The ATLANTIC CHARTER was a pivotal policy statement issued during
World War II
* 6 Impact on imperial powers and imperial ambitions
* 7 Participants * 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 Bibliography * 11 External links
Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister
Many of the ideas of the Charter came from an ideology of Anglo-American internationalism that sought British and American cooperation for the cause of international security. Roosevelt's attempts to tie Britain to concrete war aims and Churchill's desperation to bind the U.S. to the war effort helped provide motivations for the meeting which produced the Atlantic Charter. It was assumed at the time that Britain and America would have an equal role to play in any postwar international organization that would be based on the principles of the Atlantic Charter.
Churchill and Roosevelt began communicating in 1939; this was the
first of their 11 wartime meetings. Both men traveled in secret;
Roosevelt was on a ten-day fishing trip. On 9 August 1941, the
British battleship HMS _Prince of Wales_ steamed into
Placentia Bay ,
with Churchill on board, and met the American heavy cruiser USS
_Augusta_ , where Roosevelt and members of his staff were waiting. On
first meeting, Churchill and Roosevelt were silent for a moment until
Churchill said "At long last, Mr. President", to which Roosevelt
replied "Glad to have you aboard, Mr. Churchill". Churchill then
delivered to the president a letter from King
CONTENT AND ANALYSIS
The eight principal points of the Charter were:
* no territorial gains were to be sought by the
Although Clause Three clearly states that all peoples have the right to decide their form of government, it fails to say what changes are necessary in both social and economic terms, so as to achieve freedom and peace.
Clause Four, with respect to international trade, consciously emphasized that both "victor vanquished" would be given market access "on equal terms." This was a repudiation of the punitive trade relations that were established within Europe after World War I, as exemplified by the Paris Economy Pact .
Only two clauses expressly discuss national, social, and economic conditions necessary after the war, despite this significance.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME
When it was released to the public, the Charter was titled "Joint Declaration by the President and the Prime Minister" and was generally known as the "Joint Declaration". The Labour Party newspaper _Daily Herald _ coined the name _Atlantic Charter_, but Churchill used it in Parliament on 24 August 1941, and it has since been generally adopted.
No signed version ever existed. The document was threshed out through several drafts and the final agreed text was telegraphed to London and Washington. President Roosevelt gave Congress the Charter's content on 21 August 1941. He said later, "There isn't any copy of the Atlantic Charter, so far as I know. I haven't got one. The British haven't got one. The nearest thing you will get is the radio operator on _Augusta_ and _Prince of Wales_. That's the nearest thing you will come to it ... There was no formal document."
The British War Cabinet replied with its approval and a similar acceptance was telegraphed from Washington. During this process, an error crept into the London text, but this was subsequently corrected. The account in Churchill's _The Second World War _ concludes "A number of verbal alterations were agreed, and the document was then in its final shape", and makes no mention of any signing or ceremony. In Churchill's account of the Yalta Conference he quotes Roosevelt saying of the unwritten British constitution that "it was like the Atlantic Charter – the document did not exist, yet all the world knew about it. Among his papers he had found one copy signed by himself and me, but strange to say both signatures were in his own handwriting."
ACCEPTANCE BY INTER-ALLIED COUNCIL AND BY UNITED NATIONS
The Allied nations and leading organisations quickly and widely
endorsed the Charter. At the subsequent meeting of the Inter-Allied
Council in London on 24 September 1941, the governments in exile of
Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, and Yugoslavia, as well as the Soviet Union, and
representatives of the
Free French Forces , unanimously adopted
adherence to the common principles of policy set forth in the Atlantic
Charter. On 1 January 1942, a larger group of nations, who adhered to
the principles of the Atlantic Charter, issued a joint Declaration by
IMPACT ON THE AXIS POWERS
World map of colonization at the end of the Second World War in 1945
The Axis powers interpreted these diplomatic agreements as a potential alliance against them. In Tokyo, the Atlantic Charter rallied support for the militarists in the Japanese government, who pushed for a more aggressive approach against the U.S. and Britain.
The British dropped millions of flysheets over Germany to allay fears of a punitive peace that would destroy the German state. The text cited the Charter as the authoritative statement of the joint commitment of Great Britain and the U.S. "not to admit any economical discrimination of those defeated" and promised that "Germany and the other states can again achieve enduring peace and prosperity."
The most striking feature of the discussion was that an agreement had
been made between a range of countries that held diverse opinions, who
were accepting that internal policies were relevant to the
international problem. The agreement proved to be one of the first
steps towards the formation of the
IMPACT ON IMPERIAL POWERS AND IMPERIAL AMBITIONS
The problems came not from Germany and Japan , but from those of the
allies that had empires and which resisted
Public opinion in Britain and the Commonwealth was delighted with the principles of the meetings but disappointed that the U.S. was not entering the war. Churchill admitted that he had hoped the U.S. would finally decide to commit itself.
The acknowledgement that all people had a right to self-determination gave hope to independence leaders in British colonies .
The Americans were insistent that the charter was to acknowledge that
the war was being fought to ensure self-determination. The British
were forced to agree to these aims but in a September 1941 speech,
Churchill stated that the Charter was only meant to apply to states
under German occupation, and certainly not to the countries who formed
part of the
Churchill rejected its universal applicability when it came to the
self-determination of subject nations such as British
Churchill was unhappy with the inclusion of references to peoples'
right to "self-determination" and stated that he considered the
Charter an "interim and partial statement of war aims designed to
reassure all countries of our righteous purpose and not the complete
structure which we should build after the victory." An office of the
Polish Government in Exile wrote to warn
Władysław Sikorski that if
the Charter was implemented with regards to national
self-determination, it would make the desired Polish annexation of
During the war Churchill argued for an interpretation of the charter
in order to allow the
Franklin D. Roosevelt
* Admiral Ernest J. King , US Navy
Harold R. Stark , US Navy
George C. Marshall , US Army
* Presidential adviser
* US Ambassador to Great-Britian and
* ^ Langer and Gleason, chapter 21 * ^ Cull, pp. 4, 6 * ^ Cull, pp 15, 21. * ^ _A_ _B_ Gunther, pp. 15–16 * ^ Weigold, pp. 15–16 * ^ Gratwick, p. 72 * ^ Stone, p. 5 * ^ O'Sullivan and Welles * ^ Stone, p. 21 * ^ Wrigley, p. 29 * ^ "President Roosevelt\'s message to Congress on the Atlantic Charter". _The Avalon Project_. Lillian Goldman Law Library. 21 August 1941. Retrieved 14 August 2013. * ^ Churchill, p. 393 * ^ Lauren, pp. 140–41 * ^ "Inter-Allied Council Statement on the Principles of the Atlantic Charter". _The Avalon Project_. Lillian Goldman Law Library. 24 September 1941. Retrieved 14 August 2013. * ^ "Joint Declaration by the United Nations". _The Avalon Project_. Lillian Goldman Law Library. 1 January 1942. Retrieved 14 August 2013. * ^ Sauer, p. 407 * ^ Stone, p. 80 * ^ Borgwardt, p. 29 * ^ Bayly and Harper * ^ Louis (1985) pp. 395–420 * ^ Crawford, p. 297 * ^ Sathasivam, p. 59 * ^ Joseph P. Lash, _Roosevelt and Churchill, 1939-1941_, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1976, pp. 447–448. * ^ Louis, (2006), p. 400 * ^ "Second World War Memorials". Commonwealth War Graves Commission . Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. * ^ Prażmowska, p. 93 * ^ Whitcomb, p. 18; * ^ Louis (1998), p. 224 * ^ Hoopes and Brinkley, p. 52
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