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

By Arnold A. Offner | Go to book overview

6. NEIGHBORS GOOD AND BAD

Dodd took heart during the first weeks of 1936, reassured that Roosevelt wanted him to remain at the troublesome and unrewarding Berlin post. The ambassador began to feel that his warnings and pleadings were doing some good. Roosevelt's annual address to Congress, in particular, cheered him. Unlike previous yearly messages, in which there were only fleeting references to foreign relations, Roosevelt in January 1936 clearly insisted that nations needing to expand, find new trade outlets, or rectify injustices springing from previous wars, ought to seek legitimate objectives through patient and peaceful negotiation. He did not fail to add, however, that if nations reverted to "the law of the sword" America had one recourse: "a well ordered neutrality."1

Dodd was so delighted with even this qualified statement that he at once sent a congratulatory telegram to the President for his "masterly and unanswerable" speech.2 He believed Roosevelt's words "a marvelous but very shrewd indictment of all dictatorships," which no German official could read "without serious concern."3 Probably remembering that Roosevelt had told him in December that he hoped to get a new neutrality law permitting him discriminatory authority, Dodd rushed to tell the French ambassador, André François-Poncet, that despite what journalists in Berlin thought, Roosevelt would compromise American neutrality in a way highly unfavorable to an ag

____________________
1
PPFDR, V, 8-18.
2
Dodd to Roosevelt, Jan. 4, 1936, Roosevelt papers, PSF, Germany: William E. Dodd .
3
Entry for Jan. 4, 1936, Dodd, Diary, 293.

-134-

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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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