This book addresses the special relationship from the perspective of post-Second World War British governments. It argues that Britain's foreign policy challenges the dominant idea that its power has been waning and that it sees itself as the junior partner to the hegemonic US. The book also shows how at moments of international crisis successive British governments have attempted to re-play the same foreign policy role within the special relationship. It discusses the power of a profoundly antagonistic relationship between Mark Twain and Walter Scott. The book demonstrates Stowe's mis-reading and mis-representation of the Highland Clearances. It explains how Our Nig, the work of a Northern free black, also provides a working-class portrait of New England farm life, removed from the frontier that dominates accounts of American agrarian life. Telegraphy - which transformed transatlantic relations in the middle of the century- was used by spiritualists as a metaphor for the ways in which communications from the other world could be understood. The story of the Bolton Whitman Fellowship is discussed. Beside Sarah Orne Jewett's desk was a small copy of the well-known Raeburn portrait of Sir Walter Scott. Henry James and George Eliot shared a transatlantic literary network which embodied an easy flow of mutual interest and appreciation between their two milieux. In her autobiography, Gertrude Stein assigns to her lifelong companion the repeated comment that she has met three geniuses in her life: Stein, Picasso, and Alfred North Whitehead.
This book is based mainly on government sources, namely material from the White House, State Department, Foreign Office (FO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Prime Minister's Office (PREM) and Cabinet (CAB). Private papers consulted include those of Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown and Undersecretary of State George Ball. The book explores a period of the Wilson-Johnson relationship. It considers the seven weeks from Wilson's election until he went to see Lyndon B. Johnson on 7-9 December, a formative period in which Britain cultivated American financial support and which saw pre-summit diplomacy over the NATO Multilateral Force (MLF). The book covers the summit in detail, examining the diplomatic exchanges over the Vietnam War, the British commitment East of Suez and the MLF, as well as the interplay of personality between Wilson and Johnson. By exploring the relationship of the two leaders in the years 1964-1968, it seeks to examine their respective attitudes to the Anglo-American relationship. The book then assesses the significance of an alleged Anglo-American strategic-economic 'deal', Wilson's 'Commonwealth Peace Mission' to Vietnam, and another Wilson visit to Washington. It also considers why the personal relationship between Johnson and Wilson suffered such strain when the Labour government 'dissociated' the UK from the latest American measures in Vietnam. Next, the book addresses the period from August 1966-September 1967, during which Wilson launched an intense but abortive effort to initiate peace negotiations over Vietnam, and London announced plans to withdraw from military bases East of Suez.
This is the first monograph length study that charts the coercive diplomacy of the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as practiced against their British ally in order to persuade Edward Heath’s government to follow a more amenable course throughout the ‘Year of Europe’ and to convince Harold Wilson’s governments to lessen the severity of proposed defence cuts. Such diplomacy proved effective against Heath but rather less so against Wilson. It is argued that relations between the two sides were often strained, indeed, to the extent that the most ‘special’ elements of the relationship, that of intelligence and nuclear co-operation, were suspended. Yet, the relationship also witnessed considerable co-operation. This book offers new perspectives on US and UK policy towards British membership of the European Economic Community; demonstrates how US détente policies created strain in the ‘special relationship’; reveals the temporary shutdown of US-UK intelligence and nuclear co-operation; provides new insights in US-UK defence co-operation, and revaluates the US-UK relationship throughout the IMF Crisis.
Harold Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson: a ‘special relationship’?
implications for the Johnson–Wilson relationship, as it saw the
devaluation of sterling and the demise of the remaining British commitment
East of Suez. As 1968 ended, the White House was more inclined to regard
Britain simply as one ally among many, rather than a state with whom there
was some kind of ‘special’ relationship.
The Anglo-American relationship, 1964–68
There has been the suggestion that the
preferential treatment in its dealings with the
IMF so it could maintain its defence commitments. In essence, when the
Labour government of James Callaghan needed the US–UK’s specialrelationship to deliver material benefits, it came up rather short.
The context of the IMF crisis
Whilst this chapter is focused predominantly upon the political–diplomatic
US–UK relationship, the economic context to the IMF crisis needs to be explained
in order to contextualise the wider political issue. Throughout 1974–76, the
Wilson government had implemented a series of public expenditure
Submarine Launch Ballistic Missile nuclear weapons system) would be sold to
the UK, he refused to yield.91
Further to this, Kissinger also instructed US Treasury Secretary George
Shultz to stop any special information being given to the British pertaining
to ongoing monetary discussions. As he reasoned: ‘I want to get your area
synchronized with ours so that they [Britain] can’t claim a specialrelationship
A year of discord
in one field and really put it to us in other fields’.92 In sum, under
American leaders saw it [to be] in their self-interest to obtain British
advice before taking major decisions. It was an extraordinary
relationship because it rested on no legal claim; it was formalized
by no document; it was carried forward by succeeding British
governments as if no alternatives were conceivable. Britain’s
influence was great precisely because it never insisted on it; the
‘specialrelationship’ demonstrated the value of intangibles.
Henry Kissinger’s assessment of the US–UK ‘specialrelationship’1
The above quote
‘thought his friendship with Johnson was harmony itself’. 4 John Dickie maintains that
‘Even the most ardent Atlanticists were surprised at the sudden
cooling of the SpecialRelationship so soon after the end of the
Kennedy– Macmillan era’. In particular, Wilson’s prime
ministership ‘set the scene for a decline which continued for fifteen
years until Margaret Thatcher rekindled the special warmth of the
partnership with Ronald
Janet Beer and Bridget Bennett
The celebrated description of Britain and America as two nations divided
by a common language suggests the limits, at both ends, of the relationship between the two countries. It is a relationship that has received a good
deal of critical attention, yet the collaborations, collisions, friendships,
mutual admiration or hostilities between individual British and American
writers and their cultural preoccupations has not been an area of much
study. The idea of a specialrelationship between the United States and
US, they would simply have to wait until the EEC had
formulated a common position before negotiations could proceed further.
Heath’s actions were viewed with incredulity in Washington, because his
policy was effectively scuppering any hope of a quick foreign policy success
– which Nixon personally wanted to distract attention from his Watergate
troubles. More substantively, Heath’s decision was seen to mark the end of
close US–UK diplomacy, and both Nixon and Kissinger talked about the end of
the ‘specialrelationship’.12 However, Kissinger was determined that his