“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that upon the outbreak or during the progress of war between, or among, two or more foreign states, the president shall proclaim such fact, and it shall thereafter be unlawful to export arms, ammunition, or implements of war from any place in the United States, or possessions of the United States, to any port of such belligerent states, or to any neutral port for transshipment to, or for the use of, a belligerent country.”
Neutrality Act — August. 31, 1935
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
President Dwight Eisenhower — Farewell Address (January 20, 1961)
On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Neutrality Act, which reached his desk in the form of a congressional joint resolution. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
Roosevelt originally opposed the legislation, but he relented in the face of congressional pressure. He noted that the law would require American vessels to obtain a license to carry arms, would restrict Americans from sailing on ships home ported in hostile nations and would impose an embargo on the sale of arms to “belligerent” nations.
On February 29, 1936, Congress renewed the act until May 1937 and prohibited Americans from extending any loans to belligerent nations. The Neutrality Act of 1937 was extended them to cover civil wars (Spain). The Neutrality Act of 1939 allowed for arms trade with belligerent nations (Great Britain and France).
These acts were repealed in 1941 after repeated attacks by German submarines on U.S. ships and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
On September 11, 1941, President Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Navy to attack German and Italian war vessels in the “waters which we deem necessary for our defense”.
The U.S. formally declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor of the previous day. Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941, and the U.S. responded with a declaration of war on the same day.
Senator Nye announces the Neutrality Act of 1935
FDR signs Neutrality Act, Aug. 31, 1935 — POLITICO
On This Day — FDR signs Neutrality Act [August 31 1935]