Anglo-American relations in the era of European supranational unity, 1953--1957

Wendell Ross Mauter, Marquette University

Abstract

This work examines the impact of European supranational integration on the Anglo-American relationship (1953 to 1957) and on U.S./British mutual perceptions, attitudes and policies. Using a multiarchival approach, the dissertation focuses on the political leaders, governmental officials and domestic forces that shaped the global, and particularly European, policies of the U.S. and Britain. Declining as a major power since 1945, Britain in 1953-57 began to recognize the trends undermining the traditional post-war foundations of its world power, that is, its special U.S. and Commonwealth relationships. Slow in understanding these trends, Britain's leaders gradually realized, by 1956-57, that Britain's destiny rested in Europe. Macmillan seized the reins of policy and formulated Britain's first step toward Europe, a free trade association (FTA). Lingering suspicions about Britain's past hostile integration policies among European and American leaders doomed Britain's initial effort, but it set Britain on a path toward Common Market membership that even de Gaulle could not ultimately prevent. In America, Eisenhower and Dulles, believing a strong unified Europe could reduce the U.S. Cold War military and economic burdens to a sustainable level, pressed hard for specific European supranational organizations to achieve this objective. The failure of the EDC and EPC in 1954, though making the U.S. cautious of overt pressure, did not alter the requirement of achieving a United States of Europe. Though the U.S. initially pressed Britain to associate with a united Europe from the outside, after the Suez debacle the U.S. was convinced Britain had to participate directly in European integration. American attitudes shifted from 1953 when it saw Britain fulfilling a unique global role as the U.S.'s most vital ally to, in 1957, a recognition that British weakness dictated its future as a regional European power within a unified Europe. American/British interaction over European integration also affected the formation and structure of the supranational European Community by weakening the federal element and enabling future leaders like de Gaulle to use suspicions about Britain to block its membership in the EEC.

Recommended Citation

Wendell Ross Mauter, "Anglo-American relations in the era of European supranational unity, 1953--1957" (January 1, 1989). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI9014056.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9014056

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