Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Moral Order
In Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s message to the congress on January 6, 1941, he spoke of many new ideas to deal with the controversial issues that were occurring in the world. In his address, F.D.R. spoke of a new order to deal with the actions that were occurring in other continents of the world. The “moral order” that he proposed to these men and women was his way of dealing with the dictators in foreign countries. The foreign dictators had their “new order” and Roosevelt was coming back with his “moral order” in contrast to these dictators. There were many important differences between these orders, yet to discuss these differences one must understand what each leader is striving for and examine what each new order exactly means. What did each dictator of Germany and Japan propose in their new orders? How did Roosevelt plan to deal with these orders with his “moral order”, and was he sure that his plan was going to help the United States from getting too far away from their original isolated position that they once sat in?
It is obviously disturbing to sit and read what a man like Adolf Hitler would write about as he sat in his jail cell. The scary part was the number of people he had following to believe that his order was so right for their quest for a Great Germany. Upon his exit of his jail term in December of 1924, he then proposed his twenty-five points, along with the National Socialist German Workers’ Party that he created ( a.k.a. Nazi), where he announced this program to the world. This obviously to cause a stir in the United States. In his order was his obvious statement for his hatred of Jews and his ideas in making the world a better place for the true German citizen.
After reading Mein Kampf and The Program of the Party of Hitler it is clear to see just what kind of plan Hitler was planning to create. By using aggression and violence Hitler wanted to make Germany a better place to live with the Aryan race eventually ruling the world. He wanted to expand Germany by conquering the surrounding territories and killing off the local populations. These wars that he created were strictly for Germany’s gain of land and not for political or economic objectives. During the journey through Hitler’s plan, he assasined anyone that was to get in his way. Under Hitler’s new dictatorship, laws began to go in place. The first laws against the Jews came in 1933 and it stated that Jews basically were deprived of all their rights as German citizens. This including the right to go to public schools or work for government positions. The laws became stricter, and on 1938 during Kristallnacht, The night of the Broken Glass, dozens of Jews were murdered as thousands others were sent to concentration camps. This night began the ultimate disgust of the American people watching over seas.
As far as Adolf Hitler’s new order and it’s lead to World War II is a different story all together. Hitler’s plan was to have four wars. He planned each war against different countries. The fourth war that he was planning was against the United States. Due to the high need of foreign materials and the labor shortage in Germany, Hitler called for a self-sufficient Germany. He also then realized that he needed to form allies in order to be strong enough to defeat the European powers. This is when he met up with Benito Mussolini, and World War II was getting that much closer. I think that one of Hitler’s main problems with the lead to war is the fact that he did not plan out his war tactics as
well as he should have. He tended to just go straight into attack before planning a strategy that was determined to work, or at least benefit Germany and the people.
Emperor Hirohito and his reign in Imperialist Japan was a little different than Hitler. Hirohito was not one to interfere in political issues nor did he hold a public position on public issues. Hirohito’s main idea was “establishing a structure of national solidarity of guarding and maintaining the prosperity of the Imperial Throne.” (p.154, Twentieth Century World Civilizations) His new plan was for a New World order based on moral principles. He too was against certain groups of people, yet it wasn’t necessarily just one race. He wanted the Europeans and Americans out East Asia, and he felt that it would overcome many of the obstacles that were in the way of his plan for moral order. His idea was that all nations cooperate with each other, and all people can be secure in their positions.
In regards to the idea of war, it seems as though Hirohito was a lot less brutal than Hitler was in Germany. Hirohito’s idea was to establish and perfect a highly geared and centralized defense state for national war. His reason for this was strictly for the benefit and protection of the Imperial Throne. He often relied on the outcome of other countries and their situations as a way of giving advise to himself on what to do with Japan. In his new order, Hirohito wanted to manifest to the entire world the spirit of Japan, and with the new defense structure he was determined to revive Japan in her status of national strength. This would give Japan total power. Through their mission for complete control in this new order, Japan must be prepared to meet any difficulties along the way…even if this meant war. It is Japan’s national moral to serve the Throne by fighting for the
country and her rights as an Empire. Because of Japan’s military expansion in the 1930’s, they were drawn into WWII when they bombed America at Pearl Harbor. That is when the war with Japan begun.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew that there was going to be something like this happening. That is why on January 6, 1941, Roosevelt gave his Annual Message to the Congress, and spoke of his new moral order that he had in store. He spoke of how never before had America’s security been as seriously threatened from “without” as it had in that time. He was well aware that the safety of the country was and democracy was seriously involved in events that happened over seas in other continents. Roosevelt felt that America was unprepared to successfully take on the world and fight them off. Therefore he knew that it was time to put a new moral order into effect, which could question their beliefs of isolationism in foreign affairs. Roosevelt knew that they were on the defense side and therefore the foreign countries that were full of aggression could attack at their chosen time. America was going to be ready for them and come out on top at the end of the war.
It was time to start preparing for what might come, was a main part of Roosevelt’s message. “No matter whether the original goal was set too high or too low, our objective is quicker and better results.” (p.223 Twentieth Century World Civilizations) Congress was also asked to give funds high enough to manufacture additional war supplies of many kinds. These supplies would be given to allies already at war with the “aggressor” nations. Part of F.D.R.’s moral order was to be ready for these aggressor nations and give the allied countries weapons of defense against them. Helping the other countries,
even if they were without money to pay for them, would in return benefit the United States when we would need their materials for our defense. As part of the new moral order, all the country must make sacrifices that the possible upcoming wars might create.
When reading and learning about all the different aspects of these different orders, I come to understand the composion of both sides of World War II. More importantly, I understand how another World War could break out in the first place. Hitler was angry inside and was determined to complete the goals that he seemed to have set for himself during the years. Through his new orders and what he demanded, Hitler broke out with fights in many countries during his conquest for a pure Germany Aryan race. This obviously caused hostility in many countries around the world. Through the United States’ allies, we were soon brought into the war deeper than we had originally thought. In addition, Hirohito and Japan bombed Pearl Harbor ten months after F.D.R.’s moral order was announced, which automatically caused a war between the “prepared” United States and the frustrated and angry Japan.
So when the question arises whether these comparisons of the orders is a good way to understand composition of the sides of World War II, I answer yes. It is very clear to see the variety of ways that the leaders of all countries were thinking. It is interesting to observe the different ways that the two dictators had such power within their countries that they reigned over. Many might feel that it was wrong of Franklin Roosevelt to propose his moral order after the United States had been isolated from foreign affairs for so long. However it is clear to see that the events that were occurring in other parts of the
world at that time were so closely related to the wellbeing of our own country, that it was vital the United States was prepared and willing to fight off any country that was coming to threaten our status as a democracy. World War II was an unfortunate war that seems to be so easily prevented if only there was less ignorance in dictators’ minds and more cooperation and alliances between countries.
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