President Franklin D. Roosevelt Opposes Appeasement and Virtually Predicts World War II and American Involvement in It Four Years Before Pearl Harbor

Franklin Roosevelt

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ÒThe dictator nations find their bluffs are not being called and that encourages other nations to play the same game. Perhaps you will be back in uniform yetÉÓFDR also states it is not the hurricane of criticism over his court-packing plan that worries him, but the international situation The march of the dictators began in earnest in October 1935, when Italy took Ethiopia. Then, on March 7, 1936, Hitler invaded the demilitarized Rhineland, which action conflicted with and basically tore up the Versailles Treaty that ended World War I. In 1937 Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister of Great Britain, and despite growing pressure from Winston Churchill and some stormy Cabinet meetings, he held firm to his policy of appeasing the dictators and denying the necessity of rearming. Saying Hitler was a reasonable person with whom he could negotiate, and refusing to allocate significant funds to build planes and ships, Chamberlain overpowered or forced out of the cabinet everyone who opposed him. In Spain, with the aid of German and Italian forces on land and in the air, acting with ferocious impunity, the Fascists celebrated victory after victory over the Republicans. Neighboring France did nothing, concurring in BritainÕs exercise in wishful thinking that appeasement would work. In Asia, the Japanese offensive in China reached a stormy milestone with the occupation of Beijing on July 29, 1937. Just a month later, Hitler made a speech stating that Germany was Òtoo small to guarantee an undisturbed, assured, and permanent food supply,Ó thus virtually guaranteeing he would made additional territorial demands in Europe. Austria and Czechoslovakia were obvious next targets. In November the Japanese were advancing on Nanking, soon to engage in atrocities there. On November 5, Spanish Republican supporters were massacred, and Hitler announced he indeed had plans for European expansion. The next day, Italy signed an alliance with Germany. On November 9, the Japanese occupied Shanghai.President Roosevelt was alarmed by the unopposed march of the dictators, and worried that Britain and France had turned their backs on the free peoples and decided out of fear to fraternize with the gangsters. Speaking of the dictators in his Constitution Day speech on September 17, 1937, FDR said that Òthe state of world affairs brought about by those new forms of government threatens civilizationÓ. He called them Òcold-bloodedÓ and ÒrecklessÓ, and urged the American people to reject their ideologies. On October 5, he delivered his famous Quarantine Speech to a nation whose political climate was one of American neutrality and non-intervention. He challenged that, starting out by stating ÒThe political situation in the world, which of late has been growing progressively worse, is such as to cause grave concern and anxiety to all the peoples and nations who wish to live in peaceÓ. He spoke of the atrocities taking place abroad, saying people were being Òruthlessly murderedÓ, and of the disregarding of treaties and invasions of foreign lands. He accused the dictators of having instituted Òthe present reign of terror and international lawlessnessÓ. He bluntly expressed concern that Òevery precious thing will be in danger, every book and picture and harmony, every treasure garnered through two millenniums, the small, the delicate, the defenseless - all will be lost or wrecked or utterly destroyed." He then warned AmericaÕs that they could not hide from the consequences of victories of the aggressors, saying ÒIf those things come to pass in other parts of the world, let no one imagine that America will escape, that America may expect mercyÉIf those days are not to come to pass - if we are to have a world in which we can breathe freely and live in amity without fear - the peace-loving nations must make a concerted effort to uphold laws and principles on which alone peace can rest secure.Ó He continued, ÒThe peace-loving nations must make a concerted effort in oppos. N° de ref. de la librería

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Título: President Franklin D. Roosevelt Opposes ...

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