Congressman Francis H. Case and American foreign relations, 1937-1941

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dc.contributor.advisor Caldemeyer, Richard H. (Richard Hugo), 1913- en_US Webb, Robert George, 1932- en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US 2011-06-03T19:32:16Z 2011-06-03T19:32:16Z 1974 en_US 1974
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1974 .W4 en_US
dc.description.abstract The main purpose of this study was to identify the positions taken by Representative Francis H. Case of South Dakota on major foreign policy questions during the years 1937 through 1941 and to determine why those positions were taken.The research focused on several questions: (1) Were there experiences in Case's early life which shaped his adult attitudes? (2) What were Case's stands on major foreign policy questions prior to his election to Congress in 1936? (3) What stands did Case take on major foreign policy questions as a congressman between 1937 and 1941? and (4) What factors contributed to the formation of Case's foreign policy views between World War I and World War II?Research indicated that the experiences of growing up in the rural environment of Iowa and South Dakota in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries did shape Case's adult attitudes. As a congressman Case was conscientious, dedicated, hard-working, and deeply concerned about his state and the nation.The problem that concerned Case the most upon entering Congress in 1937 was keeping the nation out of foreign wars. As a young college student during the First World War he developed strong anti-war views. Eventually, however, he was swept up in the Wilsonian idealism of the day and joined the United States Marine Corps to do his part to help win the "war to end war." Although Case saw no fighting in World War I his military service served to strengthen his anti-war views.During the 1920's, as a newspaperman, Case displayed a cautious internationalism. He supported membership of the United States in the World Court and in some sort of international peacekeeping organization. In the 1930's, however, he became disillusioned by the deterioration of world peace and turned toward isolationism. By the time he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1936 he was a confirmed isolationist.A careful examination of Case's speeches, writings, and letters revealed that the twin pillars of his isolationism were unilateralism and noninterventionism. As a unilateralist Case believed that the nation should follow an independent foreign policy. As a noninterventionist he believed the United States should resist the temptation to intervene in the quarrels of ethers and dedicate its efforts to solving its problems at home. Case united his efforts with other confirmed congressional isolationists between 1937 and 1939 to promote a unilateral and noninterventionist foreign policy for the nation.After the outbreak of World War II, however, Case had to constantly adjust his isolationist views to changing circumstances e the United States moved closer and closer to involvement in theconflict which raged abroad. He fought against the Roosevelt Administration's "steps short of war" to aid the Allies but once policy decisions were made he supported them energetically. He believed this was the only sensible course of action to take.In this regard he differed from the more extreme isolationists in Congress who only reluctantly supported such measures as the destroyers-bases trade, the Selective Service Act, and the LendLease Act. By late 1941, although he hoped war might be averted )y some means, Case was willing to accept it.The isolationism of case in the pre-World War II years was got simple obstructionism based upon ignorance or folly. It was he carefully considered response of a conservative Middlewestern Republican to complex domestic and foreign developments. Although it was an unwise policy to follow it is understandable given the circumstances of the times. en_US
dc.format.extent vi, 193 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.other Case, Francis Higbee, 1896-1962. en_US
dc.subject.other United States -- Foreign relations -- 1933-1945. en_US
dc.title Congressman Francis H. Case and American foreign relations, 1937-1941 en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3194]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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