The Role of Herbert Hoover in the Formulation of the American Response to the Far Eastern Crisis of 1931-1932
Kroon, Barbara Ann Youngman
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The problem. The problem concerns the extent to which Herbert Hoover formulated the American response to the Far Eastern Crisis of 1931-1932, since most historians credit Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson for the major contributions and dismiss Hoover as too preoccupied with the domestic financial crisis to do more than agree to Stimson's actions. Procedure. The procedure has been to utilize primary sources available, such as the Stimson Diary, Foreign Relations of the United States, Documents on British Foreign Policy, materials at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and secondary accounts in determining Hoover's involvement, both in time spent and actions taken. Findings. It has been found that although the greater part of Hoover's time was spent on domestic problems, he was fully knowledgeable of events, he set the parameters of the American response, and contributed several suggestions, including the nonrecognition policy. Conclusions. Hoover was the final authority on policy. His main concerns were to retain order in the Orient for American business interests to prosper, to show moral outrage at Japanese aggression, and to avoid direct confrontation with Japan. Stimson executed these policies. Although war was avoided in 1932, the policies formulated in this period failed to stop Japanese aggression.
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