America's Lend-Lease effort paved the way for the immensely popular $17 billion Marshall Plan that helped rebuild and stabilize Europe post-WWII.
Sewing machines in India manufacturing parachutes.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Lend-Lease created turmoil within America; proposing it was a major risk. Americans believed it contradicted Roosevelt's pledge and dangerously increased executive power.
President Roosevelt signing the Lend-Lease bill
Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Lend-Lease killed two birds with one stone: it helped America recover from the Great Depression by spurring industry whilst enabling the U.S. to support the Allies while remaining "neutral."
Americans during the Great Depression.
Courtesy of the National Archives
Britain was fighting virtually alone; Lend-Lease gave a beleaguered Britain a lifeline. In addition, although Lend-Lease intended to supply Britain, it expanded to supply over 40 countries.
Distribution of supplies.
Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Lend-Lease led to America's role in Europe with the Marshall Plan, NATO, and the UN. Lend-Lease showed that America was willing to intervene in world affairs, solidify diplomatic relationships, and promote alliances.
Courtesy of National Archives
Contemporary Ramifications: The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022
On May 9, President Biden signed a bill reviving Roosevelt's Lend-Lease program. In light of Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine, the bill expedites the transportation of US supplies and weapons to Ukraine and other eastern European countries affected. The Act gives the countries the ability to request streamlined transports of military-aid goods, with the promise of repaying or replacing the assets later.
"In his 1941 State of the Union address, President Roosevelt explained that... democracy itself was under... dire threat, not only in Europe, but around the world... Putin's invasion of Ukraine was an echo of that chapter in history... [Roosevelt] called on Congress to lend a hand to our allies overseas: bolstering their defense so they can defeat the viles of fascism... The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 revives this pivotal program, waiving time-consuming requirements on the President's authority to send critical defensive reosurces to Ukraine. It's important to note that it's about time. Time is very important when lives are at stake."
~ Nancy Pelosi, US Speaker of the House
President Biden signing the Ukraine Lend-Lease Act of 2022
Courtesy of CNBC
Zelensky welcomes Pelosi in Kyiv
Courtesy of the Washington Post
"I am grateful to President Biden and the people of the US for supporting Ukraine in the struggle for our freedom and future. The signing of the Lend-Lease law... is a historic step. I am convinced that we (Ukraine and the US) will win together again. And we will defend democracy in Ukraine and Europe. Just like 77 years ago."
~ Tweet from Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine
The revival of Roosevelt's Lend-Lease act by Biden is a reflection of the program's immense success in WWII. However, the re-introduction of the program raises questions, such as will the Ukraine Lend-Lease Act lead to US direct involvement in Ukraine as Lend-Lease did in WWII? and Will Ukraine pay a price for calling upon US assistance?
Joseph Politi, Ella Forkin, and Slade Forkin
The Point of No Return: The U.S., Allied Powers, and Lend-Lease
Group Website, Senior Category
Website Word Count: 1197
Multimedia Length: 2:36 minutes
Process Paper Word Count: 500