As the United States was overcoming the hardships of the Great Depression, desperate foreigneers looked to the light of facism to bring about better times. When the fascist leaders, Hitler and Mussolini opted to conquer Europe, the British allowed this in order to maintain peace. However, when Germany became greedier and demanded all of Czechoslovakia, France and Britain declared war. As the other dominating Democratic-Republican world power, Roosevelt felt the United States should be allowed to help. However, others believed the nation should steer clear of foreign affairs. Roosevelt had to deal with America's differing opinions regarding neutrality, isolationism, and aid to the British.
Other takes on the war involved isolationism. Leas by Charles A. Lindbergh, the America First Commitee wanted the war to remain in Europe. Most importantly, they clearly voiced their opinions calling for American needs to be met first. They wanted America to focus on defending itself first.
The Neutrality Acts were passed in order to keep the nation out of another world war. The United States was just beginning to overcome the Great Depression, and the people did not want to deal with the stresses of war. According to the Neutrality Acts, Americans were not allowed to sell of make loans to belligerents. Furthermore, Americans could not sail on belligerent ships. Although the Neutrality Acts were made to keep the United States out of foreign affairs, they would eventually lead to American involvement in the war. While the United States refused to help Britain, the fascist nations were becoming more and more powerful. Therefore, harder to defeat without American aid.
Although Americans did not want war, those who did advocated for selfish needs. President Roosevelt found ways to still help Britain. Through the "cash and carry" program, countries at war were allowed to purchase arms given they provided their own transportation. Also, President Roosevelt was able to provide the British with credit through the "lend-lease" program. Finally, Roosevelt exchanged U.S. Navy destroyers for military bases in the Caribbean.
The United States tried to be neutral. Through the Neutrality Acts and the America First Comitee, America made a sincere attempt to stay out of foreign affairs. However, President Roosevelt still managed to help Britain through certain programs such as the "cash and carry" and "lend-lease."