excellent summary of ideas on why America refused to join the League of
Nations is from Ben Walsh's textbook, GCSE Modern World History
Walsh is a GCSE Assistant Examiner and a former Head of History.
of the Treaty of Versailles
League was inextricably linked to the Treaty of Versailles.
had insisted that all the signatories to the Treaty should join the
League. The League was also supposed to enforce the
Treaty. Yet some Americans hated the Treaty
itself. Many Americans were recent immigrants.
There were millions of German immigrants who had never approved of
joining the war against
They certainly did not want
to prop up the League as it squeezed reparation payments out of
to have no part in it.
were worried about the economic cost of joining the League. They
thought it would be as if the
were signing a blank cheque. The
would promise to solve all international problems regardless of the
cost. Business leaders in particular argued that
had become a powerful country by isolationism - staying out of European
should continue to mind its own business.
many Americans the plans for the
was promising to send its troops to settle every little conflict around
the world. Americans had been appalled at the carnage of the First
World War. T hey wanted
to stay out of such disputes.
of the old Empires
Americans opposed the League because they were anti-British or
anti-French. They thought the League would be under the
get dragged into fighting for
Empire? Americans believed in freedom. They opposed the whole
idea of colonies and empires. Surely
could not agree to safeguard all the colonial possessions of