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Britain Drives the European Bus

In: Historical Events

Submitted By begs
Words 2292
Pages 10
By the end of World War Two, Britain as the European victor of the war was looking towards not only rebuilding their own economy and society but also to taking a larger role in leading the rebuilding of a powerful Western Europe. Britain wanted to be treated as an equal by their victorious partners after WWII, the US and USSR, and the British leaders believed this could be accomplished by the creation of a unified Western bloc in Europe. From 1945 until 1957 with the signing of the Treaty of Rome, Britain was successful in leading Western Europe through leadership in post war reconstruction, economic arrangements, security, and atomic weapons. Britain’s commitment to being a world power as well as their widespread influence overseas also helped the British to maintain a leadership role in Western Europe despite French ideas of British Americanization. Overall, despite occasional moments of weakness, Britain was essentially the driver of the “European bus” from 1945 until 1957 when the British decided they no longer wanted to be on board the European bus. World War II devastated Western Europe both physically and economically but provided an opportunity for Britain to take a leading role in the reconstruction process. Reconstruction became the immediate concern for Britain and their Western European neighbors. Britain’s leading role in Western Europe was sparked by their success in post war reconstruction beginning with their role in the Marshall Plan funding by the United States. The British recognized the need to rebuild Western Europe in order to prevent Soviet Union communist influence. Lord Inverchapel sent a note to the United States stating the inability of Britain to fund Greece and Turkey who were facing threats of Communism takeover. This note helped to form the containment policy in the United States through the creation of the Truman...

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