Advertisement

The United States and the Guarantee System

  • C. A. MacDonald
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series

Abstract

The question mark over British policy seemed to be effectively removed in March and April by the guarantees to Poland, Greece and Rumania and the negotiations for an alliance with the Soviet Union. The United States contributed to this ‘peace front’ against further axis aggression. At the beginning of April the American fleet was moved into the Pacific to deter Japan, freeing the Western powers to concentrate their resources on Europe. An attempt was made to restrain Italy by making it clear to Rome that American sympathies lay with the democracies which would receive supplies from the United States in the event of war. In a series of public pronouncements the administration attempted to raise doubts in Hitler’s mind about American non-involvement in a European struggle. In April 1939 Roosevelt tried to alienate the German public from Hitler by proposing a just settlement which the Führer was bound to reject. Despite such acts of solidarity with the Western powers, however, Washington was at first by no means convinced that Chamberlain had abandoned appeasement or that British policy was stiff enough to deter the axis. Scepticism was displayed about British intentions and the administration made attempts to add to British commitments, particularly over conscription, which ultimately proved successful.

Keywords

Prime Minister Guarantee System National Service Western Power German People 
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. 3.
    Halifax to Henderson, 15 March 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 270–2.Google Scholar
  2. 12.
    Halifax to Lindsay, 18 March 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, p. 380.Google Scholar
  3. 13.
    Sidney Aster, 1939: The Making of the Second World War, (London, 1973) p. 82.Google Scholar
  4. Kennedy to Hull, 22 March 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, p. 88.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    Halifax to Seeds, Kennard and Phipps, 20 March 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, p. 400.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    Halifax to Lindsay, 19 March 1939, F2879/456/23, FO371/23560; Kennedy to Hull, 22 March 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, p. 88.Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    Chamberlain to Mussolini, 20 March 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 402–3.Google Scholar
  8. 30.
    Halifax to Campbell, 23 March 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 487–8.Google Scholar
  9. 44.
    Callum A. MacDonald, ‘Britain, France and the April Crisis of 1939’, European Studies Review, April 1972.Google Scholar
  10. 46.
    Halifax to Lindsay, 11 April 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 5, p. 169.Google Scholar
  11. 51.
    Bullitt to Roosevelt, 10 April 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, p. 123.Google Scholar
  12. 68.
    Phipps to Halifax, 20 April 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 5, pp. 251–2.Google Scholar
  13. 69.
    Hugh Dalton, The Fateful Years, (London, 1957) p. 252.Google Scholar
  14. 70.
    Robert J. Minney, The Private Papers of Hore-Belisha, (London, 1960) p. 199.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© C. A. Macdonald 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint School of Comparative American StudiesUniversity of WarwickUK

Personalised recommendations