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How to structure an essay on the following question...
To what extent did Britain lose its position as a great power in
the period after 1945?…read more

Slide 2

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Step One: The Plan
· Briefly jot down what you plan to write about ­ don't take too long doing this, although the more
ideas you have, the better, even if you don't write about them all in the essay.
· The best way to structure this essay is by evaluating Britain's world power status regarding four
1. Relationship with US: things to talk about 2. Relationship with the USSR/Cold War ­
include Marshall Aid/Britain's reliance on things to talk about include the Iron
the US, joint participation in the Berlin Curtain speech, the Berlin Airlift, the
Airlift, joint participation in the Korean Korean War and NATO, British
War, Britain joining NATO, Treaty of acquisition of nuclear weapons
Dunkirk/Brussels. (Manhattan Project).
3. Relationship with Europe ­ things to 4. Relationship with Empire and
talk about include Marshall Aid/ OEEC, Commonwealth ­ things to talk about
Council of Europe, Treaty of Dunkirk, include Indian + Palestinian
refusal of supranational organisations e. decolonisation, trade with empire,
g. ECSC and Schuman Plan, British focus strength of empire at end of WW2,
on Welfare reforms, trade with Empire. imperial debts, Attlee's views on
Empire.…read more

Slide 3

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Step Two: The Introduction
· In your introduction, you should give some background information on the subject in the question,
and introduce the different categories you will be talking about in your essay. Remember to try
and use the question in your answer. Avoid phrases such as `In this essay I will...'
An example introduction for this question:
Give some background information about Britain's great
power status.
Before the start of the Second World War, Britain had been considered as a great power,
alongside countries such as the USA and the USSR, due to the strength of her huge
empire and navy. Britain's navy in particular was one of the largest in the world, and a
huge asset to her country as proof of her strength and power. Following the Second
World War, in the period after 1945, Britain's world power status was tested in four
different areas: relationship with the USSR and the Cold War, relationship with the US,
relationship with Europe and relations with the Empire and Commonwealth. Britain
could be said to have lost her position as a great power, although the extent to this is
Use key terms from the question Introduce the categories…read more

Slide 4

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Step Three: Paragraph 1 - US
· In the main body, remember to use the PEE technique. Make a statement in the opening sentence, then explain this
statement using evidence and examples.
· Include two or three examples of events that fit into this category, and go into a good amount of detail. You will
receive higher marks for this that for covering five or six examples in little detail.
An example paragraph for the first category (this is just a starting point; in an essay you would need to cover a couple
more events showing how British relations with the US contributed to her loss as a great power.):
Make a statement.
One of the key factors of British foreign policy which contributed to Britain's loss of her
great power status was her relationship with the US. After the Second World War,
Britain's economy was incredibly weak, and she relied heavily on the US for loans. In
1948, Britain joined the OEEC, and were in charge of distributing Marshall Aid loans,
given by the US to Europe. The aim of this was to rebuild European economies which had
been badly damaged by the war. Due to Britain's close relationship with the US, she
received a large portion of the Marshall Aid. This reliance on US loans showed that
economically, Britain was no longer a great power, and was seen as a junior partner to
the US, further emphasising her weakness compared to other great powers.
Give evidence Explain how the evidence relates to
the question..…read more

Slide 5

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Step Four: Mini Conclusion
· For each category, the examiner will want to see a mini-conclusion evaluation for important
that category was as a factor.
An example mini-conclusion for the first category, evaluating the importance of US
relationships in Britain's loss of her great power position:
Evaluate the importance of the category as
a factor in British loss of great power status.
British relations with the US in the period after 1945 were, on the whole, very strong.
Britain joined NATO in 1949. This alliance with the US showed that Britain was still a
worthwhile ally to the US, proving that her status as a great power was still largely intact.
This was also shown by the fact that Britain was still participating in global affairs, such
as the Cold War. Britain did rely heavily on the US for economic loans, which could be
seen to be a sign that Britain wasn't as strong as she seemed, although overall, her
relationship with the US worked greatly to British advantage as proof of her status as a
great power.
Give evidence ­ use the main points from your main
paragraph and briefly summarise their importance.…read more

Slide 6

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Step Five: Repeat and link
· Repeat steps three and four for all of your categories, remembering to keep to the PEE
structure for each.
· For higher grades, try and make links between some of the categories.
An example of a link between relationship with the US and relationship with Europe:
Make a statement
Britain's participation in the Treaty of Brussels could also be seen as a sign that her
position as a great power was still intact. The Brussels Treaty Organisation of 1948 was
an intergovernmental European alliance. On the surface, it appeared that Britain was
moving closer to European integration, which would secure her position as a great
power. However, by joining the BTO, Britain was actually trying to appeal to the US, by
emphasising self-help and co-operation, as she wanted to strengthen her relationship
with them, in order to keep them as her chief ally. The BTO was welcomed by President
Truman. This was proof that Britain was reliant on the US, and her status as a great
power was wavering. Britain knew that if she could secure the US as an ally, she would
appear strong and powerful to other countries.
Explain how this fits into the Europe category using
evidence. Link to the second category (US
relationship) and use evidence.…read more

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