Quarantine Speech

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The Quarantine Speech was given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on October 5, 1937 in Chicago (on the occasion of the dedication of the bridge between north and south outer Lake Shore Drive), calling for an international "quarantine" against the "epidemic of world lawlessness" by aggressive nations as an alternative to the political climate of American neutrality and non-intervention that was prevalent at the time. The speech intensified America's isolationist mood, causing protest by non-interventionists and foes to intervene. No countries were directly mentioned in the speech, although it was interpreted as referring to the Empire of Japan, the Kingdom of Italy, and Nazi Germany.[1] Roosevelt suggested the use of economic pressure, a forceful response, but less direct than outright aggression.

Public response to the speech was mixed. Famed cartoonist Percy Crosby, creator of Skippy (comic strip) and very outspoken Roosevelt critic, bought a two-page advertisement in the New York Sun to attack it.[2] In addition, it was heavily criticized by Hearst-owned newspapers and Robert R. McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, but several subsequent compendia of editorials showed overall approval in US media.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Patrick J. Maney (1998). The Roosevelt presence: the life and legacy of FDR. University of California Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-520-21637-2.
  2. ^ Percy Crosby on Franklin Roosevelt, David Martin, October 3, 2010
  3. ^ Edward Moore Bennett (1995). Franklin D. Roosevelt and the search for security: American-Soviet relations, 1933-1939. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 98, 99, 100. ISBN 978-0-8420-2247-7.


  • Borg, Dorothy. "Notes on Roosevelt's" Quarantine" Speech." Political Science Quarterly 72.3 (1957): 405-433. in JSTOR
  • Dallek, Robert. Franklin D Roosevelt And American Foreign Policy 1932 1945 (1979) online pp 148-51
  • Haight, John McV. "Roosevelt and the Aftermath of the Quarantine Speech." Review of Politics 24#2 (1962): 233-259
  • Haight, John McV. "France and the Aftermath of Roosevelt's 'Quarantine' Speech." World Politics 14#2 (1962), pp. 283–306 in JSTOR
  • No more killing fields: preventing deadly conflict. David A. Hamburg, Cyrus S. Vance, 2003, Rowman & Littlefield. Pages 36–37. ISBN 978-0-7425-1675-5.
  • Jacobs, Travis Beal. "Roosevelt's "Quarantine Speech"." Historian 24.4 (1962): 483-502. in JSTOR
  • Ryan, Halford Ross. Franklin D. Roosevelt's rhetorical presidency (Greenwood Press, 1988).

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