Roosevelt, from Munich to Pearl Harbor: A Study in the Creation of a Foreign Policy

By Basil Rauch | Go to book overview

6. The Fight Against the Arms Embargo: Success

ROOSEVELT HAD PUSHED HIS FIRST AND UNSUCCESSFUL fight to repeal the arms embargo to the limit of his resources because he believed war was imminent in Europe. After Congress refused to act, the President sought and found ways which did not require Congressional authorization to make the position of the United States felt by the Axis. Early in August, 1939, he established the War Resources Board to develop and report on plans for industrial mobilization in case of war. This was the ancestor of the agencies which directed American industry during the Second World War. Its establishment was a warning to the Axis that the administration was not as indifferent as Congress to world events. Its personnel, led by Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., was a bid to businessmen to support the administration.


Japan Is Warned

The President could do no more on the domestic front. In foreign relations he found means for a telling act of opposition to aggression. Prior to the Czechoslovakian crisis of September, 1938, he had made the promise to defend Canada. Now a strong conviction that war would break out in Europe turned administration attention to the danger that Japan would, as usual, exploit a crisis in the West by launching new aggressions in the Far East. In the spring, Japan had taken advantage of Hitler's aggression against Czechoslovakia to embark on conquests which revealed new extensions of its imperialist program and for the first time

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Roosevelt, from Munich to Pearl Harbor: A Study in the Creation of a Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Basil Rauch ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Roosevelt and the "New Neutrality 13
  • 4 - The Primacy of Foreign Danger 80
  • 5 - The Fight Against the Arm Embargo: Failure 102
  • 6- The Fight Against the Arms Embargo: Success 128
  • 7 - The "Phony" War 160
  • 8 - "Behind Walls of Sand" 193
  • 9 - "Because America Exists" 227
  • 10 - The Vichy Policy 272
  • 11 - Lend Lease 289
  • 12 - The Convoy Conundrum 314
  • 13 - America and Russia 347
  • 14 - The Atlantic Conference 358
  • 15 - Roosevelt and Japan 375
  • 16 - "Shoot on Sight" 409
  • 17 - Roosevelt and Konoye 431
  • 18 - Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor 455
  • Epilogue 494
  • Reference Notes 497
  • Index 515
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