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You Can Almost Feel the Tension

November 20, 1941

Hi there everybody! Sorry to keep you waiting. I have been oh so busy these days. I was going to tell you about the war in Europe. So around 1933, a man named Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany and started, slowly, to violate the Treaty of Versailles (which said Germany could only have an army of a certain size). Great Britain and France did not want to start a war (they were in the middle of the Depression) so they began a practice of appeasement (basically giving Hitler whatever he wanted to as not to start a war). The US did not want to get involved at all so they passed several Neutrality Acts to keep them out of war. The first one, in 1935, created a general embargo in which the US could not sell any weapons or war materials to any nation involved in a war. Two years later, the act was renewed and extended to include nations involved in civil wars. The same year, the policy of Cash-and-Carry was implemented. The US had begun to move away from the idea of isolationism to the policy of interventionism (for previously explained reasons). Cash-and-Carry allowed nations to buy items (not war materials) from the US if they paid in cash and took the items in their own ships. In 1939, the US ended the embargo and allowed passive aid to nations involved in war. Hitler had invaded Poland and Great Britain and France declared war on Germany as a result. The US wanted to help out the Allies (GB and France) because Germany was one of Japan’s allies. Since the US and Japan had really tough relations at the time, the US did not want to indirectly assist Japan by allowing its ally, Germany, to expand in Europe. Also, German U-Boats have been sinking a bunch of our ships recently, so most of us are just mad at them and want to help Britain take that stupid Hitler guy down. The US did right in implementing Cash-and-Carry because it keeps us out of the war while still being able to help out France and Great Britain in their attempt to stop Hitler and Germany once and for all. I think this policy really helped out the Allies since it gave them necessary supplies to be able to continue fighting against the Germans. Last year, France surrendered to Germany and Germany began heavily bombing cities in Britain. All of us here in the US were horrified and we became more open to increasing our involvement in the war. Congress passed a conscription law (the first peacetime draft in US history) and both my brothers were drafted into the army last year. Despite the increased support for the war, people did not approve of the draft, so earlier this year, President Roosevelt passed the Lend-Lease Act. This allows the US to lend Great Britain any war materials it needs to keep Germany at bay as long as they promise to pay us back. Most people definitely agreed with this because as long as Great Britain kept fighting, we would be able to stay out of the war. Lend-Lease, I think, is going to be really helpful in keeping us out of the war because it will keep Great Britain fighting so that we won’t have to. I think this act is a really good idea and I think it will have really good outcomes. The only problem is that the Germans, Japanese, and Italians might see it as us taking sides (which I guess we kind of are) and they might feel the need to attack us (though hopefully they won’t). That’s basically the story of what’s been going on around here. Be back soon! Bye everyone!

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