In the years following World War II, many scholars argue the United States and Britain have been bonded by a ‘special relationship.’ Since 1945, this relationship has resulted in several policies, both domestic and foreign. The ‘special relationship’ includes aspects in finances, allied forces during the Cold War, similar cultures and even personal relationships between leaders.
Following World War II, Britain experienced several years of hardships. Due to the high cost of war the UK lost nearly a quarter of its national wealth. In result of this substantial reduction in funds, many British citizens lived in conditions requiring rations. Something had to be done to preserve the way of life in Britain. Conversely, the United States was in a much better situation financially. As an ally during both World Wars, a financial loan from the US seemed to be the best option for a seemingly desperate Britain in search of restoring its position as a first rank world power. (Bartlett, 1992, pp. 10-16, 24-26)
Although it was apparent the loan was the lesser of two evils, it was not without great objection from both nations. American leaders and citizens alike were quick to question why the US should promote imperialism in assisting a “junior partner in an orbit of power predominantly [beneath America]” (Bartlett, 1992, pp. 10-16, 24-26). Although the British embassy did not view this as the nation being written off, according to Bartlett, the opinion voiced by the US did nothing to win over the people of Britain. Many Ministers of Parliament, along with citizens, viewed the loan as damaging to British pride. Despite disagreements, the British Treasury eventually ruled firmly against attempting to get by without the loan. The United Kingdom had to except the stipulations of the loan— open conversion between GBP and USD— due to the exceptionally low rate of interest. (Bartlett, 1992, pp. 10-16, 24-26) After much negotiation, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee was able to secure $3.75billion from the US, according to Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds. Additionally, Britain accepted nearly $3billion in further funding from the US from April 1948 until December 1951 through Marshall Aid. (Thomas-Symonds, 2012) Despite leaders viewing the relationship between the US and the US as anything except ‘special,’ it was not necessarily evident in 1945. However, it was clear to the United Kingdom a relationship with the United States could prove entirely necessary in the conflicts with the USSR during the Cold War.
At the end of World War II, communist Russian forces had effectively pushed into Berlin, Germany as well as a great majority of eastern Europe. As a communist state, the USSR lacked good relations with democratic states such as the US and UK in addition to western Europe. In interest of national security, it became essential for the United Kingdom to ally itself with the United States for as long as the Cold War continued. During World War II in 1942, Winston...