United States of America, relations with
Thus the First World War found US neutrality tempered by the fact that Britain was already viewed as the least obnoxious of the imperial powers. British interference with American trade with Germany was more than offset by huge purchases from the USA, though Anglo-American relations were paradoxically very strained during the winter of 1916–17 until the resumption and intensification of the German submarine campaign brought the USA into the war in April. Relations cooled after 1918 over such matters as trade and naval rivalries until these were eclipsed by German and Japanese aggression, and American fears of the axis—especially from 1940—led to Lend-Lease and indirect assistance at sea. The USA became a belligerent in December 1941. Even so, and despite the highly successful wartime alliance (1941–5), the Attlee government briefly showed interest in a western European/British Commonwealth Third Force.
Lack of resources and the Russian threat finally persuaded the British to opt for the ‘Special Relationship’ with the USA, a relationship which—though assisted by a common language and various personal and cultural ties—was based essentially on shared interests and fears. Thus the USA frequently encouraged Britain to persevere in a world role so that it could benefit from Britain's Commonwealth bases as well as its own facilities in the British Isles (America's unsinkable aircraft carrier off the coast of Europe). Even after Britain's withdrawal from east of Suez and its entry to the EEC (1973), the two remained intimately connected in such areas as nuclear weapons, intelligence, and the pursuit of freer trade in the world. They assisted each other in the Falklands (1982), Gulf (1991), and Iraq conflicts. But relations have been weakened by the ending of the Cold War.
C. J. Bartlett
"United States of America, relations with." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 23, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/united-states-america-relations
"United States of America, relations with." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved March 23, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/united-states-america-relations
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