From Munich to Pearl Harbor

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From Munich to Pearl Harbor Critical Essay Two
In 1941 historian Jonathan Utley perceived that the United States problem was “not the absence of a foreign policy, but too many policies within one administration” (Reynolds 90). During this time there were various opinions about how the U.S. should handle the Second World War, and our alliance with the British. In the beginning the United States initial stance was to remain neutral and to build an army in case of an attack. Soon this was no longer the case, and President Roosevelt would unenthusiastically be elected to a third term, during which he would declare war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s most important contribution to the making of American foreign policy was the Lend-Lease Bill. From 1938 to 1941 the U.S. dramatically changed its standpoint and involvement in the war. The Munich conference took place on September 29, 1938 including Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France. Hitler called the conference because neither Germany nor Italy was ready for a major war, and he wanted to transfer power without supervision. France and Great Britain were willing to do anything to avoid war or any type of confrontation. They agreed to all of Hitler’s demands, as long as he agreed not to claim anymore European territory. During this time the United States stance “was in no way involved, even as an intermediary” (Reynolds 40). Roosevelt wanted to find a way to amend or manipulate the Neutrality Act because he wanted the Allies to fight a defensive war based on a naval blockade if peace could not be conserved. Within six months of the Munich conference, Hitler went back on his word nullifying the pact. Then on September 1st, 1939 Hitler invaded Poland assuming Great Britain and France would not intervene. He was erroneous for they declared war on Germany two days after the attack. After the start of the European war the United States remained neutral but began rearmaments. From there the U.S. had...
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