Later, in response to Willkie’s warnings that the president’s reelection would mean wooden crosses for American boys—who, he said, were “already almost on the transports”—and an October surge in the polls that brought Willkie to within four percentage points of the president, Roosevelt made an unqualified promise to a Boston audience on October 30: “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” He did not explain that if the country were attacked by one of the Axis powers, the war would no longer be “foreign.” With his reelection in 1940, Roosevelt believed he had a blank check to push the country closer to war, according to the revisionists.
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Among the first historians to argue in favour of the back-door-to-war theory were (1999) that, contrary to accepted opinion, the United States need not have fought in World War II.
The country was forced into a conflict with the Axis powers only by Roosevelt’s determination to aid Britain and Russia against Hitler.
Contrary to the revisionist view, most historians regard these incremental decisions not as attempts to drag the country into the war but rather as efforts by Roosevelt to exercise all other options, in keeping with his deep reluctance to enter the fighting without the firm support of the American public.
Although Roosevelt did admit to Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin that it would have been difficult to gain public support for war without the Japanese attack, nevertheless, according to most historians, he actually tried to avoid a war with Japan throughout 1941, fearing that it would limit America’s aid to Britain and lengthen the struggle against Germany.
For the revisionists, however, the deal decisively ended American neutrality and made U. “Like the Mississippi,” Churchill said, “it just keeps rolling along.” To support their contention that Roosevelt was secretly plotting to bring the United States into the war, the revisionists point to rhetoric he used during his 1940 reelection campaign.