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Atlantic Charter(ətlătĭk, ăt–), joint program of peace aims, enunciated by Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States on Aug. 14, 1941. Britain at that time was engaged in World War II, and the United States was to enter the war four months later. The statement, which was not an official document, was drawn up at sea, off the coast of Newfoundland. It supported the following principles and aims: renunciation of territorial aggrandizement; opposition to territorial changes made against the wishes of the people concerned; restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those forcibly deprived of them; access to raw materials for all nations of the world and easing of trade restrictions; world cooperation to secure improved economic and social conditions for all; freedom from fear and want; freedom of the seas; and abandonment of the use of force, as well as disarmament of aggressor nations. In the United Nations declaration of Jan. 1, 1942, the signatory powers pledged adherence to the principles of the charter.
declaration of the heads of government of the USA and Great Britain—F. D. Roosevelt and W. Churchill. The charter was signed during World War II on Aug. 14, 1941, after negotiations that took place on board warships in the Atlantic Ocean, near Newfoundland.
The Atlantic Charter, which consisted of eight points, discussed in a general form the war aims and the postwar arrangement of the world. The declaration stated that the USA and Britain “seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other,” that “they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned,” and that “they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live.” On Sept. 14, 1941, the Soviet Union declared its adherence to the Atlantic Charter, while pointing out that the implementation of the principles of the Atlantic Charter should conform to the circumstances, needs, and special historical features of each country. The statement of the USSR emphasized that the main task was to concentrate all the economic and military resources of the freedom-loving peoples to achieve the full and speediest liberation of the peoples suffering under the oppression of the Hitlerite hordes. On Jan. 1, 1942, representatives of the governments that had announced their support for the principles of the Atlantic Charter signed the Declaration of the Twenty-six States (Declaration of the United Nations) in Washington, D.C. Even during World War II, and especially after it ended, the USA and Britain began violating the principles of the Atlantic Charter.