This paper shall discuss the extent to which Britain’s decline is actually linked to the Cold War. It shall also assess the extent of Britain’s responsibility for the emergence of the Cold War. It shall determine if the British-American relationship by the end of the 1950s was considered close. It shall also determine what was considered to be most important for Britain’s Cold War policies between 1945 and 1950, whether it was on preserving the empire or allying with the United States.
The Cold War was characterized by a high degree of tension between the United States and Soviet Union. This was based on various factors such as an arms race, polarization of domestic and international politics, and conflict in the Third World (Painter, 1999). The Cold War was also responsible for the division of Europe and of Germany. It also gave way to Japan, Germany and Italy’s re-entry into the International system after their defeat in World War II. The Cold War also impacted the Third World as Vietnam and Korea became divided. This war dominated world relations for a period of over forty years covering 1945 to 1991. Prior to World War II, there were six great powers in the world namely; Great Britain, France, Germany, the Soviet Union, Japan and the United States (Painter, 1999). All of these nations suffered during and after the Second World War. The years of the Cold War that followed changed the landscape of international politics as these nations all scrambled for dominance in the nuclear arms race. Britain’s decline as a superpower is linked to the Cold War in the sense that many of the Western and Eastern superpowers were now trying to up each other in arms and military capability (Middeke, 2000, p. 70).
Although most nations of the world were devastated by the Second World War, major superpowers still saw the need to allocate a good majority of their budget to the development of their military