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Charters and Conferences during World War II. Unlike WW I there was no single peace conference. Instead, there were a series of charters, conferences, understandings, treaties and agreements during and after WW II. . US attitude in 1939-1940.

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charters and conferences during world war ii
Charters and Conferences during World War II

Unlike WW I there was no single peace conference.

Instead, there were a series of charters, conferences, understandings, treaties and agreements during and after WW II.

us attitude in 1939 1940
US attitude in 1939-1940

Many American people, businesses, and politicians had little faith in Britain’s ability to survive operation Sea Lion.

Many were prepared to accept German hegemony in Europe.

The events of Dunkirk didn’t allay those fears.

Churchill’s stirring speeches helped convince most Americans that Britain would not lose.

The Battle of Britain in the Summer of 1940 was encouraging to Americans.

the atlantic charter

The Atlantic Charter

August 14th 1941

Before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor


The Atlantic Charter was drafted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR).

The Atlantic Charter established a vision for a post-war settlement

the 8 principal points of the charter
The 8 principal points of the Charter

1. No territorial gains were to be sought by the United States or the United Kingdom; (Unlike WW I – remember the mandates). Secret treaties between Britain, France, Italy.

2. Territorial adjustments must be in accord with the wishes of the peoples concerned

3. All peoples had a right to self-determination; (De-colonization on the cards unlike WW I).


4. Trade barriers were to be lowered. USA’s concern.

5. there was to be global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare.

6. the participants would work for a world free of want and fear.

7. The participants would work for Freedom of the Seas.

8. There was to be disarmament of aggressor nations, and a postwar common disarmament.


Point Four emphasized that both "victor [and] vanquished" would be given market access "on equal terms." This clearly repudiation the punitive trade relations that were established within Europe post- World War I

  • Churchill had hoped the USA would enter the war. They didn’t. Soon – made him happy!
  • Churchill had no intention of granting independence to anyone.
  • Unluckily for the European Imperialists this conference was seen as a guide to the future
the first washington conference
The First Washington Conference

December 22, 1941 to January 14, 1942

It was the first meeting on military strategy between the heads of government of the United Kingdomand the United States following the United States' entry into World War II.


The USA and Britain stated that victory in Europe was prime objective. This was termed the “The Europe First” strategy. It was also agreed at the conference to combine military resources under one command in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

the second moscow conference
TheSecond Moscow Conference

Between the major Allies of World War II (USA, Britain and the Soviet Union).

August 12, 1942 to August 17, 1942.


Winston Churchill, the Special Representative of the United States and Joseph Stalin

  • planned the North African campaign and only discussed the later landing and opening of a front in northern France.

It is clear Britain wants to avoid (put-off) an attack on northern France. Stalin worried. Why?

tehran conference
Tehran Conference

28 November to 1st December 1943

The “Big Three”met for the first time.

Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

The Origins of the Cold War

tehran conference1
Tehran Conference

Stalin dominated the conference, using the Soviet victory at the Battle of Kursk

Roosevelt attempted to cope with Stalin's demands, but was able to do little except appease Stalin. FDR seemed to trust Stalin.

Churchill mostly argued for his Mediterranean plan instead of Operation Overlord. These divisions played into Stalin's hands.

tehran conference2
Tehran Conference

Churchill and Roosevelt also consented to the USSR setting up puppet communist governments in:



The Baltic States

Romania, and other Eastern European States

  • This is the beginning of misunderstandings which sadly result in the loss of freedom by these countries for the next fifty years. This is the genesis of the Cold War. FDR trusted Stalin to be reasonable. Even Churchill seemed to let his guard down.
  • Yet, Stalin couldn’t understand that the USSR wanted Security. They had suffered three wars in the first part of the 20th century.
tehran conference dec 1943
Tehran Conference (Dec. 1943)
  • Operation Overlord was scheduled to begin in May 1944, in conjunction with the Soviet attack on Germany’s eastern border.
  • Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed that the nations in league with the Axis powers would be divided into territories to be controlled by the USSR, the U.S., and the UK.
tehran conference3
Tehran Conference
  • One of Roosevelt and Churchill's main concessions concerned post-war Poland. Stalin wished for an area in the Eastern part of Poland to be added to the USSR.
  • Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to this demand, despite protests of the Polish Government in exile in London
tehran conference4
Tehran Conference

Tripartite Dinner Meeting

Churchill had always insisted that individual Germans who had committed crimes should have a trial at the place they had committed them.

Anyway, Churchill stormed out of the dinner when Stalin, perhaps just teasingly, suggested that 100,000 German Staff officers should be executed after the war. Roosevelt, probably trying to lighten the mood, said that he thought that 49,000 would do!

Winston Churchill was the product of the 19th century. Hated totalitarianism and Stalin.

yalta conference
Yalta Conference
  • It was agreed to organize the communist Republic of Poland that had been installed by the Soviet Union "on a broader democratic basis."
  • Poland would receive territorial compensation in the West from Germany. (USSR later dominated that!)
  • Churchill alone pushed for free elections in Poland. The British leader pointed out that the UK "could never be content with any solution that did not leave Poland a free and independent state". Stalin pledged to permit free elections in Poland, but forestalled ever honoring that promise. Stalin was believed.
  • Citizens of the Soviet Union and of Yugoslavia were to be handed over to their respective countries, regardless of their consent. (Very sinister and cruel).
yalta conference1
Yalta Conference
  • Agreement to the priority of the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. After the war, Germany and Berlin would be split into four occupied zones.
  • Stalin agreed that France might have a fourth occupation zone in Germany and in Austria but it would have to be formed out of the American and British zones.
  • Germany would undergo demilitarizationand denazification.
  • German reparations were partly to be in the form of forced labor. USSR thinking in WW I terms.
yalta conference feb 4 th 11 th 1945
Yalta Conference (Feb 4th-11th 1945)
  • Roosevelt obtained a commitment by Stalin to participate in the UN.
  • Stalin agreed to enter the fight against the Empire of Japan within 90 days after the defeat of Germany. FDR was prepared to trade almost anything for the USSR to enter the war against Japan. Why?
  • Nazi war criminals were to be hunted down and brought to justice.
  • A "Committee on Dismemberment of Germany" was to be set up. (See map)
yalta conference2
Yalta Conference
  • The Big Three further agreed that democracies would be established, all liberated European and former Axis satellite countries would hold free elections and that order would be restored
  • This was a principle of the Atlantic Charter – the right of all peoples to choose through free elections the Governments responsive to the will of the people" and to "facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections.”
  • The Declaration contained no mechanisms for the enforcement of its principles. “Happy happy talk.”
yalta conference3
Yalta Conference

The Western Powers soon realized that Stalin would not honor his free elections promise regarding Poland. After receiving considerable criticism in London following Yalta regarding the atrocities committed in Poland by Soviet troops, Churchill wrote Roosevelt a desperate letter referencing the wholesale deportations and liquidations of opposition Poles by the Soviets. Roosevelt, however, maintained his confidence in Stalin, reasoning that Stalin's early priesthood training had "entered into his nature of the way in which a Christian gentleman should behave.”

yalta conference4
Yalta Conference
  • Churchill defended his actions at Yalta in a three-day Parliament army debate starting February 27, 1945, which ended in a vote of confidence. During the debate, many MPs openly criticized Churchill and passionately voiced loyalty to Britain's Polish allies and expressed deep reservations about Yalta.[ Moreover, 25 of these MPs risked their careers to draft an amendment protesting against Britain's tacit acceptance of Poland's domination by the Soviet Union.
yalta conference5
Yalta Conference
  • On March 1, Roosevelt assured Congress that "I come from the Crimea with a firm belief that we have made a start on the road to a world of peace.“ By March 21, Roosevelt's Ambassador to the USSR Averell Harriman cabled Roosevelt that "we must come clearly to realize that the Soviet program is the establishment of totalitarianism, ending personal liberty and democracy as we know it." Two days later, Roosevelt began to admit that his view of Stalin had been excessively optimistic and that "Averell is right."
yalta conference6
Yalta Conference
  • When the Second World War ended, a Communist government was installed in Poland. Most Poles felt betrayed by their wartime allies. Many Polish soldiers refused to return to Poland. Britain permitted them to remain in Britain.
the potsdam conference
The Potsdam Conference

Was held at Potsdam, occupied Germany, from July 16 to August 2, 1945.

Germany had already surrendered 8th May.

Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The three nations were represented Joseph Stalin, initially Prime Minister Winston Churchill and later, Prime Minister Clement Attlee and President Harry S. Truman.