Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-rkxrd Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-20T11:55:26.626Z Has data issue: true hasContentIssue false

Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 February 2018

Luca Ratti
Affiliation:
Roma Tre University and the University of Rome
Get access

Summary

‘The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom's membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy’

(Barack Obama, 24 June 2016)

‘The events of 1989 and 1990 in Germany symbolize what can happen when partners cooperate and trust each other’

(Angela Merkel, 3 October 2014)

‘Some nations that were then and are now Germany's allies did not support the idea of unification’

(Vladimir Putin, 18 March 2014)

‘The top priority for American foreign policy today in Europe should be the fate of the Federal Republic of Germany’

(Brent Scowcroft, 20 March 1989)

‘I don't want to see us decoupled from Europe; I don't want to see us pull out of Europe’

(George H. W. Bush, 16 December 1989)

Germany's unification in October 1990 was one of the most momentous events in European history in the second half of the twentieth century. Its unique historical value stems from the highly symbolic and emotional significance of the events that made the unification of the two German states possible. German unity ended the Cold War in Europe, which for forty years had divided Germany and the continent. It knocked down the remaining vestiges of the bipolar order that had emerged at the end of World War II and drew back the Iron Curtain, accelerating the process leading to the collapse of communist regimes across Eastern Europe and to the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in December 1991. At the same time, it marked the demise of the logic of limited sovereignty and the rise of self-determination and liberal democracy in the former Soviet bloc, ushering in a dramatic acceleration in the process of Europe's political and economic integration and triggering the beginning of NATO's post-Cold War transformation and enlargement.

This revolutionary process occurred first and foremost as a consequence of widespread political and social discontent across the Soviet bloc. The East German people's action against their own rulers also played a dramatic role. It began in May 1989 when, inspired by the new Soviet leadership's reforms and by the growth of democratic movements in neighbouring Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, a truly peaceful popular revolt undermined and overwhelmed the dictatorial regime, which had ruled Eastern Germany since the late 1940s with ironclad support from Moscow.

Type
Chapter
Information
A Not-So-Special Relationship
The US, The UK and German Unification, 1945-1990
, pp. 1 - 16
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2017

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Introduction
  • Luca Ratti, Roma Tre University and the University of Rome
  • Book: A Not-So-Special Relationship
  • Online publication: 03 February 2018
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • Luca Ratti, Roma Tre University and the University of Rome
  • Book: A Not-So-Special Relationship
  • Online publication: 03 February 2018
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Luca Ratti, Roma Tre University and the University of Rome
  • Book: A Not-So-Special Relationship
  • Online publication: 03 February 2018
Available formats
×