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The Atlantic Charter

In the summer of 1940, the British were fighting all alone in World War II. France had been conquered by the Germans, and the United States had not yet entered the war. The United States wanted to help the British, but the American people wanted to be sure that the British would use this help to fight for the same goals that the United States was seeking.

 In August, 1940, the President of the United States (Franklin D. Roosevelt) and the British Prime Minister (Winston Churchill) met on a battleship in the Atlantic Ocean near Newfoundland. On August 14 they issued a statement of what both countries stood for.

It is called the Atlantic Charter because it was signed on the Atlantic Ocean. The full Atlantic Charter is: First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other; Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned; Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them; Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity; Fifth, they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing for all improved labor standards, economic advancement and social security.

Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny they hope to see established a peace which will afford the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want; Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance; Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to abandonment of the use of force.

Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea, or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general securityFree Web Content, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments. Franklin D. Roosevelt Winston S. Churchill

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