The Foreign Policy Failures of British Governments, 1959 to 1964

1185 WordsMar 18, 20155 Pages
The foreign policy failures of British governments in the years 1959 to 1964 were due to a lack of realism about Britain’s position in the post-war world The years 1959- 1964 saw the occurrence of several foreign policy failures within British Politics. The failures include the formation and downfall of a rival group to the EEC called EFTA, as well as the occurrence of the Suez showing British the loss of the British Empire which previously allowed Britain to stand as a dominating world power. Though, some historians believe that the lack of realism across British politics and society was the root cause of foreign policy failures, whereas other historians tend to disagree. To begin with, it is arguable to suggest that a lack of realism as…show more content…
Because the fact that Britain was no longer financially secure, like many previous Imperial powers at the time Britain could no longer suppress these nationalists because it simply could not afford to and consequently decided to undergo decolonisation. Therefore, we can argue that foreign policy failures such as the Suez Crisis happened because Britain was now a pawn in a Kings game; therefore the emergence of new superpowers like the USA meant Britain could no longer throw its weight about. Britain was lacked of realism at her own position and power for fighting her corner. Though, linking to previous paragraph, the Wind of Change speech did show a realism of the position and a sign for Britain was beginning to adjust despite the failures. It was a significant change in policy which showed recognition of independence movements and move to decolonisation. In this speech, Macmillan was addressing a mainly white audience in Cape Town who believed in apartheid; convince them of the need to face reality. Main audience, however, was not present; he was really talking to Heads of state from around the Commonwealth and to public opinion back home. Establishing the speech as a success, It was proved that Britain had had a difficult time in containing
Open Document