The stock market crash of nineteen twenty-nine began a long and difficult period for the United States. President Herbert Hoover struggled to find solutions as the nation sank into the worst economic crisis in its history.
But the Great Depression was not the only problem demanding answers from Hoover. The president also had to deal with a number of foreign policy issues.
There were revolutions in South America. Japan launched a campaign of aggression in northeastern China. And the economic situation in America created serious problems in relations with Europe.
Hoover succeeded in some areas of his foreign policy. But he failed to solve America's economic troubles. And, like most Americans, he failed to recognize the importance of political changes taking place in Japan and Germany.
Herbert Hoover's foreign policy was marked by his desire to make friends and avoid war.
Like most Americans, the new president had been shocked by World War One. Hoover had seen the results of that terrible war with his own eyes. He led the international effort to feed the many European victims of the fighting. The new president was also a Quaker, a member of the Religious Society of Friends. Quakers oppose war.
Hoover shared the wish of most Americans that the world would never again fight a major war. To him, the bloody bodies at Verdun, the Marne and the other battlefields of World War One showed the need to seek peace through negotiations.
Hoover worked toward this goal even before he entered the White House.
Following his election, he had several months before becoming president. Hoover used this time to travel to Latin America for ten weeks. He wanted to show Latin American nations that they could trust the United States to honor their rights as independent nations.
Hoover kept his word. The year after he took office, his administration announced that it would recognize the governments of all Latin American countries, including governments that the United States did not like.
Hoover told the American people that he would not follow the Latin American policies of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Teddy Roosevelt decided in nineteen four that the United States had a right to intervene in Latin America if it disagreed with the actions of governments there. Hoover said this was wrong. He told the country that it was more important to use friendship than to use force.
【続く】○ Verdun，Marne：第一次大戦の激戦地，the Great Depression：大恐慌，Quaker：クエーカー教徒，the Religious Society of Friends：キリスト友会 フレンド派