• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the reasons why Britain's reactions to European co-operation changed in the period 1945-63.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the reasons why Britain's reactions to European co-operation changed in the period 1945-63 In the years after WW2 there was strong opposition in Britain toward possible European integration. Britain had not faced Nazi occupation and still retained her Empire unlike her European ' cousins'. However, by 1961, she was deeply involved in European affairs and organisations. This shift in policy was not a sudden change of thought but a gradual adherence towards European opinion. How did this change come about? Initially, Britain's main resistance to any form of integration within Europe stemmed from two concerns, firstly that it would require power to be handed over to a supra-national organisation, resulting in the loss of her prized national sovereignty. Secondly, fear that such integration had the potential to cut across her economic and political ties with its Empire. The British Empire still stretched across the world and Imperialistic attitudes still remained. At the end of WW2 many still held the view that Britain, and its Empire, could become the 'Third World Power' behind the U.S. ...read more.

Middle

At the same time as the establishment of the ECSC, European countries were also considering the establishment of an integrated, multi-national European Army responsible to a European Organisation, as first put forward under the Plevin plan in October 1950. Britain's initial reaction, exemplified by Bevin and Attlee, was to dismiss this plan, at least until the U.S. showed its full support for it and for German rearmament. Even then, constant bickering between France and Britain resulted, often about the need to make firm commitments regarding the exact deployment of troops. It was only when Germany was admitted to NATO that progress finally occurred as British worries over the creation of a supranational European organisation dissipated and the British could maintain its foot in two camps, Europe and the US. With progress occurring on many fronts (e.g. ECSC, NATO) it was not long before European countries were looking for more general economic and political integration. Such integration, provided it included Germany, would give others such as France access to the biggest and fastest growing economy. ...read more.

Conclusion

was pressurising Britain into joining. Essentially the main reason was that EEC was performing well and Britain's EFTA was performing poorly. But the application was turned down by De Gaulle who, ironically, used Britain's concerns over supranationality as an excuse for his refusal even though France, itself, preferred inter-governmental co-operation between sovereign states as a basis for the continuing operation of the EEC. The 1960's showed Britain continuing its effort to join the EEC, without success. Initially its Commonwealth links could be used by France as a reason for refusing EEC membership as these economic links might potentially undermine France's determination to maintain a highly subsidized Common Agricultural Policy. Unfortunately, Britain's reliance on US Polaris submarine capabilities, its inability to generate sufficient resources to pay for expensive military equipment (e.g. Blue Streak), or to act independently in a military capacity (e.g. Suez Crisis) but particularly its recognition that the world was passing it by as new political and economic alliances were being forged, meant that EEC membership applications had to continue even if national pride was damaged by each refusal. The Britain of the 1960's had fallen behind European countries because of its refusal to lay down old concepts and start afresh. Ian Chandler ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. The EU's CFSP and the Iraq Crisis: A Catalyst for Change?

    It is likely that the Iraq Crisis will ultimately have served as a catalyst for renewed efforts at making CFSP work. Some positive developments towards more effective CFSP took place in the immediate aftermath of the Iraq Crisis. At the height of tensions over Iraq, leaders of the EU held a summit which drafted a joint position on Iraq.

  2. Transformation of the U.S. Hegemony in Europe through NATO after the Cold War

    and then to underline the determination for a better cooperation among the European Union nations (solidarity). The modern efforts go back to 1940s. The creation of Western Union (WU) in 1948, the Pl�ven plan in 1950 and later the refusal of European Defense Community by the French parliament in

  1. What does citizenship mean in the European context?

    conflates nationality and citizenship so that nationality is a condition for citizenship and citizenship means nationality. Why, then, not advocate, realistically or otherwise, the elimination of the concept of European citizenship? It is, I think, because in European citizenship, understood as vehicle for identity, there is, strangely, immense promise.

  2. Evaluate the view thatEuropean integration and not, extended cooperation between states, was the onlyconceivable ...

    At this time of period, "European integration was not to be achieved in one great act of political will, because the will was not there"(George & Bache 2001). In 1947, national governments were not remotely willing to surrender their national sovereignty to any extent.

  1. La mthode Monnet: What were the main driving forces behind the supranational integration of ...

    European integration was therefore crucial not only to safeguard Europe against Germany but also as 'a deterrent against Soviet aggression'5. Germany was again required in 1950 when the Korean War broke out. Resources of steel were in extremely short supply in the West and the US relied on supplies from

  2. Regulation 2560/2001 on cross-border payments in Europe.

    interests of either nation members or other political actors such as firms, interest groups or even individuals. Well-known examples are subsidies to farmers that remain high to protect the farmers' interests even though it might be better for the common good to lower or abolish them or the fact that

  1. An examination of British policy with regard to European Unity during the period 1945 ...

    This was a delayed entry that was to cost Britain the loss of potentially significant economic gain. The consequences of Britain's decision to opt out of European unity plans were extensive; hindsight tells us this. However what the essay seeks to underpin is the events, reasons and justification behind Britain's

  2. Assess The Relative Significance Of Marshall Aid To Moves Towards European Integration Between 1945 ...

    (Urwin, 1995, p18). The OEEC was essentially an intergovernmental body, but it did have some institutional organisations, especially the Council of Ministers, which had one representative from each of the 16 member states. However, it was not "...as France for instance had wished, a supranational authority with the ability to control national economies."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work