Published 28 February ISBN Weight g. Size mm x mm. As a global phenomenon Britishness encompassed trade, conquest and settlement and the development of imperial cultures within the vast reaches of the British Empire. At its zenith peoples around the world joined in shared traditions and common loyalties that were strenuously maintained; even those who contested its claims found it difficult to escape its effects. With the eclipse of British power and influence, the importance of this legacy has attracted increasing attention from researchers seeking to escape the confines of national histories.
Leading scholars consider the movement of people, money, technology, identities, beliefs and attitudes around the British world and examine what happened to Britishness as the Empire declined. Patricia Grimshaw.
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Chicago was to remain the national headquarters of the committee. Wood , the year-old chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Co.
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Wood remained at the head of the committee until it was disbanded in the days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The America First Committee had its share of prominent businessmen as well as the sympathies of political figures including Democratic Senators Burton K. Wheeler of Montana and David I.
Nye of North Dakota, with its most prominent spokesman being aviator Charles A. Two men who would later become presidents, John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford , supported and contributed to the organization. When the war began in September , most Americans, including politicians, demanded neutrality regarding Europe. The public mood was changing, however, especially after the fall of France in the spring of Roosevelt to keep his pledge to keep America out of the war.
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They profoundly distrusted Roosevelt and argued that he was lying to the American people. On the day after Roosevelt's lend-lease bill was submitted to the United States Congress , Wood promised AFC opposition "with all the vigor it can exert". America First staunchly opposed the convoying of ships, the Atlantic Charter , and the placing of economic pressure on Japan. In order to achieve the defeat of lend-lease and the perpetuation of American neutrality, the AFC advocated four basic principles:.
Charles Lindbergh was admired in Germany and allowed to see the buildup of the German air force, the Luftwaffe , in He was impressed by its strength and secretly reported his findings to the General Staff of the United States Army , warning them that the U. His first radio speech was broadcast on September 15, , on all three of the major radio networks. He urged listeners to look beyond the speeches and propaganda that they were being fed and instead look at who was writing the speeches and reports, who owned the papers and who influenced the speakers.
On June 20, , Lindbergh spoke to 30, people in Los Angeles and billed it as a "Peace and Preparedness Mass Meeting", Lindbergh criticized those movements which he perceived were leading America into the war.
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He proclaimed that the United States was in a position that made it virtually impregnable. He claimed that the interventionists and the British who called for "the defense of England" really meant "the defeat of Germany". Nothing did more to escalate the tensions than the speech which Lindbergh delivered to a rally in Des Moines, Iowa on September 11, In that speech, he identified the forces pulling America into the war as the British, the Roosevelt administration, and American Jews.
While he expressed sympathy for the plight of the Jews in Germany, he argued that America's entry into the war would serve them little better. He said, in part, the following:.
It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race. No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution the Jewish race suffered in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy, both for us and for them. Instead of agitating for war the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way, for they will be among the first to feel its consequences.
Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastation. A few farsighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not. Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government. Communists were antiwar until June , and they tried to infiltrate or take over America First.
America First Committee
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, AFC canceled a rally with Lindbergh at Boston Garden "in view of recent critical developments,"  and the organization's leaders announced their support of the war effort. Lindbergh gave the rationale: . We have been stepping closer to war for many months. Now it has come and we must meet it as united Americans regardless of our attitude in the past toward the policy our government has followed. Whether or not that policy has been wise, our country has been attacked by force of arms and by force of arms we must retaliate.
Our own defenses and our own military position have already been neglected too long. We must now turn every effort to building the greatest and most efficient Army, Navy and Air Force in the world. When American soldiers go to war it must be with the best equipment that modern skill can design and that modern industry can build. With the formal declaration of war against Japan, the organization chose to disband. On December 11, the committee leaders met and voted for dissolution. In the statement which they released to the press was the following:.
Our principles were right. Had they been followed, war could have been avoided. No good purpose can now be served by considering what might have been, had our objectives been attained. We are at war. Today, though there may be many important subsidiary considerations, the primary objective is not difficult to state.
It can be completely defined in one word: Victory.