‘by 1974 Britain Had Been Reduced to a ‘North Atlantic Nobody’’ Discuss. (45 Marks)

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‘By 1974 Britain had been reduced to a ‘North Atlantic Nobody’’ Discuss. (45 marks)

From 1951 to 1974, Britain’s world power had dwindled, its empire a fraction of it’s pre-WW2 size. However, to suggest that Britain was a ‘North Atlantic nobody’ would be incorrect. It’s power had decreased but it was still considered a world power with influence. Military operations and diplomatic relations along with economic standing are factors in reasoning whether or not Britain was reduced to a ‘North Atlantic nobody’.

Britain’s military size and military actions in this period could support the argument of it being a ‘North Atlantic nobody’. The most prominent of military failures during this time was the Suez crisis of 1956. Britain was forced to withdraw from Suez due to pressures from the US and the UN resolution passed against Britain. Other attempts at military independence failed miserably, such as the Blue Streak missile program in 1960. Blue Streak was developed as an independent missile system for the UK and millions were spent on it. However, Blue Streak was a failure, and the British government was forced to be reliant on the American missile system, Polaris. Along the same lines, during the Cold War between the USA and the USSR missiles were kept in the UK by the US, similar to the USSR’s use of Cuba. This once again shows the lack of independence from the US – any attempts to make actions without pre-approval from the US were utter failures. When the UK and the US joined together in nuclear research the UK used a faux nuclear demonstration to make the US believe that the UK were capable of developing such weapons. Britain’s reliance on the US is clear, showing that although they were not a nobody, they weren’t because of their ‘special relationship’ with the US. However, there were military successes, such as the Malayan emergency and the Mau Mau…...

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