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Against Immediate EvilAmerican Internationalists and the Four Freedoms on the Eve of World War II$
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Andrew Johnstone

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453250

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453250.001.0001

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The Phony War and the Non-Partisan Committee for Peace through Revision of the Neutrality Law

The Phony War and the Non-Partisan Committee for Peace through Revision of the Neutrality Law

Chapter:
(p.54) Chapter 3 The Phony War and the Non-Partisan Committee for Peace through Revision of the Neutrality Law
Source:
Against Immediate Evil
Author(s):

Andrew Johnstone

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801453250.003.0004

Americans's attitude towards neutrality began to change with the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939. But the change was hardly dramatic, in large part due to the “phony” nature of the war which saw almost no military action in Europe until April 1940. The biggest problem facing American internationalists was the gap between the outcome the United States wanted from the war and what the nation was willing to do to make that outcome a reality. In October 1939, 62 percent of Americans wanted to do everything possible to help Britain and France win the war except actually go to war. Yet if the question was rephrased slightly, with the risk of war inserted, then 66 percent of Americans were not willing to do everything possible to help win the war if there was a risk of American involvement. This chapter focuses on the efforts of internationalists to bring the majority around to their way of thinking. It included the creation of a new ad hoc organization focused solely on the immediate neutrality debate, the Non-Partisan Committee for Peace through Revision of the Neutrality Law.

Keywords:   American internationalists, neutrality, United States, foreign policy, European war, military action, Non-Partisan Committee for Peace through Revision of the Neutrality Law

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