Advertisement

Roosevelt as Foreign Policy Leader

  • Robert Dallek
Part of the The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Series on Diplomatic and Economic History book series (WOOROO)

Abstract

In the years since 1945, Franklin Roosevelt has come under sharp attack for his handling of foreign affairs. To be sure, historians generally agree that he was an architect of victory in World War II, but they find little to compliment beyond that: His response to the London Economic Conference of 1933; his neutrality and peace plans of the 1930s; his pre-Pearl Harbor dealings with Japan; and his wartime approach to China, France, and Russia have evoked complaints of superficiality and naivete. His cautious reactions to the Italian conquest of Ethiopia; the demise of the Spanish Republic; Japanese expansion in China; Nazi victories from 1938 to 1941, the destruction of Europe’s Jews; and apparent wartime opportunities for cementing ties with Russia, transforming China, ending colonialism, and establishing a truly effective world body have saddled him with a reputation for excessive timidity about world affairs. His indirection and guarded dealings with the public before Pearl Harbor and his secret wartime agreements have provoked charges of arbitrary leadership destructive to American democracy.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Foreign Affair Atomic Bomb World Affair Pearl Harbor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    William C. Leuchtenburg, FDR and the New Deal (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), 337.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nicholas Halasz, Roosevelt through Foreign Eyes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961), 318–319.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision (Stanford, C.A.: Stanford University Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    William Emerson, “Franklin Roosevelt as Commander-in-Chief in World War II,” Military Affairs 22 (winter 1958–1959), 181–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 6.
    For the Eccles and Kennan exchanges, see James M. Burns, Roosevelt: Soldier of Freedom (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1970), 352–353.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Charles Bohlen also believed that Roosevelt would have moved more quickly against the Russians than Truman did. See his Witness to History, 1929–1969 (New York: Norton, 1973), 211.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    Adam B. Ulam, Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1973 (New York: Praeger, 1974), 399.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Coming of the New Deal, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1958), 529–530.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Dallek

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations