American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938

By Arnold A. Offner | Go to book overview

2. THE END OF DISARMAMENT

The President said little about foreign policy. Probably few among the crowd of almost 100,000 people gathered before the Capitol, or among the millions listening to their radios, cared. Diplomacy seemed of limited importance on that overcast March 4, 1933. Most Americans were concerned above all with what Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed to do about the crisis at home. Accordingly, he spoke only briefly of foreign relations, dedicating the United States to the inexactly defined policy of the good neighbor.1

Roosevelt's background militated against passiveness in world responsibilities, however. His patrician tradition was international, from schoolday visits in the 1890's to Bad Nauheim and bicycle trips in the Black Forest, to his cousin Theodore's example as arbiter mundi. After Groton, Harvard, and Columbia Law School, and a turn at New York politics, Roosevelt had seen much of Wilsonian principles during his eight-year tenure as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. As nominee for vice-president in 1920, he campaigned for entry into the League of Nations, although during the 1920's he tucked his sails on that issue,2 and in 1932, to placate the William Randolph Hearst faction in the Democratic party, he opposed entry. But two months before assuming the

____________________
1
Samuel I. Rosenman, comp., The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 vols. ( New York, 1938-50), II, 14; hereafter cited as PPFDR.
2
In "Our Foreign Policy--A Democratic View," Foreign Affairs, VI ( July 1928), 573-586, Roosevelt said it was beside the point to talk about America's joining the League and proposed instead wholehearted cooperation with it.

-18-

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American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES xiv
  • 1. Good Years to Bad 1
  • 2. the End of Disarmament 18
  • 3. Deteriorating Relations 54
  • 4. Accounts Settled and Unsettled 77
  • 5. the Coming of Aggression 107
  • 6. Neighbors Good and Bad 134
  • 7. Invitations Declined 175
  • 8. Last Opportunities 214
  • 9. to Munich and War 245
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY, INDEX 281
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY 283
  • Index 311
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