Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

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Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Futurist » 13 Aug 2018 00:13

Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Charles Evans Hughes rather than Woodrow Wilson won the US Presidency in 1916?

Had Hughes won, I would imagine that he'd still take the US into WWI in 1917 and be more willing to compromise in the US Senate (which, in this TL, will probably be controlled by Democrats after the 1918 election) than Wilson was in real life. In turn, this could mean that the US would join something resembling the league of Nations (I don't know if it would have the exact same format as in real life, but I suspect that it would be pretty similar) and also possibly ratify a treaty of alliance (the security treaty) with Britain and France after the end of World War I.

Now, the question is this--would the US have still returned to a state of semi-isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s in this scenario? For instance, would isolationists in the US Congress (and please keep in mind that if the Republican Hughes wins in 1916, the Democrats probably win control of Congress in 1918 and control of the Presidency in 1920) try to end the US alliance with Britain and France at the earliest possible opportunity? If so, would they actually succeed in doing this?

Also, would the US be more alert and prepared for the threat of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s in this scenario if Hitler and the Nazis still come to power in Germany in the early 1930s in this scenario? Would the US be prepared to form an anti-Hitler coalition with Britain and France in the late 1930s in this scenario, or would the US insist on staying on the sidelines as in real life but trying to help Britain and France in any way that it can short of war?

Any thoughts on all of this?

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Aug 2018 01:35

About all I can say is Roosevelt did not like the nazis and reduced or ceased US government backing of loans to Germany from 1934. I'm unsure how important that was or how Britain and France viewed it.

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Futurist » 17 Aug 2018 03:06

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Aug 2018 01:35
About all I can say is Roosevelt did not like the nazis and reduced or ceased US government backing of loans to Germany from 1934. I'm unsure how important that was or how Britain and France viewed it.
One would think that Britain and France looked at this rather favorably, no?

Also, it's interesting how, in spite of being pro-Allied, FDR couldn't get the US into World War II until Pearl Harbor--and that was in spite of the fact that France had fallen 1.5 years earlier!

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Aug 2018 04:21

Futurist wrote:
13 Aug 2018 00:13
Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Charles Evans Hughes rather than Woodrow Wilson won the US Presidency in 1916?

Had Hughes won, I would imagine that he'd still take the US into WWI in 1917 and be more willing to compromise in the US Senate (which, in this TL, will probably be controlled by Democrats after the 1918 election) than Wilson was in real life. In turn, this could mean that the US would join something resembling the league of Nations ...

Now, the question is this--would the US have still returned to a state of semi-isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s in this scenario? For instance, would isolationists in the US Congress
...
Isolationism was a reflection of a deeper trend, far beyond some voting blocs in Congress. The reemergence of the KKK as a organization was another reflection of symptom of rejection of 'foreign' influences. The slow but steady shift to independence for the Philippines was another. Growing restrictions on immigration yet another. The left also had problems with entanglements with the traditional European governments and their colonial empires. There was also a lack of understanding how dependent the US economy was on international trade that led to things like the Smoot-hawley Act and US participation in a internal tariff war.

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by maltesefalcon » 20 Aug 2018 12:17

Futurist wrote:
17 Aug 2018 03:06
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Aug 2018 01:35
About all I can say is Roosevelt did not like the nazis and reduced or ceased US government backing of loans to Germany from 1934. I'm unsure how important that was or how Britain and France viewed it.
One would think that Britain and France looked at this rather favorably, no?

Also, it's interesting how, in spite of being pro-Allied, FDR couldn't get the US into World War II until Pearl Harbor--and that was in spite of the fact that France had fallen 1.5 years earlier!
Just my opinion of course; but I believe that the unexpectedly rapid collapse of the 1940 Western coalition, actually worked against American entry. Prior to that, America had already agreed to build aircraft for France for instance, and contracts were being generated for the UK as well.

However, the Nazi victory left the US with a sort of close the barn door after the horse has bolted attitude. Now it was not just a case of lending a helping hand. The USA would have to do all of the heavy lifting to rescue Europe from Hitler's grasp. Many also felt the Wehrmacht was unbeatable, in any case.

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Aug 2018 10:57

maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Aug 2018 12:17
...

However, the Nazi victory left the US with a sort of close the barn door after the horse has bolted attitude. Now it was not just a case of lending a helping hand. The USA would have to do all of the heavy lifting to rescue Europe from Hitler's grasp. Many also felt the Wehrmacht was unbeatable, in any case.
Ya, this was reflected in the growth of the 'America First' attitude in the last year before the Japanese attacked. The German victory over France also encouraged the pro German faction in the US to argue against war with Germany. Industrial leaders like Ford or Dupont made renewed arguments against the Cash & Carry policy as it was executed, and bitterly attacked the continuing British blockade of German occupied Europe.

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Futurist » 19 Sep 2018 23:25

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Aug 2018 10:57
maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Aug 2018 12:17
...

However, the Nazi victory left the US with a sort of close the barn door after the horse has bolted attitude. Now it was not just a case of lending a helping hand. The USA would have to do all of the heavy lifting to rescue Europe from Hitler's grasp. Many also felt the Wehrmacht was unbeatable, in any case.
Ya, this was reflected in the growth of the 'America First' attitude in the last year before the Japanese attacked. The German victory over France also encouraged the pro German faction in the US to argue against war with Germany. Industrial leaders like Ford or Dupont made renewed arguments against the Cash & Carry policy as it was executed, and bitterly attacked the continuing British blockade of German occupied Europe.
Very interesting!

Also, did any prominent figures in the U.S. advocate in favor of U.S. entry into World War II before the Fall of France?

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Sep 2018 19:56

Yes, a number did. I'll have to open the books to name names. While the 'isolationists' & America Firsters dominated in the Polls, the war hawks did exist, and were active. Its not as if since 50%+ favored staying out of it the others did not exist.

Generally if you look for businessmen with strong interests in Britain or France, or any of the occupied nations, you will find someone with weak support for isolationism even if not a war hawk. The China Lobby was a Asian oriented version of this. That group was not just Missionaries and popular novelists. Businessmen who found their profits trashed by Japanese aggression and administration of China lost interest in isolationism.

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Sep 2018 21:39

'The Warhawks' by Mark Chadwin seems to be a good primer on the interventionist movement in the US. Only 310 dense pages I skimmed six years ago. Will pick through it later for some key names. 'The Borrowed Years' by is 800+ pages of how Roosevelt used the 1939-1941 period to prepare the US for war. A subset of that text are his efforts to get the US into the war, and some of his political allies in the US. Theres a couple other books I'll check as time allows.

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Re: Would the US have been as isolationist in the 1920s and 1930s if Hughes rather than Wilson won in 1916?

Post by Phaing » 23 Sep 2018 19:05

The end result of isolationism;
Better for the US, worse for the rest of the world.

Maybe someday the rest of the world will be able to put on their big-boy pants stand on their own two feet, but meanwhile they just keep sucking up our lives and our cash as if there is no limit to what 5% of the people in this world can do for them.

Tiresome, but there it is.

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