How were American policies of neutrality and belligerence from 1935 to 1941 shaped and defined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and how were these policies conveyed to the American public?

Lonkhurst, Daniel (2018) How were American policies of neutrality and belligerence from 1935 to 1941 shaped and defined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and how were these policies conveyed to the American public? Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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Abstract

As Europe descended into increasingly dire political, social and economic
conditions in the latter half of the 1930’s, an Internationalist American President,
Franklin D. Roosevelt, was at the head of a staunchly isolationist nation. FDR saw The
United States of America as having an essential role in ensuring the security of the
international community and the western hemisphere. Thus, he shaped American
foreign policy as to be a “good neighbor===-====-=” in the Americas, with economic
interconnectivity and security being his two main aims. The Congress of The United
States of America passed a series of Neutrality Acts between 1935 and 1939, politically
distancing the U.S. from foreign affairs it deemed toxic to its ideal state of peace and
political isolation. These Acts reflected a wide public sentiment of non-interventionism,
and it was against this public sentiment and Congressional legislature that FDR had to
grapple with for his internationalist convictions to move American foreign policy out of
isolationism. Alongside the use of executive powers and presidential influence, FDR
embarked on a campaign of ‘public education’ on matters of foreign affair and
international security, aiming to shift public opinion far enough away from isolationism
so that the U.S. could actively protect itself and its interest on a hemispheric scale. It is
this ‘cautious crusade’ of executive action and presidential rhetoric that defined
America’s entry in WWII, progressively circumnavigating neutrality policies and
sentiments, in favor of indirect belligerency. The culmination of FDR’s internationalist
efforts was America’s full-fledged entrance into the Second World War after the
“infamous” Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. This dissertation
attempts to find discrepancies between FDR’s public rhetoric appeasing a noninterventionist
Congress and nation, and his presidential actions influencing U.S. foreign
policy and defining American neutrality and belligerence.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Departments > History
Undergraduate Dissertations
Depositing User: Gail Graffham
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2018 13:14
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2018 13:14
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/3663

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