U.S. Neutrality and Isolation • Conferences to reduce armaments/keep peace were failures • U.S. had 2 options 1. More energetic attempts at stabilizing world 2. More energetic attempts at isolating the nation - Americans chose Option #2 • U.S. Congress wanted to design safeguards from U.S. being dragged into another war, result was:
Neutrality Acts - 1935 • Goal: Protect US from events which pressured US to enter WW1 • Requirements: • Can not sell weapons to Aggressor OR victim • President has power to warn American citizens that traveling on ships of warring nations is at own risk.
Neutrality Act of 1939 • Prohibited from transporting any passengers or articles to belligerents • U.S. citizens forbidden from traveling on ships of belligerent nations. • Cash and Carry Policy – people in a fight could purchase only non-military goods from the US, but had to pay cash and carry goods away on their own vessels.
Why do you think FDR/Congress added the cash and carry stipulation?
World War II Begins • Germany invades Poland = GB and France declare war on Germany • Phony War – no fighting between Allies and Axis (Winter-Spring ‘39-’40) • Germany invades Denmark, Norway, Belgium and France • Threatens Great Britain
U.S. Becomes More Involved • US extends Cash and Carry to military goods to help allies. • LEND-LEASE • Britain is bankrupt can’t pay cash for weapons, so U.S. “lends” weapons on promise G.B. will return or pay U.S. back after the war.
The Atlantic Charter • Churchill and FDR met on a ship off Newfoundland coast August 9-12, 1941 • A joint proclamation by the US and GB declaring that they were fighting the Axis powers to "ensure life, liberty, independence and religious freedom and to preserve the rights of man and justice." • Served as a foundation stone for the later establishment of the UN
Questions • Is the U.S. Neutral? (They did not officially declare war until Dec. 1941) • Why do you think the U.S. supported the allies, despite claiming neutrality?