Nazi Germany was a superpower

Story Part 2: War and Peace

Free the world from injustice

The political justification for entering the war, as formulated above all by President Wilson in his fourteen-point program in January 1918, is the expression of a new self-image of the United States in foreign policy. Neutrality in the fight against undemocratic powers is no longer possible, the liberation of the world from injustice and unjust rule is an aim for which military means can and must also be used.

Measured against Wilson's ambitious goals, however, the US population is disappointed with the realpolitik after the end of the war, also due to the high losses on the US side: 160,000 dead and 230,000 injured. From 1921 onwards, the USA therefore followed a consistent course of neutrality and non-interference.

Active intervention instead of neutrality

Only when Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1932 did that change. Roosevelt declared war on isolationism, which he believed to be detrimental in the long term for ideological and economic reasons. The fear: undemocratic powers could bypass the US and establish closed markets. In his so-called quarantine speech in October 1937, he compared despotic expansive nations with sick people who had to be quarantined in order to prevent further infection. A worldwide epidemic of lawlessness cannot be prevented with neutrality, but only with active intervention.