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Hitler vs Stalin

            At first, confronted with domestic crisis, FDR concentrated on reforms at home. We talked about these in the preceding conference. .
             Nevertheless, FDR, in his first inaugural address did lay out some general principles by which he would engage in foreign policy. With reference to the Western Hemisphere, he identified the so-called "Good Neighbor Policy." By this she meant to refrain from overt intervention into the affairs of Central and South American countries. The oceans on either side of the U.S. acted as buffers from foreign threats. He was an early proponent of and risk-taker in Free Trade, especially with Europe and Asia. It would be those two continents which would generate the difficulties that would culminate in the Second World War.
             As early as 1933 FDR recognized the Soviet government in Russia (the USSR). This was done by an assignment of debts claimed against and owed to the Soviet government by foreign, especially U.S. creditors and debtors, to the U.S. This was done by the so-called Litvinov Assignment and an Executive Agreement. Whether one liked or disliked the form of government that country had, we still had to deal with that government. .
             The major industrial nations were in a worldwide depression and FDR took a risk on Free Trade. He felt that business would be stimulated by opening up markets overseas and by opening ours to other countries' products. This regime, after his death and the War, would be turned, first into the GATT and in our time, the WTO. These organizations give greater stability and credence to international relations, institutionalize conflict and provide more space to discuss and resolve issues from escalating into war.
             All over Europe, countries were hard hit by the Depression. France and England were still colonial powers and they were using up large amounts of their social capital to maintain their empires. Germany was in dire straits, which is what fueled the rise of the Nazis.

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