Abstract: Franklin Roosevelt's foreign policy was heavily influenced by the domestic and foreign issues of the 1930s. The Great Depression at home and the rise of fascism abroad forced FDR to use creative strategies to accomplish his foreign policy goals.
Fascism and Benito Mussolini arose in Italy, and Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party took over Germany. Civil war broke out in Spain, and militarists gained control of Japan. The futile League of Nations stood by as nationalism and aggression grew. For Franklin Roosevelt, these international conflicts, as well as economic problems at home, would prove to be serious obstacles as he tried to implement his foreign policy.
In 1928, the US joined 62 other nations in signing the Kellogg - Briand Pact. This agreement declared the war could not be used "as an instrument of national policy." But it did not have any way to punish countries that broke their promise.1 Americans were greatly alarmed by the international conflicts of Roosevelt's presidency. But they generally believed that the United States should stay isolated from those conflicts. Isolationism in America grew steadily throughout the 1930s with many books offering claims that the US had been dragged into World War I by arms manufacturers and bankers at home, who wanted the chance to make a profit. A committee led by North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye found that banks and manufacturers had made large profits during the war, and public furor grew.2 After the horrible losses of World War I, Americans became staunchly determined to avoid going to war.
Moreover, America had serious problems at home with ...