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Part 1 - The Special Relationship and the German Question during the Cold War

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 February 2018

Luca Ratti
Affiliation:
Roma Tre University and the University of Rome
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Summary

This book is organised into two main sections. The first discusses Anglo-American views of the German question from the Potsdam Conference until Gorbachev's election to general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in March 1985 and the embrace of glasnost and perestroika. The second section focuses on the dynamics of 1989–90, debating Anglo-American approaches to the German question at the Cold War's end.

The first section includes three chapters. The first focuses on the German question from the Cold War's early stages until West German rearmament. The second discusses Anglo-American policy towards Germany during European détente. The third evaluates Anglo-American perceptions of dynamics in Germany following Gorbachev's reforms in the second half of the 1980s.

More specifically, the first chapter debates Anglo-American views of Germany in the context of a deteriorating relationship with Moscow. It focuses on the Potsdam Conference, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin blockade, the 1953 East Berlin riots, West German rearmament and membership of the Atlantic Alliance in 1955. During the early stages of the Cold War the US and Britain endeavoured to integrate Germany into the Atlantic and European structures, but British policy was influenced by London's attempt to preserve a great power status and by fresh memories of the two world wars.

The second chapter focuses on Anglo-American views about Germany during détente. It debates the evolution in Anglo- American policies, their approaches to the Berlin crisis of 1958–61 and the evolution of the FRG's grand strategy from Western integration to Ostpolitik. It also discusses Anglo-American perceptions of the FRG's policy towards the GDR or Deutschlandpolitik until the signing in August 1975 of the CSCE Final Act at the end of the Helsinki conference. While the US and Britain formally maintained a commitment to German unity, during détente a certain Anglo-American consensus consolidated that the country's division would be a long-term feature of European politics. Thirty years after the conclusion of the War, a number of Anglo- American officials interpreted the signing of the CSCE Final Act as a durable, if not permanent, arrangement of the European status quo rather than a potential first step towards unification, as it was seen in Bonn.

Type
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Information
A Not-So-Special Relationship
The US, The UK and German Unification, 1945-1990
, pp. 17 - 18
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2017

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