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Anglo-American Relations in the 20th Century - Essay Example

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Anglo-American Relations in the 20th Century

The United States originally held a neutral position when the Great War broke out. It wanted to continue its isolationist policy and was fearful of getting embroiled in European conflicts. Its industries were also heavily engaged with European markets. President Woodrow Wilson also pointed out that "The people of the United States are drawn from many nations, and chiefly from the nations now at war. It is natural and inevitable that there should be the utmost variety of sympathy and desire among them with regard to the issues and circumstances of the conflict Such divisions amongst us would be fatal to our peace of mind and might seriously stand in the way of the proper performance of our duty as the one great nation at peace, the one people holding itself ready to play a part of impartial mediation and speak the counsels of peace and accommodation, not as a partisan, but as a friend."1 The British knew that American arms and support are vital to turn the tide in the Allies' favor. This neutral position was reversed with the occurrence of several events, including the sinking of the Lusitania and Germany's declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare. American entry into the war on April 6, 1917 can be considered as the foundation and the beginning of a long and lasting friendship between the U.K. and U.S. The Allies now had relatively unlimited resources and men which tipped the balance against the Central Powers. The British and American forces cooperated under a unified command headed by Field Marshal Foch and the latter agreed to fight alongside their European comrades and partially relinquish command independence in its operations. The British prime minister, along with the prime ministers of France and Italy, also appealed for more troops in 1918. It was clear that the United States had the military and financial muscle needed by the Allies to gain victory over the Central Powers. The U.S. duly responded not only in providing military resources such as armaments and men, but also monetary loans for a severely impoverished British government. The United States provided much needed economic backing to both the British and the French. The Central Powers were isolated from their prewar markets and their sources of raw materials and food. The British were also able to obtain loans from the U.S. which they used to purchase oil, wheat, steel and other products vital to their war effort. The United States was at the time the largest producer and exporter of oil in the world. Although the Allies acquired U.S. investments and loans from banking institutions and business entities prior to American involvement 1917, the United States Department of the Treasury took overall responsibility in the supervision of Allied loans which were used to purchase supplies from the U.S. American loans to the British and French amounted to $ 2.25 billion even before it entered the war on the Allied side. The British also tapped its resources from its colonial possessions in India and Indochina. The combination of the economic resources of these two nations was instrumental in ensuring Allied victory in the Great War. Point should be taken in President Wilson's provision of loans to the Allies despite the American declaration of neutrality. Although the U.S. also provided loans to Germany, it was only a paltry ...Show more


In the long history of relationships between nations, none has perhaps had so much influence in shaping its people and their destiny than that of the United Kingdom and the United States. This special relations between two powerful an influential nations has for almost a century, moulded the world to what we know it today…
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Anglo-American Relations in the 20th Century essay example
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