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The January Crisis

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

Abstract

At the beginning of January 1939 Roosevelt appeared satisfied with the measures he had taken to restrain Hitler and was optimistic about the future. By the end of the month, however, the whole situation had changed. A war scare about a German plan to invade Holland coincided with a domestic crisis which paralysed the administration at a crucial point in world affairs. Moreover Britain, in the face of the German threat, seemed to be abandoning the strong line pursued after Kristallnacht and reverting to a policy of appeasement. The fragile nature of Anglo-American cooperation was revealed. Both countries had collaborated to restrain Hitler, but it became evident that disagreement existed as to whether he had been effectively deterred and whether talks could safely be opened with Berlin. The result was renewed American suspicion of Chamberlain’s policy. By the end of February 1939, therefore, it was obvious that Roosevelt had lost the initiative in foreign affairs which he believed had been won at the start of the year. Instead of implementing policies designed to restrain Hitler the President found himself once again merely responding to German actions.

Keywords

Prime Minister Trade Talk World Affair Western Power American Interest 
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.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Biddle to Hull, 10 January 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, p. 1.Google Scholar
  2. Jean Szembek, Journal, (Paris, 1952) p. 408.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Dirksen to the Foreign Ministry, 9 January 1939, DGFP, series D, vol. 4, pp. 379–82.Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Halifax to Mallet, 24 January 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 4–6.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    Mallet to Halifax, 30 January 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, p. 52.Google Scholar
  6. 19.
    Mallet to Halifax, 27 January 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 27–9.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    Norman H. Baynes (ed.), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 2 volumes (London, 1942) vol. 2, pp. 1567–78.Google Scholar
  8. 31.
    Halifax to Henderson, 22 February 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 138–41.Google Scholar
  9. 34.
    Report of Ashton-Gwatkin, 5 March 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 597–608.Google Scholar
  10. 40.
    Kennedy to Hull, 17 February 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 14–17.Google Scholar
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    Mallet to Halifax, 7 February 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 8, pp. 456–7; Ronald to Mallet, 16 February 1939, ibid.Google Scholar
  12. 47.
    Bullitt to Hull, 11 February 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 3, pp. 104–5.Google Scholar
  13. 49.
    Memorandum by Welles, 20 February 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 18–20Google Scholar
  14. Lindsay to Halifax, 20 February 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 124–5Google Scholar
  15. 54.
    Halifax to Lindsay, 27 February 1939, DBFP, series 3, vol. 4, pp. 159–61.Google Scholar
  16. 68.
    Cecil Roberts, And So to America, (London, 1946) pp. 258–9.Google Scholar
  17. 70.
    Leonard Mosley, On Borrowed Time, (London, 1971) p. 148.Google Scholar
  18. 77.
    Welles to Bullitt, 15 March 1939, FRUS, 1939, vol. 1, p. 41.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

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