Advertisement

The Approach of War

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

Abstract

In the summer of 1939 Roosevelt directed his main efforts towards securing neutrality revision, which he regarded as a vital American contribution to the European ‘peace front’ against further German expansion. It was hoped in Washington that modification of the Neutrality Act and an Anglo-French alliance with the Soviet Union would complete the establishment of a European security system and deter Hitler. Congress, however, rejected neutrality revision. Its action represented a revolt against increased executive power rather than an expression of unyielding isolationism, but the Senate had destroyed the main American contribution to the ‘peace front’ at a critical juncture. Moreover the Western powers proved unable to reach an agreement with Russia. Stalin opted instead for the Nazi-Soviet Pact, a choice which doomed Poland and undermined the entire guarantee system in Eastern Europe. In the ensuing crisis at the end of August, the President found himself powerless to counter further German aggression. All that the administration could do was to guard against a second Munich on the part of Chamberlain.

Keywords

Critical Juncture Indirect Aggression Guarantee System Western Power Peace Offensive 
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.
    Bullitt to Hull, 10 May 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 184–5.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Bullitt to Hull, 10 May 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 184–5.Google Scholar
  3. 23.
    Kennedy to Hull, 9 June 1939, PSF Confidential: Great Britain. Chamberlain to Ida Chamberlain, 17 June 1939, Chamberlain Papers, NC18/1/1103.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    Roosevelt to Phillips, 7 June 1939, E. Roosevelt (ed.), FDR. His Personal Letters, vol. 3, p. 265.Google Scholar
  5. 25.
    Craigie to Halifax, 15 May 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 8, p. 69.Google Scholar
  6. Bullitt to Hull, 15 May 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 3, p. 118.Google Scholar
  7. 29.
    Holman to Kirkpatrick, 29 June 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 7, p. 208.Google Scholar
  8. 34.
    Bullitt to Hull, 28 June 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp.194–5.Google Scholar
  9. 35.
    Christopher Thorne, The Approach of War, (London, 1968) p. 156.Google Scholar
  10. 40.
    Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History 1929–69, (New York, 1973) pp. 74–5.Google Scholar
  11. 48.
    Grummon to Hull, 1 July 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 327–9.Google Scholar
  12. 50.
    Grummon to Hull, 19 July 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 286–7.Google Scholar
  13. 53.
    Johnson to Hull, 8 August 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, p. 294.Google Scholar
  14. 54.
    Roosevelt to Steinhardt, 4 August 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 293–4.Google Scholar
  15. 55.
    Bullitt to Hull, 3 August 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 203–4; ‘Moffat Diary’, 4 August 1939.Google Scholar
  16. 63.
    Lindsay to Halifax, 28 July 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 9, pp. 348–9.Google Scholar
  17. 69.
    Wilson to the Foreign Office, 1 October 1950, C10521/16/18, FO371/22990; memorandum by Dirksen, Documents and Materials Relating to the Eve of the Second World War, vol. 2, pp. 67–72.Google Scholar
  18. 75.
    Bullitt to Hull, 3 August 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 203–4.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