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To what extent can we say Great Britain and the USA have a special relationship? What have the advantages and the disadvantages of the relationship been?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. A special relationship in the diplomatic and military field.
    1. The case of the nuclear cooperation: An illustration of a solid cooperation.
  3. A special relationship between the elites and the politicians.
    1. Churchill and Roosevelt.
    2. Margaret Thatcher and Reagan.
  4. The advantages and the disadvantages of a special relationship.
    1. Advantages.
    2. Disadvantages.
  5. Conclusion.

Many signs in history show that the UK and the USA detain a privileged relation.
As one of the first British colony to be liberated, the USA has always been related to Great Britain. These two countries share the same language, the same political tradition, the same religion. From the point of view of the other countries in the world, this relation is seen as close. For instance, the French General de Gaulle always considered Great Britain as the ?cheval de Troyes? (?the horse of Troyes?) of the US. This expression was used to refuse the entrance of GB in EU. It is Winston Churchill who used the first the famous formula « special relationship? in the House of Common on November the 7th 1945 (« we should not abandon our special relationship with the United States and Canada about the atomic bomb »). Whereas the Anglo American relations were quite tensed before the World war two, Churchill announced a new era of closer relations.

[...] Part a special relationship between the elites and the politicians The special relationship was above all reinforced thanks to the friendship of some leaders. Indeed, some British and American leaders used to share advices and common positions. Those personal relations played a crucial role on the idea of a special relationship. I will only emphasize on the closest personal relations: the one between Churchill and Roosevelt inaugurated the ?special relationship?. The one between Thatcher and Reagan reactivated it after a time of tensions. [...]


[...] During and at the end of the world war, special meetings took place and showed a real friendship between the 2 men: the San Francisco conference that created the Atlantic Charter and the Yalta conference. At the same period, the special relationship was also the fact of administrative people. Churchill's right-hand man, William Stepherson, in charge of British intelligence worked in Washington with William Donovan. In the existence of a special relationship, the personal links were crucial. Indeed, when Truman succeeded Roosevelt, the friendship stopped for a while. [...]

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