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DHIS 2335A - Britain and the United States, The Special Relationship : Myth or Reality?

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The idea of a 'special relationship' between the U.S. and Great Britain is a fairly recent one and, as the title of this course suggests, it hovers between myth and reality. However, at times, especially during the inter-war period of the 20th century, relationships between the two countries were so strained that there was open hostility. In July 1927, Winston Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer, told his Cabinet colleagues that, "No doubt it is quite right in the interests of peace to go on talking about war with the United States being 'unthinkable'." The tensions were over rivalries in naval and maritime policies which threatened Britain's control of sea trade and, ultimately, her empire. Churchill continued : "However foolish and disastrous such a war would be, we do not wish to put ourselves in the power of the United States. We cannot tell what they might do if at some future date they were in a position to give us orders about our policy, say, in India, or Egypt or Canada, or on any other great matter behind which their electioneering forces were marshalled." (David Dimbleby and David Reynolds, An Ocean Apart: The Relationship Between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century, (London: BBC Books, Hodder and Stoughton, 1988), 78-79 p.)


PARK, Adrian (Maitre de conférences)

Additional required reading

  • Allen, H.C. The Anglo-American Relationship Since 1783. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1959
  • Bartlett, C.J. 'The Special Relationship': A Political History of Anglo-American relations since 1945. London and New York: Longman, 1992
  • Brogan, Hugh. The Penguin History of the United States of America. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1990
  • Brooke, Rupert. Letters From America. Gloucester: Alan Sutton, 1984. (reprint. First published by Sidgwick and Jackson, 1916)
  • Childs, David. Britain Since 1945: A Political History. London: Routledge, 2001