever politicians, woodrow wilson and franklin roosevelt we never would have linked to thetury wider world. we would have just been like anderson tilling the garden we would have never cared about the rest of the world and i'm sure you don't believe that i like for you to talk a little bit more about the ebb and flow, the purchase, the ower, the appeal of
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international little from 1917 onward and maybe it ran deeper than just the cleverness of and roosevelt. what were some of the voices pushing against america first, it really the characteristic element of the entire 20th century. we might even say internationalism has had as long history stinguished a in the united states as the unilateralism that you describe american art of the dna. thank thanks. working chris is another book at the moment on in blican internationalism the 1950s. but, well, i guess this is -- when you're asked to write develop a you particular point and present it as concisely as possibleful a lot going onis in this time. here has been much research
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published recently on the role pressure groups and itizens groups, and their success, not just in ommunicating the importance of internationals to the wider public, but parties themselves, in particular, the republican party. course, the nomination of due ll wilke, in part, was to pressure from the wider public. so, you know, i probably did not give attention or sufficient issue.on to that later, the came ature of the attack at pearl harbor, i do think, the deft and fdr moved y in which the united states to a position yeah, post pearl harbor. demise, if y swift
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you like, for america first, for obvious reasons. some of the more important or equally important politics regards to came later with harry truman, successes politically at that time. i'm hoping chris will speak republican party. in regards to the grassroots, in jeffersonian s notion of the united states garden. its own the second world war as a rocess, just devastated this notion, this charles beard's continental american nix and it's not that this was happening in the 1930s and 1940ses. there was a very important book bout sea power in history, and in some ways, in this book and other articles and so on, spoke processes that would
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ecome known later as globalization, and they were difficult to fend off. ifficult, you know, what he wanted the united states to do was to exploit those processes. that idea developed and gained traction subsequently. economics of internationalism. >> yes, sure. fairpoint. we're at a conference on tracing the idea of america first and wanted to things i do, what's common among a lot of people as and other well, is trump somehow sits outside of history that he isn't history and can he's very much part of american history and we can see that hrough america first and through some other ideas but it doesn't mean it's the dominant mean it's it doesn't the most powerful or most popular strand. it's just one strand. but i think we need to pay more to it because it's obviously very important. internationalism was massively the 20th rough
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century. i don't have to say that, i don't have to belabor the point this audience. the u.n. was wildly popular. popular, inas widely a truly popular sense in that it and very broad popular basis and if things hadn't happened, if wilson he hadhad his stroke, if been more effective, if he had brought republicans to paris, have the world would turned out differently and wilson wouldn't have had that world war ure until ii. globalization is important. there are structural factors not only nationalism appealing but necessary to a lot of americans and during the cold ar, i haven't done the genealogy on this phrase, it would be interesting to know attractive to americans was being leader of the free world. i mean, that's how american residents refer to themselves, that's how americans refer to their presidents, i hate to say no one outside the united states refers to the american president like that unless they ant to curry favor with
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the american ith president. but -- it's not a conceit. of, in the ort sense, it's true, the united states is leader of the free world. that was d term but very, very appealing to american cities. these internationalists ideas, deep, really eally powerful roots in american culture, but there are moments of contests, obviously, where they are in conflict with to call it, want isolationism or america first and we have to remember that these have a rivalry that goes back a long time. >> my colleagues have covered about everything. i guess one other point that i i see in the and century is transnationalism internationalism.
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the nongovernmental, if you look internationalism. environmental activists, there a real concern for those groups, missionaries, ymca, as they want to not be implicated by their relationship to the state. o depending on what we mean by internationalism, those are very popular movements. of d transforming kinds movements that have their roots r large constituencies in the u.s. and then we have to wonder, borders, under borders but not through formal state structures, how do they in that narrative if we want to talk about how popular transformative internationalism was, and nationalism, i would argue we a bit more and thinking about that development don't fit d they neatly. they might oppose formal u.s. intervention that is lot of and yet be acting in the
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of d in all kinds significant sorts of ways. from the university of virginia. i wanted you to pursue further a notion that you raised in discussion here just a few inutes ago but which does not appear prominently in your papers, which is what americans happened in world war i. and the whole way that the was being world war i written in that generation, and how strongly the way they about what had happened with world war i dominated, in fact, all of these discussions. in the 1930s. argument, ke an propose a hypothesis, that the and beliefs about world
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war i is not simply a factor in a larger among american tradition. that actually, it is the story,t narrative of the for that generation in the 930s, as they are constantly looking backward at the recent trauma. that they have suffered. me, this underscores actually the sheer strangeness world american entry into war i, which i think is not appreciated. without getting into the issues the bmarine warfare and reasons for the intervention, because you'll talk i hope in a americans t what believed about this in the 1930s, which is quite different it todaywe think about as warren cohen has pointed out. at the time america declared not n april, 1917, it did plan to send troops to france. the army -- they thought they declaring a limited war
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that would mainly be naval and economic. then their initial military plans were to send a token expeditionary force perhaps at of a reinforced division. to be those plans had transformed into a total war ffort during the summer of 1917. months after the declaration of direwhen they realized how the allied cause really was. frantically improvised, ultimately sending two million people there but if your going to send two million france, you better come up with a big story as to why you're getting into the war matches a total war effort. but all of that is being they made after ecisions that they hadn't anticipated. i just mention that in order to underscore the sheer strangeness of that experience again, and difficulty and challenge of americans in making s and of that in the 1920
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1930s. i think, you know, confining to these two points, there is a wilson between what promised or offered as an explanation for why the united tates should enter the first world war, and then the outcome tangibly s achieved later, which led to a great deal of disillusionment. s, and rds to the 1930 this coincides with the great and capitalism as a under threat.g you know, its feelings, being illustrated, and this appens at the same time as nye forms a committee which vets the real reasons for u.s. entering first world war, alongside of -- a very, a book that widely discussed,
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the oth suggested it was machinations of investment ankers, there was a conspiracy of sorts to bring the united states into the first world war minority of wealthy individuals in the united states wanted to make it so. this was powerful, in the 1930s an gave a spur to solationism that wasn't just, chauvinism, capitalism being undermined during this time, i think that story is vitally important, absolutely. agree, i agree with you. and i think this is partly why s, fdr had to 30 gingerly, so
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in moving and sometimes following public opinion, sometimes leading it. first world war and wilson was a tarnished project, in combination, for the reasons that i mentioned. persuaded by that argument you made. version of my paper would be how the lessons of world war i inspired the america 1941.movement in 1940 and if you go to their pamphlet, letters, world war i is shot through. that's the historical lens through which they view their moment.rary full stop. they are really proud to get a fdr to not send troops to france in their internal letters, and in their they compare it to wilson and they think it's not worth that much. before.een this and, you know, there are a examples like that. the other thing i would emphasize, i think you were esturing to but it's very
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important for americans, we're still finished our hundredth of notd war i, world war i was that popular in the u.s. and in seven states the national guard down deralized to put draft dodgers. america had a very wide-ranging views about why they were be lved did they want to involved in the world and particularly the constitutionality of the draft and who was being drafted and where. and so, and that legacy lives on. hat distaste from that moment, i think, generates its own kind of political momentum in the and 1930s, in the depression context. the other thing we should note, neutrality acts, these popular, the ledlow amendment, 1938 but it's rising through the 1930s, first proposed in the context -- first proposed or thought about in the late 19th century and then the thed war i context to strip president's hands to strip congress's hands of declaring war except in defensive moments. popular this stuff is. and i think that's really telling. part of this history that
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tend to undersell and underestimate and that's partly why we've been suppressed since and certainly in 2016. >> just very briefly, i'm entirely persuaded as well. think about world war i a lot of times people see the the em in explaining american entry into world war i, why did it take the u.s. so long but the real problem is why the got involved at all? there is -- by 1917, there is no reason al or compelling why the united states would become a full belligerent to the wars. i'm totally persuaded by that david used the phrase war.llusionment after the distaste, i would come back to a hrase i used in my paper, betrayal. true of the anti-war, isolationist movement of the 1930s. to use a word that you used, trauma, when you combine the ense of betrayal with trauma
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that's really potent, really powerful stuff. interventionists weren't just the nye committee, who were a firsters anti-semites or nativists, but massive peace movement. his mentions this in paper, a huge pacifist movement. war,was traumatized by the felt betrayed by wilson and firmly supported the war, world war i to make the world safe for democracy and so and they felt betrayed as well by what and ned in 1919, 1920, afterwards. point.t's a great >> it's in your papers. woman the second american to win the nobel peace prize, acting together to keep the u.s. war.of the copeland.or
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>> hi, dale copeland, department of politics, uva. a broad question. i'm interested to know whether, all, you believe that we should be distinguishing the way this america first or isolationist, or whatever you want to call it movement, is popular with elites when they think sort of what's best for america, versus selling it to he people and gaining popular support, for political purposes, elections and so forth. focusing on the elite, i would want to know whether you of it, that this history going way back to the founding, really a function of shifting omestic politics or domestic incentives for elites. in fact, ideological incentives pure than the europeans, we should stay out of impure european wars, or
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whether, in fact, this is just straightforward rational given our as in situation, this is the best policy for us? case would like to make a to say, that for most elites throughout american history, back and have gone forth between being more involved or less involved in usually itics, it's quite a rational response to the situation. knew that ounders they were weak. they knew they had to grow. they knew they couldn't be costly wars. those in the late 19th century believed, hey, why should we money when we can grow and rise economically and out,tarily, through getting or staying out of european costly wars, and then when the s rolls along and it's quite clear that with new technologies bombers and german involvement in the hemisphere, nd south america, we need to get involved to protect our hemisphere, and then, of course, the nuclear weapons and
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everything technologically, hemisphere is threatened by any power that takes over euro-asia. so globalism or getting more involved, whatever you want to rationalis, in fact, a response to changing circumstances, so those are two very different ways of explaining this. i've heard from the panel, mostly this is about ideology nd domestic politics and distorted world views or even racism. i would like to make the case that perhaps it's actually a to changing geopolitical circumstances, including right now, fact that is rising and we seem to a ride by taken for free trade. question. an enormous a huge question. i'll try and be brief. those are rational responses to certain hinge point moments, pivotal moments. but they were also highly the arguments
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against either isolationism or one nationalism at any point, both sides had rationality behind them. moments, what's interesting, you know, in order that or untie e those knots, in tracing the go ory, i think you have back to ideology. as you said in your question to domestic politics as well. 1917 to 1919, 1940-1941. 1945-1946, these are fluid highly contested moments, where not utcome is predetermined. i would push back only in the gist of your e question, as i'm reading is, almost se were foreordained and because of the structures of world politics outcome, the outcome was going to happen and i'm not so agree would necessarily with that that's what i think -- write think the political elites o matter to go back to the
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starting point of your question and how things are justified. i didn't really develop it in my one of the things that i'm exploring in a book that i'm writing right now is, franklin t to which roosevelt emphasized this idea of national security and an i've had a lot of conversations about this we agree 'm not sure on every point about fdr and national security. ut what -- one of the things fran lynn roosevelt did when he saw the failure of wilsonism, he emphasized american territorial self-defense very much and also america's position n a world system in which this world system was becoming more interconnected and therefore more threatening. fdr's message ugh time and time again a different president might have made a different argument. and, you know, his opponents in the america first movement, fdr was ike lindberg, pointing to air power and how air power was making america said air rable and he power makes us safer because it akes us pretty much totally
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impressionable. the western hemisphere totally impressionable to attack. here is logic, we may not like lindberg, i certainly don't like lindberg. glad that fdr l won that argument for what it meant for world history. logical argument. a lot of the arguments that the america firsters made were thoroughly rational and logical, rational responses to the situation at hand and so outcome wasn't actually predetermined. thing, i wouldone love to just drill down on one f your points about america first. when douglas stuart founded merica first in new haven, yale, potter, stuart, formed, all of those guys, they didn't be a membership organization. they come late to that and they are poorly equipped to have chapters across the country and almost a million members by the very end, they their numbers,of they really wanted it to be an advocacy en policy
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shot. they produced some pretty well rgued kinds of bulletins that make an array of cases, going back to the previous points, ways in which the u.s. could be into the war against the nation's will, or certainly without a proper debate. one of their main claims, which is a really positive democracy, is or we need more dissent. hey argued there wasn't enough dissent even in the world war i moment and someone had to step their elitism and probably their youth as well nd training as lawyers from this initial group at least. they wanted to put forward and for dissent and interventionist cause and just that. then, when they find out how is, that they are actually getting traction, they ave to figure out how to get chapters all over the place. suddenly, it builds from there but i'll leave it at that, just historical specific point. >> we're out of time. i should round up the last few questions. questions.more
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oh, gosh. how to choose. the first row. we'll do both questions. hi. the history behind -- isn't it sort of jogtive to equate foreign policy in any way to anti-semitism after the prior not istration policy was only abandonment of israel but antagonistic relations with allies, and her now, where as now, we have like saudi ies arabia and israel, working in own self interests and in our interests, in sort of a engagement? that's basically it. >> i think that's directed at you. [laughter] >> let's take the last question. sure. >> on the other side of that. i'm very aware that you focused n the american first committee and that's part of our charge, used erica first was
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vowssivously byo the mayor in chicago, who england, and talked bout how bad english people are. i couldn't resist that. [laughter] >> uk in general. that besides the ideological and the internationalists perspectives you're talking about, it was a huge components of america first that was really about politics and about nativism, although in the case tricky nd, nativism was but the idea of using the manipulation of the foreigner as purposeful attempt to maintain political power, i think it's integral to how america first operationized, at least in the 20th century. >> do you agree? oh, absolutely. the briefly, so,
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anti-semitism of the america was not about foreign structures per se but threats, ut internal and it set up this oppositional structure, one, characteristic, iconic america, versus all male others, and, you know, that's lindberg's t in speech, it set up, and other interest groups as well, jews in thoseular but also set up who are pro-british as being people trying to yank the u.s. and you could argue that there is a logic to that, that extends afterwards. foreign policy lobbyist that is exist in the u.s. later, aipac, n lobby, bby, extensions of the same argument but now they are inverted. so now in a contemporary conservatives e for israel and for backing a foreign state allied with an internal lobby that's supporting foreign policy position,
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with america firsters, in 1940, they are saying, it's the beware of those internal lobbies that are going foreign e u.s. into wars. it's an interesting juxtaposition of this historically. >> can i just make an observation. and e issue of trump protectionism, it's something 30 , for the past 25 or years, donald trump has spoken firstly, being ripped off by bad trade deals. alliances in which the united states is involved. advantageous to the u.s. national interests anymore, and in the 1980s, it was japan, of course, that was threat. this was where u.s. protectionism should be applied. it's much more in regards to china. wonder, post cold war, there was a hope perhaps, an expectation even, on the part of u.s., that there
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might be some kind of peace dividend, that there might be you know, where the u.s. would gain through victory this grand ideological-political-economic conflict with the soviet union didn't really come because policy ay u.s. foreign went next. has written on the subject recently. i think trumped tapped into that of, you know, what's in it for us? given that we've actually conflict, n this given nature -- given the ecurity umbrella that the u.s. afford, who are taking advantage of this. a reason why as trump was successful, and so projecting, conveying this to the u.s. public, and why it resonates. this disappointment post cold war with what came next. to me just now.
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>> please join me in thanking our panel. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] san francisco was home to two fairs. was at the tory tv fair's meeting, about the organizers and exhibits. this is about 15 minutes. >> associate professor of in carroll university. where is that? >> in wisconsin. >> how long have you been teaching? teaching at carroll for 12 years and i taught part time a little bit before that.


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