The Neutrality Act

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The Soviet Union was the main supplier of military aid to the Republican Army. This included 1,000 aircraft, 900 tanks, 1,500 artillery pieces, 300 armored cars, 15,000 machine-guns, 30,000 automatic firearms, 30,000 mortars, 500,000 riles and 30,000 tons of ammunition (Thomas, 643). The Soviet Union also sent more than 2,000 personnel, mainly tank crews and pilots, who actively participated in combat, many of them were awarded medals of the Soviet Union and 59 were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union (Thomas, 984). Many weapons were lost in the delivery process. Evidently, when the ships did leave with supplies for the Republicans, the journey was extremely slow when compared to the closer journey of Italian and German supplies. The…show more content…
The Neutrality Act was a lesson learned for the United States following its costly involvement in World War I and was meant to ensure that the US would not become trapped in foreign conflicts. The Neutrality Act prohibited American citizens from selling or transporting arms out of the country to all parties in an external war. The act also declared that American citizens traveling on belligerent ships did not benefit from their government’s protection. The act was set to expire after six months but Roosevelt appealed it after Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in October 1935, preventing all arms and ammunition shipments to countries at war. Hence, the American government remained officially neutral throughout the Spanish Civil War. However, the Neutrality Act did not prevent American companies, from selling or trading other goods and services such as food or oil to both conflict sides in Spain. American corporations such as Texaco and General Motors supplied the Fascist rebels with trucks and gasoline leaving the Republicans troubled with future debt even if they had won the war. “ In July 1935 the Texas Oil Company had signed a long-term contract to supply the Spanish government oil monopoly, CAMPSA. On July 18, 1936, some five tankers were at sea. The chairman of the board of Texaco, Thorkid…show more content…
If the Republicans had won the war instead of Franco’s troops, and if Britain and France had attempted to recover the democratic regime in Spain, these Great Powers would not have had to give Hitler a free trial of his war machines prior to the World War II. The main effect on Spain would have been a lot fewer dead people and more than likely a serious reduction in the influence and wealth of the Church. A Republican victory would have changed the role of Spain in World War II and the nation could have been invaded, easily, by Germany instead of becoming an ally of the other Fascist regimes. In fact, the fourth largest gold reserve in the world would not have fallen into Soviet hands. Lastly, Spain and Portugal would not have spent decades under murderous Fascist
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