Anti-Neutrality / Arms Embargo Spanish Civil War Broadside
Rare large political broadside, almost certainly printed in connection with the so-called National Conference to Lift the Embargo Against the Spanish Republic in late January 1939.
The Conference was backed by American Labor Unions and sought to reverse the non-interventionist policies of the US Government during the Spanish Civil War. The Conference was also supported by the American Communist movement.
The broadside protests against the application of the Neutrality Act in connection with the Spanish Civil War, which began in 1936, pitting a fledgling Spanish Democracy against forces loyal to Francisco Franco. The war began in the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla, where a group of right-wing generals staged a military coup, aimed at overthrowing Spain's democratically elected government. The July 1936 uprising began what would become known as the Spanish Civil War.
Fighting broke out on July 18,1936, when the forces of Francisco Franco raised the flag of revolt from their base in Spanish Morocco. Within a week, Adolf Hitler began shipping planes and tanks to the rebel forces, an act soon followed by Benito Mussolini's support. In mid-September the Soviets started sending military aid to the republic, orchestrating as well "international brigades" of pro-Loyalist volunteers. In an effort to contain the struggle, the European powers, led by Britain, agreed on August 15 to a noninterventionist
The US, England and France initially decided to remain neutral. In support of neutrality, an arms embargo was enacted against the Spanish Republic. Several thousand Americans would travel to Spain in support of the Spanish Republic, with many more working to support the Republic and oppose the arms embargo policy. Franklin D. Roosevelt immediately levied a moral embargo, though he soon found it unenforceable. In January 1937, the president recommended a nondiscriminatory arms embargo, a policy that received such strong congressional support that no one in the Senate and just one person in the House voted against the proposal.
Those in opposition to neutrality, including American socialists, communists and even many liberals, suggested that the export of arms to Germany and Italy should be halted also under the Neutrality Act of 1935, since foreign intervention constituted a state of war in Spain.
By 1937, Roosevelt was privately looking for ways to covertly support the loyalists with arms, but no formal change in policy occurred, as the majority of Congress and foreign policy advisors supported neutrality. By January 1939, Roosevelt had changed his position, but it was too late.
The Broadside is apparently quite rare. No examples could be located in OCLC or on line.