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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1941 - In the News - Lend Lease Act
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1941!
On March 11, 1941, the Lend Lease Act was passed. This legislation was the principal means for providing U.S. military aid to foreign nations during World War II. The Act authorized the President to transfer defense materials, including arms, for which Congress appropriated funds. According to the Act, the President could provide military aid to "the government of any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - President - United States - Portrait of the President seated in the White House
Britain, the Soviet Union, China, Brazil, and many other countries received weapons under this law.

By allowing the President to transfer war supplies and arms to a beleaguered Britain--and without payment as required by the Neutrality Act of 1939--the Act enabled the British to keep fighting until events led America into the war. It also skirted the problems of war debts that had followed World War I.

Lend-Lease brought the United States one step closer to entry into the war. Republican senator Robert Taft, opposed the Act. Taft correctly noted that the bill would "give the President power to carry on a kind of undeclared war all over the world, in which America would do everything except actually put soldiers in the front-line trenches where the fighting is."
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