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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 Destroyer-Bases Agreement and the Century Group

The Destroyer-Bases Agreement and the Century Group

(p.90) Chapter 5 The Destroyer-Bases Agreement and the Century Group
Against Immediate Evil

Andrew Johnstone

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the development of the Century Group, which reflected yet another strand of American internationalism. As early as May 15, 1940, Winston Churchill appealed to Franklin Roosevelt for assistance in the form of naval destroyers. One month later, faced with the imminent fall of France and the loss of the French, Danish, and Norwegian coastlines to Nazi Germany, Churchill asked “as a matter of life or death” for reinforcement on the seas to defend Great Britain. The U.S. Navy was in the process of reconditioning more than one hundred old destroyers, but there was no guarantee they would be given to Britain. It was in this context that the Century Group was born. The Century Group was notably more interventionist in its outlook than the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (CDAAA); whereas the latter organization sought all possible aid to the Allies, the former advocated all-out war, arguing that this was America's war to fight.

Keywords:   American internationalism, internationalists, United States, foreign policy, military aid, Century Group, Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies

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