Great Britain, Relations with
GREAT BRITAIN, RELATIONS WITH
GREAT BRITAIN, RELATIONS WITH. The United Kingdom and the United States have shared a faith in commercial and geographic expansion and in rights guaranteed by written laws, commonalities of religion and language, and a belief that each was a chosen people destined to rule whole continents. Commercial competition and conflicting aspirations for the Western Hemisphere made the two frequent rivals throughout the nineteenth century. It took opposition to common adversaries through two world wars and the Cold War to develop the special relationship with which they entered the twenty-first century.
In 1776, 90 percent of white colonists traced their roots to Protestant immigrants from Britain. After the French and Indian War (1754–1763), however, London damaged these bonds by limiting westward expansion and through heavy taxation. Armed with predictions that their population would double in every generation, revolutionaries such as Benjamin Franklin preached that demography held the key to independence and to eventual continental dominance.
More than 30 percent of Americans remained loyal to the British Crown throughout the Revolution (1775–1783), and rebel leaders justified their revolt as a defense of rights guaranteed to free Britons. Theirs was not a fratricidal attempt to sever ties with the British people, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, it was instead a war waged solely against Britain's tyrannical King George III. This intermingling of loyalties and war aims has led many historians to consider the conflict more a transatlantic British civil war than a traditional revolution.
America's 1778 accord with France, Britain's traditional enemy, marked the diplomatic turning point of the war. French money and naval power enabled George Washington's continental armies to win a decisive victory at Yorktown in 1781. London soon sued for peace, and American diplomats agreed to terms on 30 November 1782, breaking their promise to France that they would not sign a separate accord. Franklin and his fellow diplomats believed their country needed British trade to prosper and an accessible frontier to grow, and the 1783 Peace of Paris promised both. It gave Americans access to valuable Newfoundland fishing grounds and a western boundary of the Mississippi River in exchange for guarantees protecting loyalists and British debts. With peace in hand, a bitter Parliament moved immediately to contain future Yankee expansion, by refusing to relinquish forts on the American side of the Canadian border, and by closing the lucrative West Indies to American traders.
Peace only reinforced the new country's position as Britain's economic vassal, as Americans purchased three times what they sold to Britain in 1783 alone. A postwar depression brought on in part by Parliament's punitive measures invigorated investment in domestic manufacturing and spurred the search for alternative markets, however, while also aiding proponents of a federal government powerful enough to regulate foreign trade. By 1795, the percentage of American imports originating in Britain had declined from nearly 90 percent to a more manageable 35 percent (where it remained until the 1850s), accounting for nearly 20 percent of Britain's overall trade. Across the Atlantic, the embarrassing defeat in North America prompted Parliament to implement naval and financial reforms, and helped reorient London's imperial aspirations toward India and Asia, changes that enabled Britain's eventual triumph over Napoleonic France. The defeat at Yorktown, therefore, paradoxically sewed the seeds of victory at Waterloo, just as British economic efforts to weaken and divide its former colonies after 1783 helped spawn the more cohesive federal constitution.
Relations with the New Nation
Dependence on Atlantic trade soon brought Europe's troubles to America. The 1789 French Revolution sparked a series of bloody wars that ravaged Europe for a generation. Many Americans initially saw opportunity in the Old World's woes, but dreams of political isolation vanished as French and British raiders preyed on American vessels. Britain seized 250 American ships in 1793 alone, risking war and disrupting the tariff fees considered vital to Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's national financial program. President George Washington dispatched Chief Justice John Jay to London in search of a peaceful solution, but Britain refused to cease badgering American ships or to halt the hated impressment of American crews into the Royal Navy. Jay did win trade concessions in India and procured another British pledge to relinquish its Canadian strongholds. His work was harshly criticized at home for his failure to secure neutral shipping rights, but Jay's Treaty solidified American claims to the Ohio Valley and opened commercial routes so lucrative that American vessels carried 70 percent of India's trade by 1801.
The Napoleonic Wars drew America deeper into the European conflict, and French and American ships waged an undeclared war by 1799. British warships temporarily convoyed Yankee vessels filled with grain for British soldiers fighting in Spain, but this Anglo-American rapprochement was short-lived. Britain embargoed European ports controlled by Napoleon in 1807, in counter to France's 1806 embargo on British trade. Trapped between two European juggernauts, the United States could do little to protect its vessels against a British fleet that possessed three ships for every American cannon. President Thomas Jefferson responded with an embargo of his own on European trade in 1807, but when sanctions failed and British naval impressment continued to rise, a sharply divided Congress declared war in 1812.
The War of 1812 solved little, but, although British marines burned Washington, D.C., the United States proved its permanence. Britain could not conquer it, nor would Americans forsake their claims to Maine and the Northwest. Freed from the fear of European invasion after hostilities ended with the 1814 Treaty of Ghent, the United States could finally turn its attention fully toward development and expansion. By 1820, more people lived in states formed after 1789 than had lived in the entire country in 1776. The focus of Anglo-American relations moved west as well. Settlers from both countries poured into new territories as distant as Oregon, aided by boundary settlements such as the 1817 Rush-Bagot Pact, which demilitarized the Great Lakes and the United States–Canadian border in the East, and the Anglo-American Convention of 1818 that established the forty-ninth parallel as the border to the Rocky Mountains in the West. These were mutually advantageous pacts: stability allowed Britain to save money and troops for more daunting imperial trouble spots, while Americans believed their demographic advantages ensured eventual dominance over any accessible land.
British officials hoped to counter Washington's territorial gains with growing commercial power throughout the Western Hemisphere. In 1823, Britain's foreign minister, George Canning, offered President James Monroe a joint declaration forbidding further European colonization in the New World in exchange for a promise that neither country would annex more Latin American territory. Monroe refused. He longed for Texas and Cuba, and realized that London would prevent further French, Spanish, or Russian expansion into potential British markets no matter what America promised. Monroe therefore unilaterally declared the New World off limits, a policy later called the Monroe Doctrine.
Anglo-American expansion into Oregon Territory, a landmass larger than France, Germany, and Hungary combined, brought the two countries close to war in the 1840s. London could not stem the tide of American settlers, and American hawks urged President James Polk to claim the entire region, Canadian areas included, but he blinked first when London mobilized its fleet for war. The ensuing 1846 Oregon Treaty peacefully extended the Canadian-American border along the forty-ninth parallel to the Pacific, providing the United States with the Columbia River and Puget Sound, while Britain retained Vancouver Island. Growing British and American interests in Latin America prompted the 1850 Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, whereby each nation promised equal access to any future isthmian canal. When coupled with the Monroe Doctrine, this accord highlights each nation's willingness to work together rather than see a third power gain influence in the New World.
The American Civil War and the Path to Partnership
America's bloody Civil War (1861–1865) nearly extinguished the trend toward Anglo-American cooperation. Britain had banned slavery in 1833, and pervasive abolitionism made Britons overwhelmingly supportive of the Union cause. Yet Confederate statesmen presumed Britain's ravenous appetite for cotton (more than 80 percent of which came from the South) would bring London to their aid. They were terribly mistaken. London's recognition of the Confederacy as a warring belligerent infuriated the North, however, and British officials vigorously protested the Union's seizure of two Southern diplomats from the British ship Trent in 1862. President Abraham Lincoln's release of the men defused the crisis, though not before Britain had dispatched troops to protect Canada.
Following the war, friendly diplomacy ruled Anglo-American relations for thirty years. Diplomatic lethargy did nothing to halt growing Anglo-American ties, including the fashionable trend of intermarriages between America's nouveau riche and the upper crust of British society that produced the prime ministers Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan, among others. Anglo-American culture fused during this period as at no time since the Revolution. Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson were read as frequently as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and John Greenleaf Whittier in both countries, and actors from London and New York plied their trade equally in each. It was not until 1896 that a crisis threatened these amiable relations, when Washington flexed its growing might in Latin America by demanding arbitration for a boundary dispute between British Guinea and Venezuela. London eventually conceded to Washington's demands, a symbolic concession that America had become the hemisphere's dominant power.
The Venezuela crisis marked the last instance Britain and America threatened each other with war. In all, arbitration diffused 126 Anglo-American disputes before 1900, and the twentieth century began with talk of "Anglo-Saxonism" and of shared Anglo-American strategic interests. In 1898, Secretary of State John Hay termed friendly Anglo-American relations the "one indispensable feature of our foreign policy." British leaders wholly agreed with Hay's assessment, ceding control of the Western Hemisphere to the United States in the 1900s (after gaining access to America's future isthmian canal through the 1901 Hay-Pauncefote Treaties) by removing their last troops from Canada and the West Indies in 1906. Britain's support of Hay's 1899 call for an "open door" in China for foreign investment symbolized London's growing willingness to follow Washington's international lead, and British and American troops fought side-by-side to suppress China's 1901 Boxer Rebellion.
Allies of a Kind
Europe plunged once more into war in 1914, and President Woodrow Wilson declared his country neutral, "in thought as well as in action." Most Americans, however, sided with the Allied cause. Germany threatened American interests in Latin America and the Pacific, and whereas the Allied blockade of the Central Powers (mildly) hindered American trade, Germany's submarine (U-boat) assaults on transatlantic shipping risked American lives and livelihoods. When Berlin began unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, the United States entered the conflict.
Anglo-American financial ties made American intervention inevitable. Britain engaged $3.5 billion in American loans to finance the war, and American exports to the Allies doubled in every year of the conflict, reaching $4 billion by 1917. The Central Powers received less than one-tenth that amount. These fruits of America's industrial might, and the service of more than one million American infantrymen in France (where some 50,000 lost their lives) helped secure the Allied victory, while the conflict transformed the United States from a net debtor to a net creditor. America's share of world trade rose from 12.5 percent in 1914 to 25 percent in 1920, while Britain's share tumbled from 15.4 percent to 11.8 percent. This financial reversal highlights the war's most significant affect on Anglo-American relations, as the United States finally became unquestionably the stronger power.
Victory revealed Anglo-American divisions and the limits of American power. Wilson rejected the imperialist war aims of Britain and France, and called America their wartime "associate" rather than their ally. He considered the devastating war an opportunity to reform Europe's devious diplomatic style in favor of a more democratic international system, though he was not above using America's newfound financial might to get his way. Armed with Fourteen Points with which to remake the world, Wilson's idealism ran headlong into European pragmatists, chief among them Britain's prime minister, Lloyd George. His constituents demanded spoils for their victory, George said. They had suffered three million dead and wounded, while in America "not a shack" had been destroyed. He rejected Wilson's demands for a lenient German peace settlement and for decolonization, leaving the British Empire intact and the president without a treaty acceptable to his Senate.
Despite isolationist claims to the contrary, Americans in the 1920s engaged the world as never before. New York replaced London as the world's financial center and the globe's leading investor, and the number of American visitors to Europe leaped from 15,000 in 1912 to 251,000 in 1929. These newcomers were not always welcomed, especially after Washington refused to cancel London's war debt. British critics considered their spilled blood to be payment enough, and they railed against the commercial "invasion" from across the Atlantic. They complained that 95 percent of movies shown on British screens in 1925 came from Hollywood, and rebuffed visiting Yankee executives preaching "efficiency" and "standardization" as replacements for traditional production techniques. "Americanization" itself became a profane word in many British circles, though America's commercial and cultural influence seemed omnipresent.
These economic tensions did not preclude Anglo-American cooperation, and the two nations led the charge for naval disarmament throughout the 1920s. Yet, ham-strung by the Great Depression and by America's failure to join the League of Nations, the two countries refused to coordinate in punishing Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931, or to enforce German compliance with postwar treaties. By the mid-1930s, London and Washington had each erected restrictive trade barriers in self-defeating efforts to combat the global economic contagion. Convinced that trade had pulled their country into Europe's past wars, Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts limiting future American financial ties to warring nations. Americans could therefore only watch as Europe moved once more toward war.
The Special Relationship
Unlike Wilson a generation before, President Franklin Roosevelt rejected strict neutrality when war broke out in 1939. He considered Britain to be America's best defense against Germany, and he circumvented the Neutrality Acts by authorizing "cash and carry" sales, whereby London paid up front for goods and transported them on British ships. Roosevelt went even further a year later, directing the transfer of fifty aging destroyers to the Royal Navy in exchange for British bases. Such aid proved insufficient. "The moment approaches when we shall no longer be able to pay," Prime Minister Winston Churchill secretly cabled Roosevelt in 1940, who responded with the lend-lease program, which ultimately provided nearly $21 billion in wartime aid.
The two countries were de facto allies long before the United States entered the war. They had coordinated military policy since 1938, especially for protection against a new generation of U-boats, and they shared war aims published as the Atlantic Charter four months before the Pearl Harbor attack. They promised victory would bring worldwide self-determination, freedom of the seas, freedom from want and fear, and unfettered access to global resources, each of these attacks against fascism but also against colonialism. A sworn imperialist, Churchill's need for American aid forced him to accept Washington's leadership in defining these goals, and this pattern of American dominance continued throughout the war. An American, Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanded Allied troops in Europe, while Washington controlled the war in the Pacific and the eventual occupation of Japan. Britain left the war in financial ruin; America left the war as the world's most powerful state.
American diplomats again hoped to remake the world in their image. They began with Britain, and demanded that London open its empire to American goods as the price of postwar aid. Just as in 1918, Washington proved uninterested in absolving British war debts as payment for wartime sacrifices, and Britain reluctantly negotiated a further $3.5 billion in much-needed American reconstruction aid in 1945. Three years later, their funds exhausted, British diplomats led the way in seeking Marshall Plan aid for Europe as a whole. In atomic weapons, too, Britain gave way, this time to an American monopoly, despite their collaborative wartime effort to split the atom, and despite American assurances that atomic energy would be a collaborative affair at war's end.
The Cold War gave London and Washington little recourse but to work together against global communism, and indeed the story of their Cold War relationship is one of long-term mutual dependence trumping short-term disagreements. They jointly broke the Soviet Union's blockade of Berlin in 1948–1949; they led the United Nations effort in the Korean War (1950–1953); and they
helped charter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), designed to thwart Soviet advances in Europe. Although publicly allied at nearly every turn, America's dominance and seemingly excessive anticommunism rankled British policymakers. Successive Whitehall governments strove to decrease their economic dependence on Washington by developing their own atomic bomb in the 1950s; by diminishing their reliance on American aid; by refusing to support American anticommunist trade restrictions, particularly Washington's complete embargo of communist China; and by pursuing a European solution to the troubled Middle East. This last effort ended in failure, after Gamal Nasser's 1956 nationalization of the Suez Canal imperiled Europe's access to Middle Eastern oil. London moved to retake the canal by force, but it never coordinated these moves with Washington, where furious policymakers criticized Britain's old-fashioned imperialism, which mocked America's anticolonial rhetoric. President Eisenhower's brief refusal to support the faltering pound ended Britain's involvement in the debacle, proving once more London's dependence on the United States.
America's Cold War plans equally relied on British political and strategic support. Britain's economy ranked third largest in the world (behind the United States and the USSR), and only Washington contributed more to the free world's defense. President John F. Kennedy consulted with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan every night of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, for example, and successive British leaders took seriously their responsibility to temper American power with London's long global experience. In truth, each power needed the other. Their mutual interests in expanding democracy and trade overshadowed their divergent anticommunist approaches, even when British support for the Vietnam War never matched American expectations.
Britons gained a measure of cultural revenge for Hollywood and Coca-Cola in the early 1960s, when an unceasing stream of rock-and-roll bands (the British invasion) flooded American airwaves, beginning with the Beatles in 1964. The pound was never as strong as this musical influence, however, and American policymakers repeatedly propped up the faltering currency throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The two nations extended the breadth of their diplomatic relationship when London supported President Jimmy Carter's innovative emphasis on human rights diplomacy in the late 1970s. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan, two like-minded conservatives, reinvigorated the special relationship in the 1980s: Reagan supported Thatcher's decision to defend the Falkland Islands from Argentina in 1982, and the prime minister's 1984 advice to trust the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev helped move the United States toward a new détente. The end of the Cold War did little to change this perception. British and American forces led the Allied effort in the 1991 Gulf War, and jointly struck Iraq's military throughout the ensuing decade. Indeed, the two countries moved seemingly in unison from the conservatism of Reagan-Thatcher to the new liberalism of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, arguably the closest pair of Anglo-American leaders ever, their personal alliance symbolic of two nations whose financial and cultural development was, in the end, separated only by distance rather than ideology. Indeed, as final proof of Anglo-American intimacy, when terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center towers in September 2001, Britain lost more citizens than any other foreign nation.
Allen, H. C. Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American Relations, 1783–1952. New York: St. Martin's, 1955.
Collier, Basil. The Lion and the Eagle: British and Anglo-American Strategy, 1900–1950. New York: Putnam, 1972.
Dobson, Alan P. The Politics of the Anglo-American Economic Special Relationship, 1940–1987. New York: St. Martin's, 1988.
Dunning, William A. The British Empire and the United States: A Review of Their Relations during the Century of Peace following the Treaty of Ghent. New York: Scribners, 1914.
Kunz, Diane B. The Economic Crisis of the Suez Crisis. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.
Ovendale, Ritchie. Anglo-American Relations in the Twentieth Century. New York: St. Martin's, 1998.
See alsoBritish Debts ; Colonial Policy, British ; Ghent, Treaty of ; Neutrality ; Revolution, American ; World War I War Debts ; andvol. 9:Address to President Lincoln by the Working-Men of Manchester, England ; Madison's War Message .
"Great Britain, Relations with." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/great-britain-relations
"Great Britain, Relations with." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved February 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/great-britain-relations
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.
Great Britain, Relations with
GREAT BRITAIN, RELATIONS WITH
Russia's relations with Great Britain have been marked by chronic tension. During the nineteenth century, the British were keenly aware of tsarist Russia's expansion into Central Asia and of the menace it might hold for lands in the British Commonwealth, particularly India. Twice during that century the British invaded Afghanistan to forestall what they perceived as a Russian threat to occupy the country and use it as a staging area for an attack on India. Prophetic of George Kennan's "X" telegram of 1946 and the U.S. policy of containment, the British foreign minister Lord Palmerston said in 1853: "The policy and practice of the Russian government has always been to push forward its encroachments as fast and as far as the apathy or want of firmness of other governments would allow it to go, but always to stop and retire when it was met with decided resistance and then to wait for the next favorable opportunity." That same year the British decided to resist the effort by Tsar Nicholas I (1796–1855) to enhance Russian power and influence over the Black Sea region and the Ottoman Empire. War broke out between Russia and Turkey in October 1853 over a dispute about religious rights in the Holy Land. Great Britain and France joined forces with Turkey and laid siege to Sevastopol, Russia's naval base in the Crimea, and in September 1855 the Russians were forced to accept defeat. The Treaty of Paris (March 30, 1856), ending the war, was a serious diplomatic setback for Russia, because it guaranteed the integrity of Ottoman Turkey and obliged Russia to surrender southern Bessarabia, at the mouth of the Danube. The Crimean War failed to settle the Russian-British rivalry, but it impressed upon Nicholas's successor, Alexander II, the need to overcome Russia's backwardness in order to compete successfully with Britain and the other European powers.
As a further result of the Crimean War, Austria, which had sided with Great Britain and France, lost Russia's support in Central European affairs. Russia joined the Triple Entente with Britain and France in 1907, more as a result of the widened gap between it and the two Germanic powers and improved relations with Britain's ally, Japan, than out of any fondness for Britain and France. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated (June 28, 1914), Russia was not prepared to see Austria-Hungary defeat Serbia, a Slavic country, and the mobilization systems and interlocking alliances of the great powers undermined all attempts to avert a general war. The general disruption caused by World War I contributed to the revolutions in February and October 1917.
The Bolshevik Revolution enraged the British. Vladimir Lenin and other communists called on the workers in all countries to overthrow their capitalist oppressors and characterized the war as caused by rivalries between capitalist and imperialist countries like Britain. Lenin withdrew Russia from the war and signed a separate peace treaty with Germany at Brest-Litovsk in 1918. In the aftermath, Soviet support for national liberation movements in the empire, and of anti-British sentiment and activity in the Middle East, was a special source of annoyance to Britain. To avenge the Brest-Litovsk treaty, and alarmed that the Germans might transfer troops to the Western Front, the British, French, and Japanese intervened in Russia's Civil War, deploying troops to Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, and Vladisvostok, and later funneling material and money to the White armies opposing the Red Army. Winston Churchill (minister of munitions in 1917) made no secret of his antipathy toward Bolshevism, aiming to "strangle the infant in its crib."
Soviet policy toward Britain during the 1920s and 1930s was marked by contradictions. On the one hand, Josef Stalin tried to expand his diplomatic and commercial contacts with this archetypical imperialist power, as part of an effort to win recognition as a legitimate regime. On the other hand, he and his colleagues in the Kremlin remained wary of an anti-Soviet capitalist alliance and worked for the eventual demise of the capitalist system. Then, with the League of Nations weakened by the withdrawal of Japan and Germany, the Versailles Peace Treaty openly flaunted by Adolf Hitler's rearming of Germany, and the world economy crashing in the Great Depression, Stalin began thinking of an alliance with Britain as protection against Germany. When Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain capitulated to Hitler at Munich in 1938, Stalin decided to make a pact with the Nazis and did so the following year. But on June 22, 1941, Hitler renounced the nonaggression treaty and invaded the Soviet Union, thus precipitating the Grand Alliance between Britain, the Soviet Union, and United States. Churchill's cynical words reveal his true feelings about Stalin and the Slavic country to the east: "If Hitler had invaded Hell, I would find something nice to say about the Devil in the House of Commons."
The USSR lost twenty million lives and suffered incalculable destruction during World War II. The conflict ended in the total defeat of the Axis powers, with the Red Army occupying Albania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. Relations between Britain and the Soviet Union chilled rapidly. Churchill warned of the hazards of growing Soviet domination of Europe (a descending "iron curtain") in a historic March 5, 1946, speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The formation of two military alliances, NATO (1949) and the Warsaw Pact (1955). solidified the Cold War, which lasted until 1989.
In the postwar era, the Soviet Union perceived Britain as an imperialist power in decline, especially after it relinquished most of its colonies. Nevertheless, Britain remained an important power in Soviet eyes because of its nuclear forces, its leadership of the British Commonwealth, and its close ties with the United States. In general, however, Soviet relations with Britain took a back seat to Soviet relations with France (especially during the presidency of Charles de Gaulle) and West Germany (especially during the administration of Willy Brandt). This may have been because Britain, unlike West Germany, was a united country and thus not susceptible to Soviet political pressure exerted through the instrument of a divided people, and because the British Communist Party, because of its small size, had less influence in electoral politics than the French Communist Party. Given its close trade ties with the United States, Britain was less dependent economically than other West European states on Soviet and East European trade and energy resources. Britain also fulfilled its obligations as a NATO member, whereas France withdrew in 1966 from the military side of the alliance.
Even after the collapse of communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe in 1989 and the end of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the Soviet-era division of Europe continued to influence Russia's foreign policy toward Britain and other West European countries. Although the Warsaw Pact was disbanded, NATO extended its reach, admitting three former Soviet allies (Hungary, Poland, and the Czech republic) in 1999. Some Russian hard-liners feared that NATO would embrace all of Russia's former allies and deprive it of its traditional European buffer zone. Nevertheless, the al Qaeda terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 fostered closer ties between Russian president Vladimir Putin and other Western leaders, including British prime minister Tony Blair. New security threats that transcend state borders, such as global networks of suicidal terrorists, chemical and biological warfare, international organized crime, cyberwar, and human trafficking, all underscore the need for greater cooperation among sovereign states.
Adams, Ralph James Q. (1993). British Politics and Foreign Policy in the Age of Appeasement, 1935–39. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Blackwell, Michael. (1993). Clinging to Grandeur: British Attitudes and Foreign Policy in the Aftermath of the Second World War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Eudin, Xenia Joukoff, and Slusser, Robert. (1967). Soviet Foreign Policy, 1928–1934; Documents and Materials. University Park: Penn State University Press.
Keeble, Curtis. (1990). Britain and the Soviet Union, 1917–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Kennan, George F. (1960). Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1941. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.
Pravda, Alex, and Duncan, Peter J. S., eds. (1990). Soviet-British Relations since the 1970s. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ross, Graham. (1984). The Foreign Office and the Kremlin: British Documents on Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1941–45. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ulam, Adam B. (1968). Expansion and Coexistence: The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–67. New York: Praeger.
Ullman, Richard. (1961–1972). Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1917–1921, 3 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
"Great Britain, Relations with." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/great-britain-relations
"Great Britain, Relations with." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved February 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/great-britain-relations