Foreign Affairs 50s

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  • Foreign Affairs- 1950s
    • Commonwealth
      • Korean War 50-53
        • Korea was ruled by 2 states. the North by the USSR and the USA in the South.
          • In 50, forces from the North, supported by USSR and China, invaded the south
            • the UN send forces to combat the invasion. over 20 countries supplied troops. Britain sent over 90,000, the second largest after the US
        • There was heavy fighting by a Ceasefire was agreed in 53. over 1000 British troops had died.
        • The Ceasefire determined that Korea would be divided into 2. the Communist North and non-Communist South
        • the War shown how the Cold War was being fought across the world. it demonstrated Britain's willingness to continue to play a major role in world affairs, despite economic constraints
      • Decolonisation
        • By 951, Britain's retreat from the Empire had already begun. the decision to withdraw from India in 47 was the most dramatic example
        • The pressures of colonial independence movements became harder to contain. British forces found themselves fighting against movements in Malaya, Kenya and Cyprus.
        • France and Belgium was also suffering revolts in their colonies
        • Britain believed they could managw a transition from Empire to the New Commonwealth and colonial resistence could be controlled
          • When the Mau Mau Rebellion broke out in Kenya in 52, it was assumed that it could be ended by the military.
            • Difficultly to contain the rebellion had already demonstrated problems with Britain's colonial policies
              • After Suez, British policymaking began to reconsider the pace of decolonisation
              • Ghana became the first togain independence. followed by Nigeria and Cyprus in 1960
              • The shift in policy making was signalled by Macmillan's 'Wind of Change' speech
      • Suez
        • The Suez Canal was the vital route for oil shipments. 80% of the Western Europe's oil imports passed through the canal
        • Eden was encouraged by France and Israel and they agreed on a plan of action
          • Israeli forces would invade Egypt; Britain and France would then intervene. the excuse would be to enforce peace amongst Egypt and Israel. In reality, they were to seize control of Suez
        • Military action did not go to plan and there was a storm of political protest in Britain.
          • The Labour Party opposed the conflict, anti-war protests were held and public opimopm was split on the need for intervention
            • The US opposed the action and Britain was not strong enough to oppose American pressures.
              • Macmillan realised it was essential to pull out even though it meant accepting failure and humiliation
                • Eden's reputation was damaged. he resigned due to 'ill healtlh'
        • The result of Suez meant that Britain's power in the world needed a reassessment.
          • 1.) questioned their reputation as a force for good in the world
          • 3.)brought sharp relief the impact that Britain's economic and financialpolicy had on the direction of foreign affairs
          • 2.) highlighted their inability to act without American support
      • Winds of Change Speech
        • Macmillan's speech in Cape Town, described the 'Winds of change' blowing through the whole African continent. this was a change in policy calling for decolonisation and recognition of independence movements
        • He was seeking t persuade countries accept majority rule
          • South Africa preferred minority white rule and voted in a referendum. later that year, broke all ties with Britain.
        • In Retrospect, it was seen a success
          • British decolonisation as more swift than that of Belgium and Portugal,
          • By 64, the transition from Empire to Commonwealth seemed to represent a significant achievement
    • Relationship with America
      • Britain and America had become stronger allies after WW2 in opposing the spread of Communism across Europe
      • Britain and the US remained allies in the Cold War. Britain had supported the UN in Korea
        • The Burgees and Maclean Affair found British Spies had been leaking vital secrets to Moscow which worried the Americans and were less prepared to share intelligence secrets with Britain.
      • Macmillan had a strong relationship with Eisenhower
    • Europe
      • EEC
        • EEC was a union established by the Treaty of Rome in 57.
        • Including 6 countries: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
        • Britain supported the creation but didn't get involved as there was a belief that Britain would still be a great world power
          • Britain also wanted to balance the its involvement with Europe with maintaining the 'Special Relationship' with the US
        • Britain tried to join the EEC after failure of EFTA in 1961 by Macmillan. but were vetoed out by Charles De Gaulle in 63
          • Britain fundamentally changed their mind and wanted to join as they believed it would: -boost industrial production. -increase industrial efficiency and stimulate economic growth
          • France didn't want Britain to join because they didn't want the USA to join.
      • EFTA
        • IN 59, Britain created the EFTA however became unsuccessful
    • America
      • Nuclear Deterrent
        • The US had stopped sharing its nuclear secrets with Britain and so if they wanted a nuclear power they would have to do it themselves
        • Labour Foreign Secretary Bevin- "We've got to have this thing over here whatever the costs. We've hot to have a bloody Union Jack on top of it."
        • Churchill had continued this policy and Brtiain's first test of the atomic bomb were in 52.
          • This made Britain the 3rd country in the world to have nuclear weapons after the US and USSR
            • By then, they were already testing hydrogen Bombs, Britain's H Bomb was tested in 57.
        • Concerns over the development led to the formation of the CND in 58
          • became most powerful pressure group in the UK
          • wanted to reject nuclear weapons and instead follow a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament
          • around 8000 people took part in a demonstation at the base in Aldermaston in 58. followed by a second march in 59
        • 1958
          • America began sharing tech. with Britain under the Mutual Defence Agreement
          • Britain's own rocket project Blue Streak was abandoned in 1960. it was replaced by dependence on the American Polaris submarine weapon system

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