The United States had participated only marginally in the First World War, but the experience was sufficiently costly that Americans turned their country decidedly inward in the 1920s.
They disarmed their military forces and swiftly dismantled the nation’s war machinery.
To a much greater degree than in the earlier cases, the changes set in motion by the Great Depression and World War II had their origins outside the United States—a reminder of the increasing interdependency among nations that was such a salient feature of the twentieth century.
The Great Depression was a worldwide catastrophe whose causes and consequences alike were global in character.
Washington also insisted that the Europeans repay the entirety of the loans extended to them by the US Treasury during the war.
Essay On Causes Of The Great Depression
And in 1924 the republic for the first time in its history imposed a strict limit on the number of immigrants who could annually enter the country.Even those horrendous numbers could not begin to take the full measure of the human misery that unemployment entailed.Given the demography of the labor force and prevailing cultural norms that kept most women—and virtually all married women—out of the wage-paying economy, a 25 percent unemployment rate meant that, for all practical purposes, every fourth household in America had no breadwinner.Each embraced a pair of episodes with lastingly transformative impacts.From 1776 to 1789 the Revolutionary War and the adoption of the Constitution brought national independence and established the basic political framework within which the nation would be governed ever after.A ramshackle, woefully under-regulated private banking system, a legacy of Andrew Jackson’s long-ago war on central banking, had managed to wobble its dysfunctional way into the modern era.Some twenty-five thousand banks, most of them highly fragile "unitary" institutions with tiny service areas, little or no diversification of clients or assets, and microscopic capitalization, constituted the astonishingly vulnerable foundation of the national credit.The lingering distortions in trade, capital flows, and exchange rates occasioned by the punitive Treaty of Versailles, as the economist John Maynard Keynes observed at the time, managed to perpetuate in peacetime the economic disruptions that had wrought so much hardship in wartime.What was more, memories of the war’s bitter fighting and vengeful conclusion rendered the postwar international atmosphere toxic.The United States Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and rejected membership in the nascent League of Nations.Congress in 1922 effectively closed the American market to foreign vendors with the Fordney-Mc Cumber Tariff, among the highest in United States history, and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff eight years later.