Roosevelt’s Isolationist Criticism
Franklin Roosevelt is perhaps one of the most controversialPresidents of the United States, especially when judging from hisapproach to the country’s foreign policy. From the moment that hetook office, the leftists were accusing him of being fascists, whilethe rightists were comparing him with a leader of a communistcountry. However, one of the most outstanding criticism came fromisolationists, who frequently charged him with deception in hisadministration’s policies that supported Britain during the secondworld war. According to the Isolationists, Roosevelt and hisadministration failed in their responsibility as the custodians ofAmerican welfare on foreign issues. They maintained that besidescommitting to foreign policies that favored the government, thewellbeing of the pride of the Americans was also as important.Further, the isolationists held a point view that the sidelining ofthe interests of the minority was a demonstration lack of inclusivityand subjection of the American democracy to individualism.
The charges that were aimed against Roosevelt and his administrationwere invalid. American school children are taught that isolationismis almost not right, as it only works towards the separation of themasses. Moreover, when evaluating the application of isolationism inthe modern and past worlds, the difference is quite significant.Isolationism is applied more sparingly in the modern world,especially because of the significant impact it has on the unity ofnations. Roosevelt’s foreign policies, especially as appliedtowards England, were meant to foster a relationship that wasessential for the prosperity of the two countries’ unity. At thesame time, according to the findings of international relationshipsscholars after the Second World War, Roosevelt’s administration wasfound not to be isolationists. From the beginning, the FoundingFathers were aware of the role that nations from the West played inthe building of America, especially the role that Britain played. Assuch, it was only logical for Roosevelt to maintain a friendlyrelationship with England, even if it meant implementing foreignpolicies that could attract internal disagreements.
Maintaining a strict foreign policy, which sometimes meant that thepublic had to be hidden from some of the details, is essential. Goingback in time, President John Adams had attempted to free his countryfrom England and France’s affairs. While he was the Secretary ofState, he had maintained that his country would maintain itsfree-form foreign policy, which led to the implementation of theMonroe Doctrine. A long period of isolationism led to economic andsocial woes that plagued the country. Later, this policy wasscrubbed. As such, Roosevelt may have learnt a particular lesson fromthis experience, and had to do what he best could to save thecountry’s future. However, he knew that he could encounter massiveopposition, which could cripple his ambition for the country. Perhapsthis is the reason Roosevelt was not very open to the American peopleabout what he was doing with his foreign policy.
Maintaininga foreign policy that functions without external pressure is quitedifficult. In Roosevelt’s situation, isolation critics had mountedthe pressure on him based on two issues. First, they felt that hissupport for Britain was a betrayal of the Americans. At the sametime, many accused him of not being candid about his intentions.Nevertheless, given the lessons from American history, the criticismwas not entirely valid, and he was right to hide some details of thepolicy from the American people.