FDR Speaks to the American People

FDR Speaks
to the
Neutrality Acts
An attempt to keep America out of another foreign conflict. Isolationism
becomes policy.
Neutrality Act 1935 – Embargo; Prohibited the sale of arms and war materials
to belligerent nations. Also, warned citizens to travel at their own risk;
6 months
Neutrality Act of 1936 – Extended ’35 act by 14 months; prohibited loan or
credit to belligerent nations
Neutrality Act of 1937 – Extended earlier acts w/out expiration; ships are
prohibited from transporting passengers or articles to belligerents; US
Citizens barred from traveling on ships of belligerent nations
Quarantine Speech
The Quarantine Speech was given by U.S. President [Franklin D. Roosevelt]
on October 5, 1937 in [Chicago], calling for an international "quarantine of
the aggressor nations" as an alternative to the political climate of American
neutrality and non-intervention that was prevalent at the time. The speech
intensified America's isolationist mood, causing protest by noninterventionists and foes to intervene. No countries were directly mentioned
in the speech, although it was interpreted as referring to Japan, Italy, and
Isolationism to Intervention
With events in Europe (Invasion of Poland and the
Fall of France) more and more Americans see
involvement in the war as inevitable.
1940 U.S. to Enter WWII Prior to entering World
War II, 62% percent of the American public believes
that defeating Germany is more important than
staying out of the war.
1940 Peacetime Draft Enactment of the first
peacetime military draft in U.S. history enjoys
overwhelming support, with 89% saying it is "a good
Gallup Polls
Cash and Carry
Cash and carry was a policy requested by President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt at a special session of Congress on September 21, 1939, as
World War II was spreading throughout Europe. It replaced the
Neutrality Acts of 1936. The revision allowed the sale of war materials
to belligerents, provided
1.) the nation paid cash
2.) transported the items themselves
3.) assumed all risk
Arsenal of Democracy
December 29, 1940 – radio broadcast to the American people in which
FDR promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by
giving them military supplies while the United States stayed out of
the actual fighting.
‘’A call to arm and
support the Allies and China’’
Arsenal of Democracy
We must be the great arsenal of Democracy. For us this is an
emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our
task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same
spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were we at war.
The experience of the past two years has proven beyond doubt that
no nation can appease the Nazis. No man can tame a tiger into a
kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with
ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb.
We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at
the price of total surrender...
The people of Europe who are defending themselves do not ask us
to do their fighting. They ask us for the implements of war, the
planes, the tanks, the guns, the freighters which will enable them to
fight for their liberty and for our security.
Lend Lease
The Lend-Lease Act, approved by Congress in March 1941, gave
President Franklin D. Roosevelt virtually unlimited authority to direct
material aid such as ammunition, tanks, airplanes, trucks, and food to
the war effort in Europe without violating America's official position of
neutrality. By 1945 the Lend-Lease program had cost $49.1 billion, and
over 40 nations had received aid in its name.
FDR’s Garden Hose Analogy
Well, let me give you an illustration: Suppose my neighbor's home catches fire,
and I have a length of garden hose 400 or 500 feet away. If he can take my
garden hose and connect it up with his hydrant, I may help him to put out his
fire. Now, what do I do? I don't say to him before that operation, "Neighbor,
my garden hose cost me $15; you have to pay me $15 for it." What is the
transaction that goes on? I don't want $15—I want my garden hose back after
the fire is over. All right. If it goes through the fire all right, intact, without any
damage to it, he gives it back to me and thanks me very much for the use of
it. But suppose it gets smashed up—holes in it—during the fire; we don't have
to have too much formality about it, but I say to him, "I was glad to lend you
that hose; I see I can't use it any more, it's all smashed up." He says, "How
many feet of it were there?" I tell him, "There were 150 feet of it." He says,
"All right, I will replace it." Now, if I get a nice garden hose back, I am in
pretty good shape.
Four Freedoms
Jan 6th 1941- State of the Union Address to Congress
In the future days, which we seek to make secure,
we look forward to a world founded upon four
essential human freedoms.
The first is
freedom of
speech and
in the world
The second is
freedom of every
person to
worship God in
his own way -everywhere in
the world.
The third is
freedom from want
-- which, translated
into world terms,
means economic
understandings which
will secure to every
nation a healthy
peacetime life for its
inhabitants -everywhere in the
The fourth is freedom
from fear -- which,
translated into world
terms, means a world-wide
reduction of armaments to
such a point and in such a
thorough fashion that no
nation will be in a position
to commit an act of
physical aggression
against any neighbor-anywhere in the world.
Atlantic Charter
August 1941
The Atlantic Charter was a pivotal policy statement first issued in
August 1941 that early in World War II defined the Allied goals for
the post-war world. It was drafted by Britain and the United States,
and later agreed to by all the Allies.
The United States And Great Britain agreed
to seek no territorial gains as a result of the
outcome of World War II.
Any territorial adjustments would be made
with the wishes of the affected people taken
into consideration.
Self-determination was a right of all people.
They would work to establish freedom from
fear and want.
The importance of freedom of the seas was
They would work towards postwar
disarmament and the mutual disarmament
of aggressor nations.
Significance of the Atlantic Charter
The Allied nations agreed to the
principles of the Atlantic Charter
thus establishing a commonality of
The Atlantic Charter was a
significant first step towards the
United Nations.
Though the Atlantic Charter
pledged no military support for the
war in Europe it had the impact of
signaling the United States as a
major player on the world stage.
This was a position that the United
States would firmly hold after
World War II in its efforts to rebuild
a war torn Europe.