System promulgated by Pres. Franklin Roosevelt to give aid to U.S. allies in World War II. Faced with Britain's inability to pay cash for war materials and food, as required by U.S. law, Roosevelt asked Congress to allow repayment “in kind or property” from countries vital to U.S. defense. The Lend-Lease Act was passed in March 1941, despite arguments that it led the U.S. closer to war. Much of the $49 billion in aid went to British Commonwealth countries; the Soviet Union, China, and 40 other countries also received assistance. U.S. troops stationed abroad received about $8 billion in aid from the Allies.

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