Introduction Ww2 Essay

Introduction Ww2 Essay-39
No more illusions of "neutrality." And he had delivered a straightforward statement of the course of action he would pursue.

No more illusions of "neutrality." And he had delivered a straightforward statement of the course of action he would pursue.On the other hand, he was not free to make policy unilaterally; he still had to contend with isolationists in Congress.Earlier that evening, the president had distractedly prepared drinks for a small group of friends in his study. But in his talk, as he tried to prepare Americans for what might lie ahead, he set a reflective, religious tone.

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I think the best thing for the moment is to call them shrimps publicly and privately.

Most of them will eventually get in line if things should become worse." To designate young isolationists, who deluded themselves into believing that America could remain aloof, secure, and distant from the wars raging in Europe, Roosevelt liked the amusing term "shrimps"-- crustaceans possessing a nerve cord but no brain.

Flying into a rage, he threatened legislation to prohibit such arms sales.

Roosevelt backed down -- temporarily -- and called off the torpedo boat deal.

"DEAR FRISKY," President Roosevelt wrote in May 1940 to Roger Merriman, his history professor at Harvard and the master of Eliot House.

"I like your word 'shrimps.' There are too many of them in all the Colleges and Universities -- male and female.In answer to Churchill's urgent appeal, the president arranged to send what he cleverly called "surplus" military equipment to Great Britain.Twelve ships sailed for Britain, loaded with seventy thousand tons of bomber planes, rifles, tanks, machine guns, and ammunition-- but no destroyers were included in the deal.On June 10, the day of his Charlottesville talk, with Germans about to cross the Marne southeast of Paris, it was clear that the French capital would soon fall.France's desperate prime minister, Paul Reynaud, asked Roosevelt to declare publicly that the United States would support the Allies "by all means short of an expeditionary force." But Roosevelt declined.This time it was in the Memorial Gymnasium of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, to an audience that included his son Franklin, Jr., who was graduating from the Virginia Law School.That same day, the president received word that Italy would declare war on France and was sending four hundred thousand troops to invade the French Mediterranean coast.In his talk, FDR deplored the "gods of force and hate" and denounced the treacherous Mussolini."On this tenth day of June, 1940," he declared, "the hand that held the dagger has plunged it into the back of its neighbor." But more than a denunciation of Mussolini's treachery and double-dealing, the speech finally gave a statement of American policy.Sending destroyers would be an act of war, claimed Senator David Walsh of Massachusetts, the isolationist chairman of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee.Walsh also discovered the president's plan to send twenty torpedo boats to Britain.


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