On this day in history : 14th August 1941 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D Roosevelt sign the Atlantic Charter, laying out their plans for a post-war world….

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Winston Churchill’s edited copy of the final draft of the Charter – Churchill blue, public domain

The announcement ended speculation as to the whereabouts of the Prime Minister, who had noticeably been absent from the House of Commons for a number of days…. Similarly Roosevelt had done a disappearing act too, along with several other top officials…. The pair had been involved in secret talks onboard American Cruiser USS Augusta and British Battleship HMS Prince of Wales, in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland…. A joint declaration had been made setting out the basic principles for after the war had ended….sealing an alliance between Britain and America….in anticipation of Hitler’s downfall….

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Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill aboard HMS Prince of Wales in 1941 – US Navy, public domain

The Charter had eight main objectives:- that Britain and America seek no territorial gains from war and any change to a country’s territory had to be with the agreement of its people…. Nationals would also have the right to choose their own government….with self-government being restored to those countries that had already lost it…. There was to be free trade for all nations – with improvement to economies and to living standards…. The aim was for peace at the end of the Nazi tyranny and for freedom of movement around the world….the belief being that aggressive nations must be disarmed to ensure world peace….

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Printed version – Winston Churchill, public domain

As it stood the Charter was to lay foundations for granting independence to Britain’s own Empire….starting with Indian Independence Day in 1947….

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