Please help. British foreign policy 1945-1990

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Report Thread starter 10 years ago
doneeeee it
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Report 10 years ago
Britain & Europe (1945 - 1987):
  • 1945- Britain thinks empire will solve economic problems
  • 1947- OEEC (Organisation for European Economic Coorporation) is set up to distribute $17 billion Marshall Aid
  • 1950- Schuman plan suggests supranational sharing of coal and steel - not in Britain's economic interests
  • 1952- ECSC (European Coal and Steel community) is set up - France, Italy, Germany, and Benelux (Beligium, Luxemburg, and Netherlands) - No Britain
  • 1955- Messina Conference - Britain doesn't take it seriously and sends Junior Board of Trade Official - Talks of creating EEC
  • 1956- Suez Crisis
  • 1957- EEC (European Economic Community) created - France, Italy, Germany, Benelux - No Britain
  • 1960- EFTA (European Free Trade Association created - Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland,and Austria - this is pretty much useless
  • 1961- Britain applies to join EEC under MacMillan - JFK supports this. He doesn't want Europe becoming too powerful and wants Britain to try and control it
  • 1963- Rejected from EEC by DeGaulle
  • 1967- Britain applies to EEC again under Wilson and is rejected due to weak economy and relationship with America
  • 1969- DeGaulle retires and dies in 1971
  • 1970- Britina applies to EEC again under Heath and accepts poor conditions to join as Britain are economically weak
  • 1984- Thatcher negotiates a £1.5 billion rebate from EEC as Britain don't benefit from CAP
  • 1987- Britain sign Single European Act which paves the way to the EU in 1993

Britain and nuclear weapons (1945 - 1984):
  • 1946- MacMahon act is signed by Truman to end Manhattan Project - US withholds nuclear research from Britain as they 'didn't contribute enough'
  • 1947- Attlee announces that Britain will make their own nuclear weapons
  • 1952- UK successsfully tests their first nuclear bomb - V Bombers are used to carry them, but is soon realised that they can be shot down by USSR
  • 1955- Blue Streak programme proves Britain's capabilities to USA
  • 1958- McMahon act is reviewed and USA share nuclear technology with Britain again - CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) is formed
  • 1960- Blue Streak is cancelled - Britain buy Skybolt from USA
  • 1962- USA cancels Skybolt - Britain buys Polaris Submarines from USA under conditions - they need JFK's permission to fire and only under "supreme national interests"
  • 1981- USA store 96 cruise missiles at Greenham Common - CND protest
  • 1982- Thatcher buys Trident II from USA for £10 billion (this is cheap)
  • 1984- Thatcher warns Reagan to not rely on SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative) to protect USA from USSR - if USA stop making nucelar weapons, then USSR will turn to ground warfare, threatening Europe, rather than the mental warfare that was the nuclear arms race

Decolonisation (1945 - 1979):
  • 1941- Atlantic Charter - Britain indicate that they will decolonise
  • 1945-End of war - USA expect Britain to decolonise
  • 1947- India - Nationalism in India after WWII led by Gandhi and Jinnah
    - India want independance as reward for helping in the war which leads to general strikes (India is unprofitable)
    - Civil war mounting between Muslims and Hindus
    - Britain is bankupt from war, no money to control
    - Indianisation of police, army, and civil services means India can rule itself
  • 1957- Malaya - 1948 Malayan Emergency - Britain crush communism. USA prefered Empire over communism
    - Stability and ethnic unity by1953
    - Economic and political need to decolonise after Suez
  • 1963- Kenya - Mau Mau & Kikuya tribes cost £10,000 to kill per person
    - Risk of civil war between tribes
    - Economic and political reasons to decolonise
    - Winds of Change speech (1960), based on Colonial review, says Britain will give independance to any African nation that wants it
    - Kikuya & Mau Mau tribes unite through hatred of Britain
  • 1979- Rhodesia - Britain don't give independance due to no democracy and no majority rule
    - Leads to Ian Smith's Universal Declaration of Independance (Rhodesia declare temselves independant from British Empire)
    - Civil war = 20,000 dead
    - Lancaster House talks = Thatcher puts Zanu PF (Marxist, not soviet communist) in charge and ends civil war

Thatchers foreign policy
  • Communism- Wanted to end communism
    - Played key role in negotiations between Gorbachev and Reagan
    - Backs anti-communist regimes in Eastern-Europe
    - Overlooks USA's invasion of Grenada as it was to stop communism
  • World Status- Solved Rhodesia crisis and gave her confidence to be independant in foreign policy
    - Falklands showed that clear aim for world status/national interests wouldn't be compromised by USA. Was prepared to fight alone but USA finally offers public support
    - Believed world status relied on nuclear deterrant. Increased defence spending and used close relationship with USA to secure Trident II. This may explain why Britain let USA store cruise missiles in Greenham Common
    - Backs USA agaisnt Libya. Is criticised, but is consistent with aims to end IRA (Libya was funding IRA)
  • Europe- Criticesed the Foreign Office for being too pro-European & underestimating importance of USA. Sacks Foreign Secretaries for this
    - Prefers USA and NATO
    - Secures £1.5 billion rebate over Common Agricultural Policy from EEC (viewed negatively by EEC, but good for Britain)
    - Supports Eastern European EEC applications as it will weaken EEC
    - Signs Single European Act as she thinks it'll be good for Britain's economy

Britain as a world power between 1945 - 1990
What makes a world power?
-Military strength
-Strong allies
-Strong economy

  • Military strength- Initially too weak to protect Europe: Iron Curtain speech led to Truman Doctrine
    - Too weak to help Greece, led to Marshall Aid
    - Needed creation of NATO
    - Britain had a nuclear bomb,
    - Was successful at making a stand against communism
    - Supported USA in the Korean war
    - Post-suez relied on US technology for nuclear deterrent, but maintained a strong defence regardless
    - Falklands victory
    - Support for US in Libya
    - Persuaded Reagan to take a more agressive stance in Cold War/abandon SDI
  • World Influence- Britain couldn't hold India because it was ungovernable but retained it in the commonwealth
    - Maintained world influence through the commonwealth: most countries joined
    - Had power to solve Rhodesia
    - Role in the Cold War: supported Eastern-European anti-communist & negotiated between Reagan and Gorbachev
  • Strong allies- Was able to influence US policy through Iron curtain speech
    - Not a one way relationship though: gave support in Korea
    - Repaired relationship with US after Suez
    - Shared nuclear technology
    - Influenced Reagan in the Cold War
    - Supported USA in Libya
    - EEC rejections due to economic weakness highilght a decline.
  • Economy- Too poor to survive post-war and rely on Marshall Aid
    - Situation worsened by Suez
    - MacMillan's colonial review exposed weakness in the Empire
    - Too poor to join EEC; rejected
    - Nuclear technology bought from USA as too expensive to conduct own research and develop weapons (e.g. Blue Streak) and is left reliant on the USA
    - Economy improves under Thatcher as shown by nuclear spending increase

Labour and conservative foreign policy between 1945 - 1964
-Relationship with USA
-Nuclear Weapons

  • Europe:
    • Labour- Reluctant to engage in supranational politics (EEC)
      - Support OEEC but not the Schuman Plan (Goes on to form the ECSC)
      - Europe isn't economically beneficial to Britain
    • Conservative- reluctant to engage initially as economic interests lie elsewhere (shown by attitude in Messina)
      - Post-Suez; policy changes: EFTA 1960 & EEC application 1961 prove MacMillan's reassessment of British policy
    • Change?- Significant change due to economy rather than political beliefs of the parties

  • Empire:
    • Labour- Keen to retain empire; seen as answer to economic problems
      - India given independance due to ungovernability but others kept (Malayan Emergency settled)
    • Conservative- Little change at first, but Suez is catalyst for second wave of decolonisation (Malaya)
      - Colonial review/wind of change speech confirms that Britain no longer believes the empire/commonwealth is the answer & turns to EEC (Kenya, Sudan, Uganda given independance & Britain applies to EEC)
    • Change?- Significant change due to economic circumstances rather than political beliefs of the parties

  • Relationship with USA:
    • Labour- Britain realises weakness of itself and Europe without USA and bases policy around gaining US support: Iron Curtain speech and withdrawl from Greece establish the Truman doctrine and Marshall Aid
      - Shows independance by recognising communist China but repairs relationsip through Korean war
      - Also show independance by announcing that they will create their own nuclear bomb
    • Conservative- continuation of close US relationship initially but relationship damaged by Suez
      - Britain builds to repair it and builds nuclear deterrent around US technology (review of McMahon Act and Polaris submarines)
    • Change?- Some change due to Suez crisis but Britain repairs relationship to hlp its other foreign policy aims

  • Nuclear Weapons:
    • Labour- Britain forced to pursue independant nuclear deterrent by McMahon Act
      - Nuclear weapons are deemed cheaper then conventional army
    • Conservative- Policy continued by Conservative government
      - Britain invest in V Bombers and Blue Streak but economic concerns and failing technology see Britain purchase US technology by 1960 (Skybolt and Polaris)
    • Change?- Some change due to economic and technological failure reather than political beliefs

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Report 8 years ago
Thank you so much! The notes are great! If you have more revision notes for History, then please PM me.

Thanks again
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Report 8 years ago
Anyone have any revision guides/textbooks that are useful recommendations? Ps. thanks for the dates, they are great!
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Report 8 years ago
Where were you when I did this at AS last year lol?
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Report 8 years ago
Thank you so very much for these notes - they have quite literally saved my essays multiple times! You will definitely go to AS History heaven
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Report 2 years ago
So useful

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