Preserving the Myth: British and French Relations with the United States Following World War II
Hein, James Kenneth
At the conclusion of World War II, France and Great Britain were both declining imperial world powers attempting to minimize their loss of influence and prestige. Given similar situations, the two nations nevertheless adopt drastically differing foreign policies. This paper examines both nations' situations following the war in order to ascertain why. The conclusion is that Great Britain was able to maintain its influence by adopting policies in line with those of the United States, which was not a large sacrifice for the British. France, in contrast, was in a reduced state and had to reassert its independence in order to preserve the image of power. Further, the French had a substantially different position regarding postwar Germeny, and its foreign policy, therefore, ovelapped much less with the United States than Great Britain's did. Close American ties would therefore have come at too great a sacrifice.