The Making of Modern Britain 8- Foreign Affairs

By 1964, what had the winds of change brought?
Indpendance to 18 New Commonwealth states.
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What did the Wilson government want to do now?
Continue on with this.
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What would these mean for Britain?
More decolonisation but also les military action e.g. east of Suez.
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What was Harold WIlson in terms of America?
He was pro-American. a keen suporter of the Atlantic Alliance
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What did Wilson want America to stay committed to?
The Cold war and the protection of Europe.
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What was a continuing threat by the Soviet Union highlighted by?
The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslavakia in 1968, after Dubcek intoruced reforms that incraesed freedom of speech and movement.
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But when did Britian and the USA's relationship become under strain?
The Vietnam War.
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What was the Vietnam war?
Began in 1955. Divided into two states, a communist north and non-communist south. USA supported the south. Escalated in 1964.
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Who did US president, Lyndon Johnson, want from his allies over Vietnam?
Support and approval. Australia sent troops to Vietnam, Johnson wanted Britain to do the same.
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What did Wilson do in response?
Nothing. Resisted any direct military involvement despite his good relationship with Johnson.
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Why was a difficult balancing act for Britain?
Wanted to maintain the Atlantic Alliance, but the Vietnam war was very unpopular in Britian.
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What other considerations did Wilson have to be careful of?
The economic and financial considerations. Britain could not afford military involvement, but Wilso needed the support of the USA to support the value of sterling after devaluation.
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What can Vietnam be summed up from Britian?
Moral support without military support.
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Who did this annoy?
The USA who wanted greater backing, but also Labour MP's who wanted WIlson to condemn the USA.
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What did the US secutary state say to an English diplomat in 1965?
‘When the Russians invade Sussex, don’t expect us to come over and save you.'
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How were the Labour government different from the Tories in relation to Europe?
It wasn't very committed to the entry of the EEC.
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What did Hugh Gaitskell say about the entry to the EEC?
'It would be an end to a thousand years of history'.
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Who else was against the entry into the EEC?
Many of Labour's left e.g. Michael Foot and Barbara Castle, and the trade unions.
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Why were they against the EEC?
Saw it as a club for capitalists that would prevent Britain from following their socialist policies.
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But who were the Europhiles?
Roy Jenkins and George Brown.
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What was Wilson's stance on Europe?
Ambivalent. Preffered Atlantic Alliance and stronger links with the Commonwealth, but could see the economic benefits of Europe.
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By 1966, how had Wilson's stance changed?
Now more drawn to the economic arguments. October- cabinet agreed to back a second application to the EEC.
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What were the prospects of suceeding?
Not very good. It seemed half-hearted due to divisions in Labour but de Gaulle had not changed his mind about British entry.
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What happened in Jan 1967?
Wilson and Brown went to Paris to meet with De Gaulle. Thought meeting went well. Then toured the other 5 to try and gain support.
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June 1967- what happened between de Gaulle and Wilson?
De Gaulle asked Wilson to rid of the special relationship. Wilson would never do this.
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Therefore, what happened in November?
De Gaulle vetoed British entry to the EEC again.
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What did the minsiter of defence, Denis Healey, start a process of?
Reducing military action. Started a process of spending cuts designed to bring the defence budget to £2 biillion by 1970.
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What did his white paper in 1967 set a timetable for?
Troops withdrawels from Aden, the Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore.
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What did some argue about these cuts?
That due to the high inheritance, these cuts couldn't have come far enough or fast enough.
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But what did Wilson still believe in?
both the Atlantic Alliance and Britain continuing to have a world role.
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What did this mean for nuclear deterrance?
That there would be no serious debate about giving up the nuclear detterant despite it's expense.
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From this, what did Wilson annouce that Britain would continue to do?
Deploy US Polaris missiles.
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How did this change in 1968?
as a result of drastic spending cuts introduced by Roy Jenkins after the 1967 devaluation crisis.
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Where did Britain withdraw from?
Withdrawel from the East of Suez was rapidly accelerated. Troops were pullled out of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Malaysia and Singapore by the end of 1971.
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What was abandoned as a result of expense?
the development of a new high-tech warplane, the TSR2.
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How was Macmillan's 'wind of change' seen in Cape Town?
As a challenge and threat to the white minority of South Africa.
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what had Rhodesia and Nyasaland done in 1963?
Broken into separate states. 1964- N. Rhodesia was Zambia, Nyasaland became Malawi. S. Rhodesia wanted independance but Britain made it clear that this would not happen.
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Why did a political blow up occur?
when Ian Smith became PM.
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What did Smith do in 1965?
Issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independance for Rhodesia without accepting majority rule.
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What was Smith's action seen as?
A direct challenge to the Labour government.
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How did WIlson hoped to sort this?
Reach a solution in weeks rather than months, either through oil sanctions or by a negotiated solution.
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When did Wilson meet Smith?
For face-to-face talks on the HMS Tiger in Gibraltar in Dec 1966.
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How did this end?
Seemed to make progress but Smith disavowed everything when he got back to Rhodesia.
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How did Wilson's frustations continue in 1967?
Oil sanctions didn't ave much effect, as Rhodesia could get their oil from Portugise colony Mozambique.
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Who else continued to trade wth Rhodesia?
South Africa.
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Where were more talks held?
On board the HMS Fearless in Oct 1968. But Smith felt stronger rather than weaker.
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What else did Smith believe?
He could rely on support of the right of the Conservative party.
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how did the situation in Rhodesia make Britain look?
Weak as they couldn't handle Rhodesia.
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Card 2


What did the Wilson government want to do now?


Continue on with this.

Card 3


What would these mean for Britain?


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Card 4


What was Harold WIlson in terms of America?


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Card 5


What did Wilson want America to stay committed to?


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