Danielle Kadish


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I am not sure how I feel about what President Roosevelt has just decided to do; it seems as though he is leading us into war, but maybe that is what needs to happen eventually. My friend, Bob, is an isolationist and he is furious because of this, but a lot of the rest of the public seems to be shifting towards interventionism (Danzer 535; Delaney). They think that the best way to protect our country is to cooperate with other nations (Delaney). What happened was this: President Roosevelt appeared before Congress to ask that the Neutrality Acts be amended, or at least for Congress to lift the embargo against sending military aids to the countries fighting the Nazis (“FDR”). If you don’t remember them all, there have been three Neutrality Acts passed so far (Delaney). The first two were meant to prohibit arms sales and loans to nations at war; the third was a response to fighting in Spain, which extended the ban to include nations in civil wars (Danzer 535). Now Roosevelt wants to allow warring nations to buy arms from us with something he calls “cash and carry” (Danzer 550). The countries can buy the supplies as long as they pay the whole amount in cash, and use their own ships to transport it (Danzer 550). He thinks that right now we might actually be giving “aid to an aggressor,” while denying help to victimized nations (“FDR”). That makes me think that he is trying to help France and Britain fight Hitler, while still keeping us out of the war, because that is what he thinks is in the country’s best interest (Danzer 550). That ideology especially makes sense because of the rising threat to democracy (“FDR”). In this logic, I agree with what he is trying to do, but there is no way I can convince Bob to go along with it. One of the reasons I question it, however, is because it seems as though there will be a power shift from the legislative branch to the executive branch of the government; and it wouldn’t be good if the president had too much control (Delaney). Well, we will see what happens, and maybe there will be a Neutrality Act of 1939 including the “cash and carry” policy, if Congress makes their decision within the next three months (“FDR”).

Thoughts from an American Citizen, September 1939


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Works Cited Danzer, Gerald A., et al. The Americans. IL: McDougal Littell, 2005. Page 534 and 550.
Delaney, David G.. "Neutrality Acts." enotes.com. 2009. 19 Mar 2009 <http://www.enote
s.com/major-acts-congress/neutrality-acts>.
"FDR urges repeal of Neutrality Act embargo provisions." History.com. 2008. A&E. 19
Mar 2009 <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50 790>.