"THE MOST vital question before the American people is whether or not they can keep out of war." Ernest K. Lindley, FDR's campaign biographer in 1936, thus defined the issue of the greatest future importance to the country and the administration. 1 Coming to power in 1933, on the eve of a renewed surge of popular peace sentiment, the New Dealers finally saw their reform program overtaken by the approach of war. Although the domestic difficulties of the depression remained paramount until the late 1930's, problems of foreign policy and the threat of war became ever more compelling subjects of concern in the inner counsels of the New Deal. Staunch isolationists with respect to involvement in a second Great Crusade, the American people continued to be suspicious of what Ernest Hemingway called "the hell broth" of Europe. As a presidential candidate in 1932, Roosevelt had cautiously repudiated his old Wilsonian support of the League of Nations, and three years later the Senate rejected American membership in the World Court.
Among the conditions that influenced the shape and character of, international relations in the 1930's, none was more important than the worldwide economic depression. Under the impact of this post-World War I financial disaster, the intricate structure