How Far did British Foreign policy change from 1945 to 1964?
During 1945 to 1964 the British foreign policy went through a lot of continuity and change especially through the Anglo-American and Anglo-soviet relations, as well as its nuclear capacity and the change in empire and colonisation.
During World War 2, Britain and the US had a good relationship, but Britain's position weakened in the world due to the death of President Roosevelt on the 12th of April 1945 , leaving President Harry s. Truman in charge who didn’t know much about their foreign affaires . Even thought after World War 2 the US's strong relationship remained.
The Anglo-American Policy changed in many ways such as on 3rd of March 1947 when the Truman Doctrine was announced, this was the first interference of America that happened after World War 2 due to the post-war economic disaster. America became Britain's most important ally especially when Britain withdrew from Greece due to economic difficulties and extensive commitments around the world. The Truman Doctrine wanted to stop the spread of communism, by giving aid to countries that are prone to becoming communist so that they wouldn’t have to think of being a communist as an option because they would be financially stable and the government could help to bring that country back to its original state. For example America gave $4000 million aid to Greece in 1949. After 3 months the Marshall plan was also announced, this was a recovery programme for European countries like England due to American's increased focus on the threat of communism, which lead to America's policy of containment.
In 1947 when the shift in policy changed due to the attempt of rebuilding the German economy, more importantly the British zone called the Ruhr. The merging of the zones with the US was due to Britain's economic unsuitability that was not able to maintain the occupation of the German zone for £120 million, therefore the USA intervened because it feared that Germany would be vulnerable to communism .In addition the Berlin Blockade added to the Anglo-American relationship as they were siding by each other for the Berlin Airlift (transport food and other supplies into Berlin). This lead to the formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in April 1949 to combat Communist aggression in Europe. They envisioned NATO as the joint military organization with so that they could fight World War 3. At the same time Bevin created 'The Western Union ' which was a British led force that helped to restore Britain's position as well as include America in the organisation, however it didn’t work in the end as Bevin's visions of Britain taking a lead role in being the most powerful country in western Europe was too much for a country that was economically weak and at the same time was unsure of its military commitments. Bevin had to abandon his plans of an independent Third Force.