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Setting the Stage

After WWI ended in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson presented his plan for a League of Nations to prevent further conflict. The League of Nations was an international organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland, where representatives of member nations met to resolve international issues. It preceded the United Nations. Although the idea was presented by the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress refused to ratify the treaty permitting America to join the League. Throughout the next two decades, a feeling of isolationism reigned. This desire for separation was buoyed in the 1920s by a relative rise in prosperity throughout the country. In the 1930s, tension grew in Europe and Asia as Germany and Japan became increasingly militaristic, even invading neighboring countries. Politicians in Washington were keeping a close eye on events around the world but the United States was hoping to stay out of any conflict. Many Americans did not want to get involved in another war.


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