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Foreign Affairs Anthology Series

Essays for the Presidency

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Library of Congress FDR in 1933.
Foreign Affairs From The Anthology: Essays for the Presidency
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Some Foreign Problems of the Next Administration

THE aim of the Democratic administration which assumes office on March 4 will be to liquidate the war—to liquidate it finally, so that world confidence may be restored, world trade freed of its shackles, and the minds and energies of statesmen everywhere turned to new and constructive purposes. Three Republican administrations have failed to do this. Their refusal to face economic problems realistically and their parochial attitude in international political questions have made the present task extremely difficult. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the policies of the Harding, Coolidge and Hoover administrations, inspired by the selfish and uncoöperative attitude which the Republican Party adopted because of their implacable hatred of Woodrow Wilson, must be held in large measure responsible for the continuation of the war psychology, the frustration of all attempts at thoroughgoing economic rehabilitation through international action, and the sense of insecurity now prevailing in every quarter of the world. To restore men's confidence in the ability of governments to govern is the first task of our times. It must be the first task of the Roosevelt administration.

Before I proceed to enumerate some of the specific matters which will have to be dealt with in any attempt to liquidate the war, let me speak of the general spirit which Mr. Roosevelt's public statements authorize us to believe will guide him while he is President. As he remarked in closing his article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS in July 1928, "It is the spirit, sir, which matters." I think that in office Mr. Roosevelt will be equitable and resolute, in his dealings alike with his fellow citizens and with foreign governments. He will learn as he goes along, not seek to impose preconceived solutions. He revealed something of his philosophy in a modest little talk at Poughkeepsie on election eve. "A man comes to wisdom in many years of public life," he remarked. "He knows well that when the light of favor shines upon him, it comes not, of

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