Date of Award
Master of Arts
The following thesis offers an impression of American opinion toward specific events relating to the rise of Nazi Germany through an analysis of selected newspaper editorials and articles. While the direct influence of public opinion upon foreign policy can rarely be documented, there seems to be a general agreement that an "intimate" relationship does exist between the two. This interdependence ultimately generates a form of symbiosis, which permits an examination of one of these areas to lend insight into the other.
Fundamentally, the relationship between our political leaders, the press, and the general public has always been one of interaction. "Each is a significant force in its own right, but all are part of a cycle in which the leadership continuously seeks support (from) the press and public so that effective policy decisions can be made." In fact, government officials and newsmen are so mutually dependent upon one another that it is virtually impossible for either to function effectively for any length of time without the other's cooperation.
Though it is beyond the scope of this particular research, studies have been done which discuss the government's attempt to influence the press. This manipulation assumes a variety of forms, including the controlled release of information through White House briefings as well as deliberate 'leaks'. These actions are often intended to sway public opinion in a certain direction, usually in conformity with the policy which the government has already adopted. This further emphasizes the interdependence between public opinion and foreign policy, and the symbiotic bond mentioned earlier.
Trice, Edward Walton, "The rise of Hitler as interpreted by selected American newspapers, 1930-1936" (1955). Master's Theses. 1324.