New Deal Era Diplomacy

I. Hoover and Roosevelt's Foreign Policies

Hoover's Foreign Policy

Herbert Hoover’s foreign policy philosophy was isolationism—being relatively uninvolved in the affairs of other nations. However, a number of events changed that.

Stimson Doctrine

When Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, renaming it Manchukuo, the League of Nations did almost nothing about it. The U.S., however, responded to this breach of the Open Door policy by stating that it would not recognize Manchukuo on account of the Nine-Power Treaty of 1922. (The Stimson Doctrine did not do much, but it was more than what the League of Nations managed.)
Latin America
The idea was for America to have favorable relations with Latin American countries. Hoover helped this along by issuing an order for U.S. troops to leave Nicaragua by 1933 and negotiating that troops would leave Haiti by 1934.

Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy

Franklin D. Roosevelt was more concerned with the economy between 1933 and 1938 than with U.S. relations. Some of his foreign policy issues were more economy-related than others.

Good Neighbor Policy

The president’s reasons for his Good Neighbor Policy were that interventionism was pointless without the economic resources to back it up, and that some Latin American allies would be nice if the Western Hemisphere were ever to be endangered by Germany and Italy.
At the Pan-American Conference of 1933, the U.S. promised to never again interfere with the internal affairs of any Latin American country. At the Pan-American Conference of 1936, it promised to let future disputes be subject to arbitration.
In 1934, the Platt Amendment was annulled, leaving only the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
When Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas took oil properties belonging to American corporations, Roosevelt encouraged companies to negotiate a settlement rather than intervene himself.

Economic Foreign Policies
London Economic Conference
Hoover had agreed to allow the U.S. to take part in an international economic conference held by the League of Nations in 1933. When proposals to stabilize currencies were made, Roosevelt, afraid his own recovery plans would be inhibited, withdrew his support. The conference ended up not reaching an agreement.
Soviet Recognition
Roosevelt, against the policies of his Republican predecessors, officially recognized the Communist Soviet Union in 1933 for trade reasons.
Tydings-McDuffie Act
Roosevelt pushed the Tydings-McDuffie Act through Congress in 1934. The Act gradually removed U.S. military presence in the Philippines and granted it independence by 1946.
Reciprocal Trade Agreements
The Agreements were enacted by Congress in 1934. They allowed Roosevelt to lower U.S. tariff rates by up to 50% for nations that did something similar (reciprocal).

II. Events Abroad

Economic hardships and national resentment due to World War I, brought dictatorship to Italy, Japan, and Germany. In Italy, Fascism was the new government, with Benito Mussolini at its head.

The ideology of glorifying a nation and/or race by aggressive means.

In Germany, the Third Reich, or the Nazi party, took power in Germany promising economic recovery and a place as a world power once again. Adolf Hitler, the head of the Nazi party, used fascist ideology and scapegoated the Jews to gain control of Germany

In Japan, nationalists and militarists started taking power, going as far as convincing the emperor to invade China to increase its economic conditions.

American Isolationists
Although popular opinion in America was nationalist, America took a more isolationist stance in World events. Conviced, that WWI was a mistake, Neutrality acts were enacted by congress (led by Senator Gerald Nye of North Dakota).

Neutrality Act of 1935: President has the power to prohibit trade of arms and citizens may not travel on a ship whose country is at war.
Neutrality Act of 1936: Forbade loans and credits to those in war.
Neutrality Act of 1937: Forbade trade of Arms with Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

The Spanish civil war was a war between Spanish republicanism (loyalists) and Spanish fascists ( led by General Franco). America sided with the loyalists, but did not help them due to the Neutrality acts. The Fascist party won the civil war.

America First Committee
In response to the outbreak of WWII and FDR’s pro Britain policy, a committee was made to travel the country and warn of getting tangled in European Affairs.

III. Beginnings of European Warfare

Outbreak of War
Hitler broke the Munich agreement in March 1939 by sending troops to occupy all of Czechoslovakia. War became unavoidable when Hitler’s motives in the war became more than clear.

Outbreak of War in Europe
Britain and France pledged to fight if Hitler invaded Poland. The countries always relied on the Soviet Leader, Joseph Stalin, to oppose Hitler. However, Hitler and Stalin signed a nonaggression pact in August 1939. The Soviet and German secretly agreed to split Poland between them.

Invasion of Poland
On September 1, 1939, German tanks and planes invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war against Germany, and soon afterwards, they were at war against its Axis Allies, Italy and Japan. This signaled the outbreak of World War II in Europe.

Poland became the first country to fall into the hands of the Germans through a type of warfare called blitzkrieg, which used an overwhelming number of air power and fast-moving tanks. German attacked its Scandinavian neighbors to the north and to the west in the spring of 1940. Denmark and Norway surrendered within a matter of few days and France in a week. Great Britain remained as the only ally free of German troops by June 1940.

US Policy Shifts
Americans were strongly opposed to Hitler but still hoped to keep the United States out of the war. President Roosevelt ridded the restrictive neutrality laws until nothing got in his way of giving massive aid to Britain. He believed Britain’s survival was crucial to the United States’ security.

“Cash and Carry”
Because the British navy still controlled the seas, Roosevelt pushed Congress in 1939 to pass a less stringent Neutrality Act, which provided that an ally of the United States could buy US arms. Although “cash and carry” was neutral, it favored Britain in practice.

Selective Service Act (1940)
Roosevelt pushed the neutrality act one more step by persuading Congress to enact a law for compulsory military service. The Selective Training and Service Act permitted the registration of all American men between the ages of 21 and 35 to train 1.2 million troops in one year.

Destroyers-for-bases deal
Britain was under the constant assault by German bombing raids. German submarines attacked British ships and threatened Britain’s control over the seas. Because Roosevelt could not directly sell US destroyers to the British, he arranged a trade. British received 50 older but functioning US destroyers in exchange for giving the United States the right to build military bases in the Caribbean. The deal benefited both countries.

Election of 1940
Public suspense arose as Roosevelt’s first term of Presidency came to an end. Rumors and speculations began to circulate. Finally, Roosevelt gave a definite answer that he would not turn down the offer of the Democratic nomination.

Roosevelt won the presidential election for the third time with 54 percent of the popular vote. His accomplishments became crucial in the turnout. Two reasons were: 1) a strong economic recovery based on defense purchase and 2) fear of war causing voters to stay with one president and/or experienced leader.

external image buildup-to-world-war-2-1.jpg
IV. Arsenal of Diplomacy

With the German expansion of control over Europe, Roosevelt felt the need to disregard the neutrality status of the U.S. and began to give material aid to Britain. His reasoning behind this was to have the U.S become the “arsenal of democracy” defending democratic nations around the world.

British Aid

On January 6, 1941, Roosevelt addressed Congress with his proposed plan to provide Britain with supplies for warfare and justified it with the intent of preserving the four freedoms: “freedom of speech”, “freedom of religion”, freedom from want”, and “freedom from fear.”
In March of 1941, Roosevelt passed the Lead-Lease Act which granted Britain access to U.S materials based on credit.
In July 1941 Roosevelt began the plan to protect British ships with lent cargo by assigning the U.S Navy as escorts. Once a Navy ship, the Greer, was attacked by German submarines Roosevelt ordered the Navy to shoot-on-sight at any German vessel, thus further involving the U.S in the war.
Japanese Relations - Not Good
When Japan joined the Axis Powers in September 1940, Roosevelt responded with the “unfriendly act” that prohibited steel and scrap iron exports to all countries except Britain and the Western hemisphere. Japan’s takeover of French Indochina in 1941 caused Roosevelt to cut-off Japanese credits as well.
With Japan’s violation of the Open Door Policy through its conquest of China, and Japan’s refusal to remove its troops from China, negotiations between the U.S and Japan were highly unlikely. Even with General Hideki Tojo as the new government head in Japan, peaceful negotiations were futile.

FDR announces war

Declaration of WWII
Declaration of WWII

Pearl Harbor- the movie. Basically sumerizes the feelings right before Pearl Harbor ( and it has Ben Aflack!)

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