Social Science / History Essay

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Foreign Policy

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy was initiated between 1933 and 1939. The policy was enacted as a response to the Great Depression. The great depression started in October 1929 following the crash of the stock market. The crash greatly affected the American economy causing unemployment, financial crisis, poverty, deflation, and the loss of faith in the rise of the economy. The policy included the presidential executive order, also the congress law.

The first goal of Roosevelt as the president of America was to fight the ills of the great depression and strengthen the American economy. President Roosevelt had his eye on the international market because he was a demonstrative internationalist. He demonstrated his internationalist nature by striving to get a place in the foreign market. He envisaged moving America from isolation to intervention.

However, he was aware of the fact that he needed to be careful with the process because the First World War had a great impact on the citizens of America. Roosevelt’s new deal was meant to raise the fallen economy. He showed his love to protect the interests of the United States by not participating and removing the United States from the world economic conference which was held in London the same year he initiated the foreign policy. He was under the impression that the outcome of the conference would harm the prices of common goods in America.

After his early days as the president, he got America involved with the affairs of the world at large. He had meetings with diplomats that came from the Soviet Union and they reached an agreement of creating a friendly relationship. He solved issues with neighboring countries with the friendly relations agreement was reached.

Roosevelt returned the power to control Cuba and he also removed all the American Forces that are posted in all Latin American nations. He removed the entire wall against good relationships with the neighboring countries with the hope that the mutual cordial relationship will lessen the grip of the great depression on the economy of the United States.

He sealed the idea of the foreign policy officially in 1934, coincidental to the time that the reciprocal trade bill was passed by the Congress. Roosevelt reached an agreement with countries overseas to reduce the tariffs in America and the countries will follow suit. The agreement was the quid pro quo policy that was established by the legislative.

Congress had a good number of isolationists who did not want America to join the European war. They opined that American's involvement in World War I was mistaken. Congress passed a lot of laws to reduce the involvement of Americans with aggressive countries. The first of those laws was the Neutrality Act which was passed in 1935. President Roosevelt supported the neutrality laws but also told Americans the dangers of isolating from the rest of the world.

Roosevelt proposed, in 1937, that non-aggressive nations should excommunicate the belligerent nations. What he meant was the breakage of diplomatic relations. Roosevelt backed off the proposal when the said proposal caused mayhem throughout the nation.

Also, the Americans feared that there would be war when the Japanese sank a gunboat that belonged to America. They feared that he would not accept the Japanese apology and that would eventually lead to war. Roosevelt proved them wrong by accepting Japan’s apology.

In the wake of World War II which broke out in Europe in 1939, Roosevelt revised the Neutrality Acts with Congress at a special meeting. The revised Neutrality Acts allowed aggressive nations such as France and Britain to buy made in America arms.

Although the transaction was a payment-goods type i.e. you pay before you get your goods. The isolationist fractions rejected the enacted revised edition of the neutrality laws. After France lost the war to the German in 1940, Britain was left with no ally therefore she faced the Nazi war engine alone. Roosevelt made a deal with Britain to send fifty destroyers to them in exchange for eight naval bases.

The deal with Britain took place during the presidential election campaign of 1940. President Roosevelt's third term election was against the two-term culture that America has been practicing since the administration of President George Washington. The nominated opponent whose name is Wendell L. Willkie was not part of the isolationist faction of the Republican Party.

Although the two presidential candidates were enemies in terms of the election, they both agreed on the foreign-policy issues. They also agreed with the marginal difference of 27 million to 22 million. The marginal difference was low compared to that of the 1932 and 1936 elections due to the foreign policy and the aid for bases deal with Britain that the Americans did not agree on. Roosevelt authorized the American Navy to shoot German’s submarine on sight. This made America reach a state of aggressiveness with Germany.

Roosevelt made an Atlantic charter with Winston Churchill (the British Prime Minister) on a battleship in Canada. The Atlantic charter was a joint statement by both of them and in it; they vow to put an end to Nazi tyranny.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the restriction on the export of war supplies to Japan during the Atlantic war. All through the year 1941, Japan tried to negotiate with President Roosevelt to restore the trade of supplies of crude oils. HoweverFranklin D. Roosevelt's Foreign Policy, the negotiation did not yield an effective result and this made the Japanese military leaders coordinate an attack on America.

Some people even thought that this development fell according to Roosevelt’s plan. They said he wanted to push Japan to the wall and force them to go into war with the United States. Roosevelt knew that the war with Japan was unavoidable but he was unaware of where the attack would take place. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

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