History Podcasts

What Was the Atlantic Charter?

What Was the Atlantic Charter?

The Atlantic Charter was a joint statement released by the United States and Britain on August 14, 1941 after a meeting by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in Newfoundland. The charter contained a declaration of the goals Britain and the U.S. had for the world after World War 2.

Ideal Goals of the War

The Atlantic Charter was a very important statement, as after the war, all the Allies agreed to adhere to it in the Declaration by United Nations. Their ideal goals included that no territorial changes should be made against the will of local people, that those deprived of self-government should get it back, that trade restrictions were to be reduced, better global social and economic cooperation, freedom of the seas, abandonment of violence as a solution and disarming aggressors.

This charter inspired many successive international agreements and attributed to the now independence of many European colonies.

Other Purposes of the Meeting

Although the main purpose of the meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt was to draft the Atlantic Charter, they also met to try and achieve other goals,. Winston Churchill felt that the Allies really needed America to join the war and help them out. Roosevelt was hoping that, through the meeting, he could sway the American public opinion to convince them that America needs to join the war, but the public remained against any war efforts up until Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt had also hoped that he could get a public affirmation from the British Government that they were not involved in any secret territorial treaties.