AP U.S. History II
March 9, 2011
Franklin Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy
In the 1930s, there was a strong sentiment sweeping the United States; an isolationist view caused by the disappointments of World War I and the alarming nature of the Great Depression. The primary objective of the Roosevelt administration was to solve the economic crisis and take the preventive measures necessary to ensure that this crisis would be an isolated incident. This period was characterized by the nation’s urgency to rebuild their devastated economy, and by a deliberate avoidance of European affairs. President Roosevelt recognized the United States inability to seclude itself from the world, as imminent aggressors grew in strength. There were some worrisome events like the invasion of Manchuria in 1931 by the Japanese, and the rise of the Chancellor in 1933, but the majority of the American population concluded that there were no apparent problems. By 1936, the situation intensified when Adolf Hitler and the Germans move into Rhineland, however there was not enough cause to motivate American intervention, as determined by the Munich agreement. President Roosevelt understood the threat posed by the Germans, but equally understood the American aversion to another potential war. Gradually, Roosevelt revitalized military production, and justified it by providing occupational opportunities. There was imminent trouble brewing as seen in the Japanese and German aggression, consequently President Roosevelt designed the U.S. foreign policy from 1937 to 1941, as a direct response to that aggression. The altered American foreign policy was based on a specific set of principles; desire for economics, concern for national security, belief democratic values. These principles defined how the U.S dealt with sensed threats like Japan and Germany.
The United States’ national security ranked as the highest and most important factor in establishing a new foreign...