POLI 346 Lecture Notes - Blitzkrieg, Desperate Straights, Atlantic Charter

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Published on 14 Oct 2012
School
McGill University
Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 346
Professor
The Outbreak of WWII
War in Europe Begins
Roosevelt said they had an interest in Europe and that they needed
to be engaged in the European situation
FDR announces American neutrality September 5, 1939
yet FDR refuses impartiality wants US to be „non-belligerent‟
- making it clear that the US does favour one side
the Fourth Neutrality Act (Nov. 1939) allows for sale of arms and
ammunition to belligerents (“Cash and Carry” provisions no loans
on arms deals)
Congress passes rearmament budget, plus first peace-time draft as
a precaution
but US primarily buck-passing
- looking after their own interests first
- making no commitments to anyone else
- had no part in rebuilding Europe after WWI, no part in the
emerging insecurity in Europe in the interwar years
- RTAA and Tripartite Agreement signalled that things were
going to be different… but then they weren‟t incoherence in
policy?
“The Arsenal of Democracy”
FDR coins this phrase in December 1940
- Germans conquer the West (Belgium, Netherlands, … France)
- FDR pushes for the US to support the lone country now
fighting Nazi Germany Britain public opinion swings
- if Britain doesn‟t survive we are on our own
- Britain will do the fighting but we will provide them with
ammunition, and other supplies
already signed “Bases for Destroyers”
- FDR did not sign a treaty because he didn‟t want to pass it
through Congress signs an executive agreement
- Britain is in desperate straights, pulling their supplies, men,
and weapons out of their bases around the world Britain
and the US do not want someone else to take over the bases
the Americans takeover the bases
the Lend-Lease Act
- eventually covered some $50 billion worth of goods by end of
WWII
- FDR‟s analogy neighbour‟s house is on fire, you‟re going to
help them out, give them a hose, not ask the neighbour for
money for the hose
- secret military staff meetings in Washington also begin
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Document Summary

Roosevelt said they had an interest in europe and that they needed to be engaged in the european situation. Fdr announces american neutrality september 5, 1939. Yet fdr refuses impartiality wants us to be non-belligerent . Making it clear that the us does favour one side. The fourth neutrality act (nov. 1939) allows for sale of arms and ammunition to belligerents ( cash and carry provisions no loans on arms deals) Congress passes rearmament budget, plus first peace-time draft as a precaution. But us primarily buck-passing looking after their own interests first. Had no part in rebuilding europe after wwi, no part in the emerging insecurity in europe in the interwar years. Fdr coins this phrase in december 1940. Germans conquer the west (belgium, netherlands, france) Fdr pushes for the us to support the lone country now fighting nazi germany britain public opinion swings if britain doesn t survive we are on our own.

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