British foreign policy, the United States and Europe, 1945-1950

Poole, Peter David (2011). British foreign policy, the United States and Europe, 1945-1950. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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During the Second World War, recognizing the limits of Britain’s ability to respond to a post-war continental threat, the Foreign Office pursued a number of initiatives to engage the United States in Europe. Whilst unable to overcome American reluctance to engage directly in Europe, the British successfully gained their commitment to a new international organisation, which became the United Nations. In the aftermath of war Britain’s status as a world power was undermined by her economic dependence on the United States, and the perception of the two new superpowers that Britain was now only a junior partner in the tripartite alliance. However, the alliance was fragile, and by responding to the events of the five years after the war, the Foreign Office, making the most of its limited resources, succeeded in engaging the United States in Western European reconstruction and security. But whereas the Foreign Office had earlier believed that they could exploit the power of the United States to enhance Britain’s status, by 1950 the Americans had, ironically, recognized that the support of Britain and her Empire would enhance their policy of containing the Soviet Union.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
E History America > E151 United States (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain


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