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America Re-enters the Arena: Franklin Delano Roosevelt” Essay

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“America Re-enters the Arena: Franklin Delano Roosevelt”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was determined to protect the national security of the United States. At first, Roosevelt felt that it was in the best interest of the United States to avoid involvement in the war. However, he knew “sooner or later, the threat to the European balance of power would have forced the United States to intervene in order to stop Germany’s drive for world domination” (Kissinger 369-370). But this was not Roosevelt’s main problem; Roosevelt had to prove to the American people that unlike World War I, US involvement was necessary. He had to “[transform] the nation’s concept of national interest and [lead] ‘a staunchly isolationist people’ into yet another global
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From this time onward Roosevelt tried to justify outer involvement (helping the allies which was not direct involvement) in the war. Consequently, in April of 1939, when Hitler took Prague, Roosevelt declared, “the continued political, economic and social independence of every small nation in the world does have an effect on out nation safety and prosperity. Each once that disappears weakens our national safety and prosperity” (Kissinger 383). Also during this month, Roosevelt sent a message directly to Hitler and Mussolini that asked them not to “attack some thirty-one specific European and Asian nations for a period of ten years” (Kissinger 384). Hitler obviously inquired with all of these nations and they obviously denied any type of concern. However, “Roosevelt achieved his political objective. By asking only Hitler and Mussolini for assurance, he had stigmatized them as the aggressors before the only audience that, for the moment, matter to Roosevelt – the American people” (Kissinger 384).
However, this shift from neutrality to a gradual helping of the allies did not stop there. On November 4, 1939 Roosevelt added the Fourth Neutrality Act, which “permitted belligerents to purchase arms and ammunition from the United States, provided they paid in
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