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Why Did The Uk Lose Its Status As A World Power Essay

  • Submitted by: ElenaT
  • on March 3, 2011
  • Category: History
  • Length: 1,299 words

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Below is an essay on "Why Did The Uk Lose Its Status As A World Power" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

After World War Two the United Kingdom lost its status as a world power. The stage of gradual progression and retreat between 1914 and 1945 turned into the period of “moderate dissolution” (Darwin, 1988: 6). This paper aims to examine why the role of Great Britain has changed since 1945, particularly, considering the issues of decline in economic sector, change in British society and change in political attitude towards colonial regime, and will focus on the causes and impacts on Britain’s retreat as a world power.
The first challenge which the United Kingdom faced was economic decline. One of the reasons why the economy weakened after the Second World War was because of the resources Britain needed for warfare. Three industries which were the “engines of power”, cotton, coal and engineering, were declining (Darwin, 1988: 60). Without the means to modernize her industrial technologies Britain’s influence in the world declined. Furthermore, many factories, houses and shipping ports were destroyed during the bombing. According to Darwin (1988: 65), twenty five percent of the national wealth was needed for war supplies, restoration of industries and reconstruction of the buildings. In addition, Britain did not have a strong military base as a result of industrial decline: the country was short of manpower and could not re-arm itself because of mobilizing man for war. As a result the development of new technologies declined especially in the aviation and Britain could barely defend itself during the war (Darwin, 1991: 43).
Although the USA allowed Britain to have large amounts of ammunition without paying for it to be able to defend herself, Britain still had difficulties financially. American aid was very important to Britain as the means given could be used to restore industries and pay for imports of food and raw material (Darwin, 1991: 44).To pay for imports of materials for warfare weapons Britain had to sell her dollar investments which had previously provided...

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