National Affairs: Lesson in Geography

For weeks before he sent naval forces to Iceland, Franklin Roosevelt tried to make up his mind whether that rocky island, a stepping stone in the sea between Greenland and Britain, properly belonged within the borders of the Western Hemisphere which the U.S. has guaranteed to protect. Characteristically, when the President decided to act, he brushed the question aside, justified his move on grounds of military necessity.

Classic definition of the Western Hemisphere was a line drawn by Pope Alexander VI. confirmed in 1494 by the Treaty of Tordesillas. The line ran from the Arctic to the Antarctic on approximately the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!