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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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Maximum Aid and the Battle for Lend-Lease

Maximum Aid and the Battle for Lend-Lease

(p.110) Chapter 6 Maximum Aid and the Battle for Lend-Lease
Against Immediate Evil

Andrew Johnstone

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes the role of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (CDAAA) in the Lend-Lease debate. The beginning of 1941 saw 88 percent of Americans preferring to stay out of the war rather than join it, while 60 percent felt it was more important to help Britain at the risk of war than to stay out completely. That help was provided through the Lend-Lease bill, which was passed on March 11 following a heated public debate that saw the bill's supporters and opponents most visibly represented by the CDAAA and the America First Committee. The internationalist movement mobilized a significant network of internationalists to counter non-interventionist resistance to the bill. The support of women, students, and religious leaders was emphasized to counter the argument that those segments of society were firmly against the bill. More generally, the CDAAA worked through published material, speeches, and radio addresses and organized rallies to promote the bill in the face of suggestions that Lend-Lease would draw the United States much closer to conflict. With the bill's successful passage that secured an unlimited amount of aid for Britain, the CDAAA had arguably fulfilled its raison d'être.

Keywords:   American internationalism, internationalists, foreign policy, United States, Franklin Roosevelt, Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, Lend-Lease

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