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of coming under unfriendly control might be occupied and administered jointly by the American republics. This multi-lateralization of the Monroe Doctrine together with the Havana Act's further provisions, represented an outstanding step in the progress toward inter-American cooperation.
THE ACT OF HAVANA, HAVANA, JULY 30, 1940: . . . As a result of the present European war there may be attempts at conquest . . . thus placing in danger the essence and pattern of the institutions of America. The course of military events in Europe . . : may create the grave danger that European territorial possessions in America may be converted into strategic centers of aggression against nations of the American Continent. [Therefore this meeting declares] That when islands or regions in the Americas now under the possession of nonAmerican nations are in danger of becoming the subject of barter of territory or change of sovereignty, the American nations ... may set up a regime of provisional administration. . . . Should the need for emergency action be so urgent
any of the American republics . . . shall have the right to act in the manner which its own defense or that of the continent requires. In August 1940 the United States took an un
usual step. It concluded a pact with Defense Canada, one of the belligerent naagreement tions, looking toward a complete with Canada defense of the Western Hemisphere.
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King of Canada signed the agreement.
THE OGDENSBURG AGREEMENT, OGDENSBURG, NEW YORK, AUGUST 18, 1940: ... It has been agreed that a Permanent Joint Board on Defense shall be set up at once by the two countries (the United States and Canada). . . . It will consider in the broad sense the defense of the north half
of the Western Hemisphere. By this act the United States had virtually completed the erection of a solid front in the western hemisphere against possible Nazi-Fascist aggression. There was one recalcitrant member of the anti-aggression bloc, the Republic of Argentina. But all the other American republics were practically united in their stand. And now Can
ada, the largest and richest of the European American areas allied to a Eurocolonies pean nation, had become an intein the gral part of the hemispheric defense Caribbean alignment. The few French colonies
were question marks so long as
Vichy collaborated with the Nazis. However, their non-inclusion in the overall scheme was relatively unimportant. As for the Netherlands colonies, they could be counted on to line up with the American republics and Canada.
More and more President Roosevelt was taking the conduct of American foreign policy into his
own hands, the State Department Aid to playing a subordinate role. The Britain President's efforts to assist the Al
lies with all aid short of war occupied most of the summer. Various moves enabled the administration to supply Britain with aircraft and munitions by trade-in provisions and
sale of American war materials to Destroyers private concerns for resale to Canafor bases dians or to the British. Then came
the deal with Great Britain whereby fifty old destroyers were traded for rights in certain bases.12 Its terms were announced by the President in a special message to Congress.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 3, 1940: ... The right to bases in Newfoundland and Bermuda are gifts—generously given and gladly received. The other bases . . . have been acquired in exchange for fifty of our over-age destroyers. Preparation for defense is an inalienable prerogative of a sovereign state. Under present circumstances this exercise of sovereign right is essential to the maintenance of our peace and safety. This is the most important action in the reinforcement of our national defense that has been taken since the Louisiana Purchase. Then, as now, considerations of safety from overseas attack were fundamental.
Following Roosevelt's re-election in 1940, the President pressed the cause of aid to Britain, mainly through the unprecedented "Lend-Lease
Act” of March 11, 1941. This law Lend-Lease allowed the government to make
material available to Britain without purchase, merely upon an agreement to return the material or its equivalent at a future date. The agreement with Great Britain was the pattern on which a whole series of lend-lease pacts was signed in the next five years with the nations resisting aggression. While the Act was not signed until March, it had been forecast in President Roosevelt's annual message to Congress on January 6, 1941. This message also contained the out
1: These bases were in Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, Santa Lucia, Trinidad, and British Guiana.
line of the "Four Freedoms," as well as a definition of American national policy.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, JANUARY 6, 1941: Our national policy is this: by an impres
sive expression of the public will and
without regard to partisanship, we are The
committed to all-inclusive national de"Four
fense. ... we are committed to full Freedoms"
support of all those resolute peoples .
who are resisting aggression. ... we are committed to the proposition that principles of morality and considerations for our own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers. ...1... ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional munitions and war supplies of many kinds, to be turned over to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations. Our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves.
.. The time is near when they will not be able to pay for them in ready cash. We cannot, and will not, tell them they must surrender, merely because of present inability to pay for the weapons which we know they must have. .. For what
send abroad, we shall be repaid, within a reasonable time following the close of hostilities, in similar materials, or, at our option, in other goods of many kinds which they can produce and which we need. . . . In fulfillment of this purpose we will not be intimidated by the threats of dictators that they will regard as a breach of international law and as an act of war our aid to the democracies which dare to resist their aggression. Such aid is not an act of war, even if a dictator should unilaterally proclaim it so to be. ... 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 expression-everywhere 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 world. 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 neighboranywhere in the world.
The scope of hemispheric defense Americans was widened on April 10, 1941 by occupy
the action of Denmark's Minister Greenland to Washington in agreeing to Ameri
can occupation of Greenland after
that island had been threatened by Nazi reconnaissance patrols.
STATEMENT ON AGREEMENT BETWEEN SECRETARY HULL AND MINISTER HENRIK DE KAUFFMANN, WASHINGTON, APRIL 10, 1941: ... The agreement recognizes that as a result of the present European war there is danger that Greenland may be converted into a point of aggression against nations of the American Continent, and accepts the responsibility on behalf of the United States of assisting Greenland in the maintenance of its present status. Under ... [the] circumstances it appeared that . . steps for the defense of Greenland were necessary to bring Greenland within the system of hemispheric defense envisaged by the Act of Habana. ... The agreement recognizes explicitly the full Danish sovereignty over Greenland. At the same time it is recognized that so long as Denmark remains under German occupation the Government in Denmark cannot exercise the Danish sovereign powers over Greenland under the Monroe Doctrine, and the agreement was therefore signed. ...
That same month an extension of cooperation with Britain and Canada was provided by agreements reached between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King.
THE HYDE PARK DECLARATION, HYDE PARK, NEW YORK, APRIL 20, 1940: . . . It was agreed as a general principle that in mobilizing the resources of this continent, each country should provide the other with the defense articles which it is best able to produce, and, above all, produce quickly, and that production programs should be coordinated to this end. ... Insofar as Canada's defense purchases in the United States consist of component parts to be used in equipment and munitions which Canada is producing for Great Britain, it was also agreed that Great Britain will obtain these parts under the Lend-Lease Act and forward them to Canada for inclusion in the finished article.
As German submarines and surface raiders moved into the North Atlantic, the sinkings which
had endangered ship movements in Nazis sink the the South Atlantic and the waters “Robin Moor" near Europe increased the peril to
American vessels. The torpedoing of the Robin Moor, on May 21, 1941, marked the first deliberate sinking of an American ship, indicating that Germany considered the United States practically a co-belligerent in the war.
On June 22 came Hitler's attack USSR against the Soviet Union. Almost becomes overnight American opinion was an ally asked to shift from distrust toward of Finland to a welcome to Russia as an ally in the fight against Germany. Credits were unfrozen, the Neutrality Act was not invoked against the Soviets, and loans were made available to Russia as indications of the pleasure with which the USSR's addition to the cause of the democracies was received. On November 6, 1941 one billion dollars in lend-lease aid was pledged to the new partner.
the USSR because of its treatment
Growing collaboration between the United States and Britain characterized the second half
of 1941. In a message to Congress, America President Roosevelt announced that undertakes we would take over the responsibilto defend ity for the defense of Iceland from Iceland the British who were anxious to
withdraw their forces to serve in the
defense of the home areas. PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, JULY 7, 1941: The United States cannot permit the occupation by Germany of strategic outposts in the Atlantic to be used as air or naval bases for eventual attack against the Western Hemisphere. We have no desire to see any change in the sovereignty of those regions. Assurance that such outposts in our defense-frontier remain in friendly hands is the very foundation of our national security and of the national security of every one of the independent nations of the New World. As Commander-in-Chief I have consequently issued orders to the Navy that all necessary steps be taken to insure the safety of communications in the approaches between Iceland and the United States, as well as on the seas between the United States and all other strategic outposts. Shortly thereafter President Roosevelt and
Prime Minister Churchill met at sea The Atlantic off the Newfoundland coast to disCharter cuss problems of common defense.
Out of these meetings emerged the declaration known as the Atlantic Charter. The President revealed its terms in a special message to Congress.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S MESSAGE TO CONGRESS ON THE ATLANTIC CHARTER, WASHINGTON, AUGUST 21, 1941: ... Joint declaration of the President of the United States ... and the Prime Minister ... being met together, deem it right to make known certain principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future for the world. First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other; Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not
accord with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned; Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovercign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them. ... Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want. ... Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world ... must come to the abandonment of the use of force. ... they believe pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. ...
American naval activity in the North Atlantic brought our vessels into close contact with German submarines and a number of incidents oc
curred in the autumn of 1941. After The Navy
the USS Greer had been fired on, defends President Roosevelt, in a radio adthe seas
dress on September 11th, declared and Congress that American patrols would defend repeals the freedom of the seas by striking first Neutrality Act at all Axis raiders. Congress passed
a ship-arming bill on October 17th, and in his Navy Day speech on October 27th, the President declared that " 'the shooting has started.'
.'"13 The loss of the USS Reuben James off Iceland on October 30th moved the Congress to vote the repeal of the Neutrality Act of 1939 by a narrow margin. As Bailey observes, "... by this time the nation was really at war; all that lacked was a formal declaration."14
The United States had come a long way in its experience with foreign relations since the autumn of 1919 when the Senate formally rejected the
Treaty of Versailles, with the The price of League of Nations provisions emasleadership is culated by the Lodge reservations. the acceptance Many times during those twenty-two of
years the Americans had calculated responsibility the cost of remaining at peace in
an unsettled world. By turns, the United States had tried complete isolation, limited economic and political cooperation, hemispheric solidarity, renunciation of war, legislative neutrality, non-recognition of aggression, and several other courses designed to insure the preservation of peace and the advancement of American security. All methods and courses had had their supporters and their opponents. But gradually, by force of circumstances, the American people were
13 Radio address of President Roosevelt, September 11, 1941, 1. Bailey, op. cit., p. 789
coming to realize that the price of world leadership meant accepting the responsibilities of that leadership or abjectly surrendering principles and national integrity to the whims and ambitions of unprincipled dictatorships.