What were the political effects on britain after world war 2?
I'm doing a piece of writing on the political effects on Britain after World War 2 and i need some pointers.
Thank you :)
- poornakumar bLv 79 years agoBest Answer
Clemente Attlee became Prime Minister replacing Winston Churchill who after the WW II, became a pain in the 'you know where'. Against the backdrop of Churchill's statement that he wouldn't 'preside over the winding-up of Her Majesty's Empire', Attlee saw to it that India-Pakistan (with Bangladesh from this bundle, to be born later), Burma & Ceylon (Sri Lanka), comprising two thirds of the population of British Empire, became independent within six months in 1947-48.
It started a spate of Independence days all over the colonies of European Empires, many of whom were engaged in 'freedom struggles'. From a trickle (though South Asian independence was an avalanche) it became a deluge, that Europeans still want to downplay in the history books. In fifteen years almost all major regions under colonial rule became independent countries (leaving Falklands, French Guiana etc).
Post-war situation all over Europe was bleak with little difference between the victor and the vanquished. UK shared in this. Till Conrad Adenauer took over control of West Germany ('Federal' Deutch Republik) things weren't stable. The only territorial gains of UK merged in German Nation called FDR and with a share of war reparations, she could pay the dues to USA, the major financier of WW II. USA recycled it for reconstruction of Europe as Marshall plan and all that. Birth of NATO again made UK prominent next only to USA, enabling her traditional role of Global Policeman in tow with USA, at various Cold War Hot Spots. It boosted her prestige and stature in international fora and had its effect on domestic politics too.
But goings on in Southern part of Africa put UK on horns of dilemma. Much later, Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Southern Rhodesia by Ian Smith, a white farmer embarrassed UK. Later with the connivance of 'Commonwealth' and trade sanctions against that country which proved very effective, the 'White' hijacking of the country at the cost of black majority was reversed, but slowly. The country later was named 'Zimbabwe'. The toothless growling of British Lion didn't stop the dominion of South Africa (exercised her option as 'dominion') from declaring independence as 'Republic' in 1960. Technically it meant that Governor-General will be replaced by an elected 'President'. In the process South Africa hijacked the 'man date' of South West Africa, that is legally part of British Empire, taking advantage of the mandate of UN that was entrusted into her hands In by UK. Generally any territory under 'man date' tends to push the 'date' of independence in an unmanly way and UN never bothered about any change of script in the drama. Independence of the South African colony of South West Africa ('Namibia' after independence) was a test of highly rated British diplomacy, that lost its teeth after the dismantlement of Empire. It is lucky that Commonwealth, a grouping of her erst while subject nations as well as the vestigial remnants of the Empire instead of criticising her offered a shoulder to cry on and generally went with her (UK).
Loss of Empire was costly to UK that needed to make do with what she had, though outwardly proclaiming a feeling of relief at reduction in Defence Budget. UK did the 'mandatory' explosions of Atomic Weapons to book a seat at the high table of Nuclear Powers to buttress her stature as UN SC permanent member.
There was increased influx of 'Asiatics' & Caribbean Islanders having British Passports into Britain. These 'tics kept the economy afloat with cheap labour & lower wages, till the bubble burst with their increased standard of living. After Harold Macmillan, the economy was on a downswing till Margaret Thacher arrested it by her (almost) brutal remedies. James Callaghan and Alec Douglas Home tried tinkering with their foreign policy 'East of Suez' but India couldn't catch the nuances and so the situation remained open for all big powers (including China) to angle for vantage positions in Indian Ocean. UK lent her island of 'Diego Garcia' as a base for American Navy as a military outpost to oversee and to check excesses in the Ocean of other major powers. Australia was allowed to grow in its foreign policy to fill the power vacuum in the Ocean to a small extent. Many of her ex-colonies have become her clients for military hardware with the newly independent countries fighting their small wars in 'Asia-Indian Ocean' region.
- VeliaLv 44 years ago
Germany was the most powerful military force in Europe at the time BY FAR America was divided about entering the war because may believed it was "none of our business" and some, Charles Lindbergh for example actually approved of Hitler with out the Massive and protected production capacity of the United States it is very likely that Germany would have defeated both Britain and Russia. And also Japan would have conquered China and the whole of Indo China Germany had the plans and the ability to build the Atomic bomb and intercontinental bombers and missiles to attack and defeat the US if they had not been destroyed. this is NOT to DENY the bravery of the allies who did much of the fighting It can be argued that bombing cities and civilians was in fact a war crime. But war itself is a crime. Stalin and Hitler were ALLIES at the beginning, until Germany, which was Fascist anti-communist thought they could win a two front war. History is very complex your Q shows a lot of bias as well has having some valid points
- HistorianLv 79 years ago
- The Conservative government fell to Winston Churchill...