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American Hegemony

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The transition from British to American hegemony in the Persian Gulf

The Persian Gulf is a region of many conflicting interest. The name itself already offers a good example of this, since it is the center of a politicized debate between those preferring Persian Gulf and those preferring Arabian Gulf. Although this debate will not be further explored in this paper – it was decided to use the term “Persian Gulf” as it is most commonly used – this paper will delve deeper into the transition from British to American hegemony in the Persian Gulf and review how various aspects of this are described and interpreted in the literature.
This paper will deal with this transition between the years of 1945, the end of the Second World War, and 1971, the year that the British completed their military withdrawal from the Persian Gulf. Even though the Americans were interested in the area before the WWII, the year 1945 was chosen as a starting point because the war had severely altered the power equilibrium between the great powers the United States of America and Britain were considered as at that time. During the Cold War, which started in 1946 the importance of the region was on the rise, both because of the oil and because of the containment policy against the Russians. The relevance of the region was on the rise for America in particular because the power of Britain was waning in the post-war era. Britain, faced with economic hardship, imperial fatigue, and events of humiliation such as the Suez Crisis of 1956-57, was entering the dawn of its empire, something that was slowly sinking in with both London and Washington. The process of the replacement of the British by the American hegemony was not always equally obvious, but it was a slow but steady intensification of American inters tint he period while the British interests and will to remain in the region were slowly diminishing. To say that the year 1971 would be the definitive turning point from British to American hegemony would be shortsighted too. Initially the Americans were not pleased at all to learn the announcement of the British withdrawal in 1968, doing what they could to convince the British to continue their responsibilities.
In the timeframe 1945-1971 Britain and the United States were occupied with the containment of not only Soviet expansion but also of Arab nationalism. Because of the importance of oil in post-war economy and for the defense forces the safeguarding of the flow of cheap oil through preserving stability and productivity in the Persian Gulf was the other main priority of the allies.

Anglo-American Relations
In general, Anglo-American relations had always been very well. Although appearing more important to the British, telling from the ratio publications on the “special relationship”, as the alliance is often referred to, by British and American authors. Especially during the Cold War the relationship was described as special. Why is this relationship often described as special? On this debate much ink has been spilled and many opinions expressed. Although no scholar would deny the importance of the Anglo-American alliance, not all authors are equally convinced that the relationship was necessarily special in the sentimental sense of the word, and was more special in speech than in reality.
Marsh and Baylis observed in their article about the Anglo-American Relationship, that in the direct aftermath of WWII there were four principal consistent points that the British emphasized in their post-war foreign policy. First of all they wanted to restore and perpetuate their status as great power; second, they firmly believed the Americans were the most important global actor; consequently and third, a close but independent relationship with the Americans was cultivated because it was believed to best way of ensuring interest; last, the strong believe that because of their common heritage and the British experience in diplomacy they would be able to direct American policy to their own interest. The relationship with Washington thus became the backbone of British post-war foreign policy.
By the end of 1947 the British still believed they were the Great Power they had been for so long. In reality too, the country still was the third most important power in the world, and well established in the field of politics, economics and military force. Their empire hardly shrank since the beginning of the war and their political influence over large parts of the world continued. Nonetheless, Britain’s position at the end of the war was bleak compared of that of the United States; the war had opposite impact on the two countries. The American economy was thriving and prominent globally; more than half of all goods were of American fabrication and they dominated over half of the global trade. Besides, the country was largely self-sufficient, had a state-of-the-art industrial military complex, and they were the only country capable of making nuclear bomb. Britain, on the other hand, was economically drained and relied heavily on investment and trade from overseas. After six devastating years of war the county’s exports were only 30 percent of what they had been when the war commenced.. Therefore, not the British, but the Americans were in the strongest position to pull the British out of the mire.
The development of the British foreign policy after WWII, was analyzed by Ovendale, who saw the first phases of American assistance to the British as rather experimental. The Americans provided the British with a loan for a short period, the Anglo-American financial agreement, which gave the British about 3.75 billion dollars, rendering their economic position dependent on American foreign policy. However, the years subsequent to 1946 were the years in which the American attitude towards the Anglo-American relationship changed. Britain’s weak economic position was recognized and so was the consequent need for collaborative action. An example of this is the Truman doctrine that entailed that the US would replace Great Britain in Greece and Turkey to prevent them from falling to the Soviet Union; more generally, it meant that the US would from now on try to protect countries from being invaded by their enemy, the USSR. For military protection too, the British appealed to the Americans and the commonwealth since no European country would be capable of providing sufficient military defense. Some events of that year, related to the expansion of the Soviet zone of influence, gave meetings between American and British officials momentum.
All in all, Ovendale assesses that various negotiations ensured American participation in case a war would break out. Worldwide the cooperation became more successful. The British were still firmly established in the Persian Gulf region, which actually became one of their main zones of interest overseas. From 1948, the year Israel was proclaimed, however, , which is a reason for some scholars to argue that they lost their hegemonic power then. Other events that are mentioned of the end of their hegemony are the 1952 Egyptian revolution, because it challenged their position with Arab nationalism. Or the 1956 Suez Crisis, during which the Americans humiliated them, not only by not supporting them, but by taking active counter-measures.

Anglo-American relations in the Gulf: role of the British
Much of the discord between the United States and the European powers, most notably France and Britain, existed over their colonial presence in the world. While they presented it as a policy of giving freedom to the people, the English –and the French alike –saw this policy as a threat to their position.
The Americans and British had rather deviating interests in the Persian Gulf, Fain described; while London was more preoccupied with the protection of their assets and maintaining their reputation as great power, Washington was more concerned with the role that the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula meant to their policy of the containment of Communism. Their prime interest where thus not alike, but the policies they followed were similar, in the words of Fain “parallel, for the most part, but not identical” (2008, p. 11). Most authors agree that the conception of a special relationship with the Americans became increasingly important for the British policy. “It was a way for the British to continue to be the kind of force in the world that they [British policy-makers] wanted it to be, something like the force that it had been, in short, a major power, or at least, if need be an important part of a major new power” (Ryan, 2004, p.19).
A great deal of the tension that existed in Anglo-American relations in the 1950s had to do with the coinciding of the waning of British influence and of the rise of the American interest in the area. Although before the war had concealed the untenable state of the British Empire, in the 1950s, this became increasingly clear. Fain’s describes the Anglo-American relations under Prime Minister Eden (1955-1957) prior to the nationalization of the Suez Canal as particularly tense, and he says that the crisis only further aggravated the competition, but does not suggest that this was the moment the British lost their hegemony. The Suez crisis as this conflict was named, emerged from the military intervention in Suez by France and Britain in reaction to the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt. Because they entered the conflict without American consent, Washington responded to the intervention with strong economic and political countermeasures that humiliated Britain and France, leaving them in a deplorable state. The American countermeasures led, in the direct aftermath of the confrontation, to an emergence of anti-Americanism in Europe.
Petersen argues that this rift made the Americans realize that allies were needed to intervene in the future, and that the friendly relations with the British were crucial and irreplaceable with other alliances, so that they were not too aggressive in taking over their position. He illustrates this with the meeting Eisenhower and Macmillan had in Bermuda in 1957 to straighten things out and reassess their relationship. There they decided that in return for remaining the dominant power in the Persian Gulf the British would transfer hegemony in the Middle East to the Americans. Petersen interprets the use of the threat of anti-Americanism in the British public opinion as a tool that was used by diplomats to argue that the countries should always act in concert and to hence take advantage of the Americans. Also, he says that they exploited their weakness, which the Suez crisis uncovered, to avoid the taking up of other responsibilities in the Persian Gulf. Therefore, Petersen argues, the British had not much to fear of American demands to act one-sidedly or other sanctions. It is true that the United States did, probably in reaction to the realization the Western allies were important, they would need to be gentle, as Dulles, the secretary of state under Eisenhower, wrote in a briefing to his president:
“The US needs the alliance for much the same reasons as does Britain. We rely on British help, both material and psychological, to implement our policies towards the Commonwealth, Eastern Europe, South East Asia and some areas in the far East. We recognize that the two acting in concert, with the aid of the Commonwealth, for a more persuasive combination that the US acting alone” (as cited in Petersen, 2009 , p. 20).
Petersen argues that other historians have been wrong in their assessment that Suez was the final blow to the position of the British in the Middle East. Quite on the contrary, he contends that this crisis, and its diplomatic consequences, limited and decelerated the American entrenchment in the Gulf region. The Americans wanted to use the British so that they would not have to resume responsibility themselves, and the British thought the opposite.
Fain when writing about the period after the Suez crisis depicts it too as “a new period of relative harmony in Anglo-American diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Arabia” (p. 84). Fain seems rather optimistic in his general statements about the Anglo-American relationship, but less so in his support of these. For example, he says that they “appreciated the similarity if not the identity of their interests in the Persian Gulf” (2008, p. 139). Nevertheless, he cannot fully proof this statement with subsequent arguments, since he mentions a shopping list of conflicts between the two countries, which upset their relationship. Actually, from his book it appears as if the Anglo-American relations remained strained until the withdrawal of the British.
The Anglo-American relationship as described by most authors, seemed to continue as when its foundations were laid, with in mind the struggle against the Axis Powers during WWII and the continuation of many of the collaborations that stemmed from this period. The president of the United States and the Prime ministers met often. Especially Harold Wilson, the Labor prime minister elected in October 1964 considered the ties with the Americans as paramount to the perpetuation of Britain’s position as world power. However, due to their weak financial standing, Colman states, London was prone to strong American influence. Newsinger, even defends the position that in the Anglo-American alliance Britain had a position inferior to the one of the Americans, since if the British wanted to protect their own worldwide stakes they would have to sacrifice their own interests to those of the United States. Colman does not argue along the same lines but he does highlight the leverage in negotiations Britain’s economic weakness gave the U.S. The weakness was the result of the overvaluation of the pound sterling, Britain’s uncompetitive production and the consequent lack of success on the international markets. Especially the weakness of the pound is emphasized in his account, stating that the Americans did what they could to avoid the devaluation of the British currency, including the composition of a number of bailouts with this aim, because the devaluation might have negative effects on the value of their own dollar. What it boiled down to, though, is that London had to rely on Washington to preserve its parity to the dollar.

Cooling down of relationship
Despite the earlier mentioned enthusiasm of Wilson to strengthen the ties with the Americans, it was under the Labor government of Harold Wilson’s and the Democratic administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, that diplomatic relations are argued to have cooled down. In literature the period between 1964 and 1968 has received special attention with regard to the development of he Anglo-American relations then. The cooling down had to do with the disagreement over the Vietnam War, in which the Americans became increasingly involved after 1960. It was the opposition to this War from the British public opinion and within the Labor party that prevented Wilson from sending troops, which the Americans had asked him; probably the Anglo-American relationship reached its lowest point ever around this time. America was getting increasingly stuck in the hornet’s nest Vietnam became, they became more unready then ever to take up the role of the British in the Gulf.
Marsh and Baylis contend that it is important to keep in mind that is was during Wilson’s prime ministership that it was finally realized on both sides of the ocean that Britain had lost it role as superpower in the world and that, therefore, her role as the most important ally of the United States was obliterated. However, the Americans were content with the British presence in and safeguarding of the economically and strategically so crucial region, especially since the threats to the status quo were so numerous; from the internal strife among the peoples living in the area to the rise of Arab nationalism to a Soviet invasion. America was definitely not keen on taking up the role of the British, the authors assess.

The Importance of Oil
So although the relationship of the US and Britain is thus often described as a special, it was marked with rivalry, too, which is especially clear when looking at the role of oil in the region. With the British position on the wane while the Americans were increasingly getting foothold in the region, especially when it came to oil, a development that was logically related to ameliorating diplomatic relations with some Middle Eastern countries, most notably Saudi Arabia.
The American interest in oil form the Gulf stemmed from the economic crisis of the 1930s when the eyes of the Americans were opened to the importance of oil from overseas. The U.S. principally disagreed on the division of the Middle East – or any other region in the world – on exclusive zones of influence; instead, they demanded an Open Door policy, allowing American oil companies’ access to Middle Eastern oil fields. An early answer to these demands was the “Red Line” Agreement of 1928 was signed which was a private cooperative agreement between British, French and American petroleum companies. However, it was especially after WWII had come to an end that there was a shortage of fuel in Western Europe, oil from the Gulf was the best alternative to coal. Later oil became an integral part of the containment policy also; on the one hand it was paramount for the economic recovery of Western Europe and Japan to secure the flow of cheap oil after WWII; on the other hand, the Americans wanted to make sure that the Soviets would not have access to oil.
Newsinger contends that the British were reliant on the United States in the Middle East too, deeming this region as crucial to British interest. Therefore they had to take the attitude of the Americans in this region into account to in their decision-making. He illustrates this with the decisions taken by British policy-makers following the 1951 Iranian nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), which installed fear in the English that it would inspire other Middle Eastern states to carry out similar actions. Although the government had thought about military intervention to force the Iranian nationalist government out of power they renounced this idea because it was suspected that an intervention would not sit well with the Americans who upheld the ideal of freeing people in their own country. The then British defense minister, Shinwell, underlined that “[w]e [the British] could not afford to break with the United States on an issue of this kind” (Louis, 1984, p. 273). Whereby the British thus because of their reliance in the United States started losing their decisive role in foreign policy-making, although in 1953 the U.S. and Britain intervened together to regain the company, but thus only after the U.S. consented.
ARAMCO, the Arabian American Oil Company was established by the end of WWII. This company, and all other American oil companies were, although privately owned, vehicles for American interest in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf. The American policy and interest in the Gulf had been slowly developing from an economic approach to a more political approach that was aimed at preserving a political equilibrium favorable to their interests, as the emerging Cold War realigned American security concerns significantly. Fain described the agreement among American policy-makers as follows:
“To U.S. officials, stability In the Middle East meant that the region was at peace, amenable to American political influence and economic investments, and proceeding along a course of political development and economic and social evolution that would produce stable governments and preclude Soviet or communist penetration of the region” (2008, p.4).
Because the U.S. used oil companies to represent their interests these enterprises could always count on government support in trying to gain oil concession in the Middle East.
In 1945 just over 40% of the world’s oil resources was located in the Middle East, and it is also in this year that the production of oil started to rise. Oil was especially important to Great Britain that as third largest industrial and maritime power was completely reliant on the importation of fuel. It was primarily in American foreign policy, though, that oil assumed an important role. Moreover, oil from overseas was often cheaper to produce and transport, and using foreign oil would avoid the drain of American reserves, which the government wanted to preserve for later defense needs. Soon, in 1944 the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, was designated by the American administration the Middle East as the most important point for global oil production, since about one third’s of the world’s known oil reserves were present there and the geopolitical prospects were most conducive to the discovery of new oil fields. There existed a difference though in political legitimacy to the acquisition of oil concessions. The United States did not share the long history of involvement and interests in the Middle East with the British; nonetheless the weakened position of the British provided the Americans perspective on the important role they could fulfill in the region some day.
To distribute the oil in the Middle East between Washington and London the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement was signed in August 1944, under financial pressure from the former on the latter. This protected all new concessions and rights obtained via legal means, they would belong to the signatory state that obtained them, also, it stated that in all areas for which no concession contracts had been signed yet, both the parties would have a fair chance at obtaining them. The terms of the agreement were conducive to American interest in the region, while the British lost some of their privileges and would have hitherto to implement an “open door” policy, giving more freedom to the Americans to penetrate the region. The contract was the result of the American fear that they would not be able to access the oil in the Middle East, which was based on a report of State Department and Foreign Economic Administration that noted after an exploratory mission in 1944 that "real barriers exist to the participation of American trade and capital in the economic life of the Middle East countries" (quoted in Lawrence, 2009, 309-310). The augmenting importance of the oil reserves and transportation routes made the US consider it as necessary to make sure that the Middle East would not fall back under British control. Although the compliance with the agreement was not high enough to solve economic conflicts between the signatories, this report gives more insight into the way the Americans thought about the British and how they were trying to join or replace them in their role in the oil industry of the Gulf. Due to this agreement the British no longer held a monopoly over the access to Middle Eastern oil resources. With this breach to British dominance in the region already made the Americans now targeted at making their influence superior to the British one. Furthermore, because of ARAMCO which was established after the Americans received oil concessions in Saudi Arabia in 1934, the Americans gained far more foothold in the petroleum industry in the Middle East.
In 1946, when new oil companies were invited to join ARAMCO which they could not because of the Red Line agreement they started pressuring the other members of the agreement to annihilate it, or at least change the terms. This happened severely reducing the territory over which it held validity opening the door to the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Israel and part of Jordan. Now the competition over oil between the British and Americans became fiercer and their relation concerning the Middle East more restrained. The after ending the Red Line Agreement, in 1947, a set of private deals was closed through which the major American oil companies secured their position in the Middle East by collaborating with each other and their British counterparts. The pivotal feature of these "great oil deals" was the inclusion of some oil companies into ARAMCO's ownership, giving America more and more representation of their interests in the Middle East.
Another source of tension between the countries was the decision of the Americans to negotiate with Saudi Arabia over the opening of an air base in Dhahran in the early summer of 1944, with the specific strategic goal to render the smaller British bases in Abadan and Bahrain obsolete.
The reason why the Americans were so eager to replace the British was not their own need for oil, as the fact that in 1972 57 percent of the oil production in the Middle East was in the hands of the United States, while oil from this region only accounted for between 8 – 10 % of their oil imports, indicates. The reason they were interested in the control over the Middle Eastern oil seems to lay in the fact that this would enable them to ensure the oil supplies to the international market; hence, they would have greater leverage in the regulation of the price mechanism to safeguard a low price of oil and to maintain the lucrativeness of their own oil industry; stop and contain the nationalist demands of producing countries, or at least avoid soviet ambitions.
United States thus considered it imperative to establish itself as a leader on the global oil market. During the first 30 years after the Second World War became the most important zone of oil production in the Eastern Hemisphere. The active policy of letting private oil companies represent the national interest meant that the government had to take active interest in the security and stability of the region. This was especially true for Iran where the fear for Soviet entrenchment and the resoluteness to keep the area’s resources accessible had a profound impact on the change of policy from rather disinterested to profound involvement. Iran’s function was to shield the access of the Soviets to the oil resources in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf; to this end the Americans provided economic and military assistance to the Iranians. In this process they were slowly but steadily taking over the role of the British in providing a buffer between the Soviet Union and the Middle East.
In the earlier mentioned Truman doctrine the role of oil was not addressed at all but the worldwide containment of communism definitely bore relevance to it. By furnishing a legitimate foundation for an active American role in the preservation of safety and stability in the Middle East. Also, the Marshall Plan played a role in this since it gave the Western European countries more purchasing power which allowed them to buy oil from American enterprises producing oil in the Middle East; it is estimated that more than 10 % of the total monetary aid provided in the context of this plan was spent on oil.
When the British owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Britain’s most valuable foreign asset, was nationalized in 1951, the U.S. was initially against. The British were afraid this move would threatened all their other overseas investments, if the attempt to nationalize it were to be successful. The US feared that Britain would use military intervention to make the nationalization undone which could cause a uprising of the populace against the Shah, which might lead to the Shah asking the Soviet Union for support which could ultimately lead to Soviet intervention in Iran. Because of the timing of the crisis, during the Korean War, US policy makers felt not at all ready for an additional confrontation. Consequently, Washington tried to pressure the British to negotiate over the nationalization with the aim to preserve their interest as much as possible. London, on the other hand, wanted to compel Iran to reverse the nationalization by calling for an international boycott of Iranian oil while trying to manipulate Iran’s politics at the same time.
Washington failed to mediate, but with the end of the Korean War and the strong polarization of Iranian politics facilitated a more offensive attitude towards Iran. Finally the Iranian government was toppled with British and American support in 1953, installing a regime that was willing to settle the conflict on Western terms. One of the conditions the Americans demanded that their companies would be enlisted in an international consortium controlling Iran’s oil production too. In the sixties the competition over oil went down, probably because the oil producing countries became more compliant with American and British demands, so that oil was not as high on the agenda as it had been for earlier administrations.

America’s military involvement in the Persian Gulf in the 1960s
America became increasingly militarily involved in the Iran and Saudi Arabia, with which it had established bonds since before WWII. The reason for the presence in Saudi Arabia could be found in the presence of oil, a country with which the bonds had surpassed the ones the British had with the country, despite the recency of the diplomatic ties. The bond between America and Iran proved strong too, but the American involvement in thus country was more related to their efforts to control of Soviet influence in the country. They were responsible for military training in the two countries and they sold a massive amount of arms to them. Also, a small naval presence remained which served more as a manifestation of their interests than as relevant power, their air force served the same goal. Macris argues that the reasoning behind this was that if their presence would be perceived as to strong it might be an imperative for the British to leave the area, although this view is not widely supported. Although the presence of the U.S. remained limited they did nevertheless realize the necessity of pre-positioning equipment in the area, but they opted out of it. Reasons for not pursuing it were amongst others “U.S. budgetary constraints, regional political instability, and the lack of a centralized site in the Middle East that could meet all objectives” (Macris, 2010, p.151)

Britain’s decision to leave
Although the Americans thus had some military presence in the region they were caught of guard by the 1968 announcement of the British to retreat from the Persian Gulf in 1971. In general this announcement caused great turmoil in the region, indicating how important the British still were to many of their protectorates. The confidence among local sheiks the British intended to stay had been on the decline for longer and many of them had turned to the Americans before for assistance. However, the Americans had never answered such requests because they wanted he British leadership there to continue and started to pressure the British to do so.
Various authors shed a light on the British decision to withdraw from the Gulf, which did not come as a surprise to the House of Commons. However, Fain describes the reaction of the Johnson administration that was in office at that moment of withdrawal as infuriated and surprised. Both to the economic circumstances and the British public opinion are named as forces to accelerate the withdrawal. Fain has a whole chapter on the reasons why the British departed, in which he put emphasis on the gravity of the British financial crisis,
Fain has a whole chapter on the reasons why the British departed, in which he put emphasis on the gravity of the British financial crisis. The sudden 14% downgrading of the Pound Sterling led to unrest and stimulated the political debate concerning the primary concerns of the British foreign policy should be and the influence of the growing unmanageability of nationalism in the Middle East. In discussions of the reasons the British withdrew, the argument of the waning economy is often used, because there is a clear pattern between the state of the British economy and the military withdrawal of the British from their empire. Petersen, together with a smaller group of scholars, disagrees and sees the decision as purely political, saying that since the Labor government was inaugurated they had been busy breaking down the empire to satisfy public opinion; all the other arguments were just excuses to justify the retreat. He even argues that the Labor government was neither interested in Anglo-American relations nor in maintaining an empire at all. He bases this assertion on the fact that when the British announced to withdraw, both the local Gulf leaders offered to take on the costs of the military mission and the Johnson administration that was in office at the time of the announcement attempted to modify British Middle East policy by subsidies too. These arguments are not mutually exclusive, though, they just stress different aspects, the actual reason seems a combination of the two. The Labor Party was under pressure because they could not realize their election promises due to the financial problem. However, they hoped that by publically announcing very early that they would withdraw that they would win back some of the public’s sympathy, despite the fact that the saving this would yield was only marginal.
In this period the Americans were withdrawing themselves because of their involvement in the Vietnam War, and they tried to convince the British to remain, although giving off mixed signals about what they actually wanted. On the one hand, the Johnson administration had tried to avoid a devaluation of the British pound because they feared this would lead to the decision to retreat. However, the maintenance of the value of the pound sterling was a cumbersome task for the British. To do so the interest rates were high which decelerated the growth of their domestic economy, also, they had to spend high amount on aid to keep countries new to the Sterling zone in it. On the other hand, they often had not been supportive on the British when the latter wanted to defend their interests in the Gulf, such as after the

American Reaction to British withdrawal
America was vigorously opposed to the British retreat. They were in great difficulty in Vietnam, therefore, the news that their most important ally decided to withdraw from its commitments in the Gulf was not well received. They were at that moment not in the position to take on the British role, and they were not comfortable with the power vacuum that the retreat would leave behind, not during the Cold War. However boldly the U.S. stated their resentment over the British decision, they had no impact on the decision-making. The British were not even reconsidering their decision; they were simply briefing the Americans about the decision they had taken. The intriguing part of this decision is that it had considerable consequences for the balance of power in the world, but whatever the exact reason they decided to withdraw, whether political, ideological, or economic, it was taken in the context of the domestic troubles, disregarding the consequences outside Britain.
The Americans were now forced to formulate their own policy on the Gulf, for which by the British they were allowed about three years. As soon as the British indicated to not be interested to stay, even if local leaders would pay for the costs, smaller Arab states started asking support from Washington, because of the perilous position they would find themselves in. In the time the new policy had to be formulated though, the Johnson administration was facing increasing opposition related to their presence in Vietnam. The exact policy only became clear later, but it seemed to be based on the decision not to replace the British, as Henry Kissinger indicated “We have no plans to move in where the British Forces pull out”( as in Macris, 2010, p.173), but actually they desired to keep the British engaged. However, they wondered who else would defend Western interests in the region. Finally, they decided to have two dominant states Saudi Arabia and Iran step in to warrant stability in the region, the two pillars policy. This concept seemed appealing because it demanded minimal effort from the US forces in the region, according to Marcis. At least this clearly illustrates that the United States were not interested in become the military hegemon in the Middle East. Both the military power and the political motivation were lacking to replace the British in the Persian Gulf as they saw surrogates as their best option.

The United States were occupied with trying to maintain their worldwide hegemony. As the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula were not the areas most threatened by Soviets it thus had lower priority in their containment policy. As long as the British, a friendly power, safeguarded it would be all right. They were too entangled in other wars most of the time to invest enough in the establishment military force bases. Because of their economic superiority though, and Britain’s financial reliance on them they could manipulate the Britain to act along the lines of there interest, which indicates they were the hegemon in the region already, long before the British even announced their withdrawal. Even so, there was no certain date that the hegemony was “transferred”, rather it was a slow process in which the British lost their say in baby steps. Nevertheless, the presence of Britain in the region never became superfluous as is illustrated by the fact that both the Americans and local leaders, the latter even offering to pay for their military presence, urged them to stay. The decision to withdraw was taken in a period of time in which the relations between London and Washington had been cooling down, though, and the surprise with which the announcement of the withdrawal was received indicates how unprepared either of them was to take over the power. The British reasons for this decision also seem not to have laid in their consideration of themselves as an irrelevant power, but more in domestic economic problems.

Chronology August 1944 Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement 1946 Outbreak of the Cold War March 1947 Truman doctrine set forth June 1947 Marshall plan 1947 End of the Red Line Agreement, concessions in more areas can henceforth be proclaimed May 1948 Israel is proclaimed March 1951 Nationalization of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company 1952 Egyptian revolution October-November1956 Suez crisis November 1967 Pound sterling devaluated January 1968 English announce withdrawal 1971 British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf

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[ 1 ]. The other European countries were temporarily in a worse state. France’s share in world economy was less than half, and West Germany’s less than a third of Britain’s in 1950. In the Cold War Britain became the second most important power of the Western Alliance.
[ 2 ]. Lawrence, F. (1989). The Iranian Crisis of 1945-1946 and the Spiral Model of International Conflict. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 21(3), 307-326.
[ 3 ]. The Eastern Hemisphere includes Europe, Asia Pacific, Russia, Middle East, Africa.
[ 4 ]. the National Security advisor of later administrations…...

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...Hegemony and Education LaTricia Lawrrence Hegemony is defined as the leadership, dominance, or great influence that one entity or group has over others (Ellis-Christensen). The theory that best contributes to our understanding of how society mis-educates in order to sustain nondemocratic power relations is ideological hegemony (Tozer/Senese/Violas, 2009). There are different types of hegemony. Hegemony is all around you. It is in politics, school systems, churches, as well as in the community that you live in. You have cultural hegemony, ideological hegemony, and the mass media. You think of this when you think about men and women. Many times men have the upper hand in things in society. When you think of the effects of hegemony in the educational school setting, you see a difference in men and women. In the classroom, you see more women have the upper hand. There are more women doing the teaching part of the education. Although, there are more men in the classroom now than there have been in the past years, women still dominate in this area. Women have always been thought of as being the one who teaches the younger. Women, in earlier years, had to teach how to cook, clean, sew, etc., whereas now we teach all kinds of skills. Men who teach are mainly seen teaching things such as a science or history class, with the addition of being the coach of a sports activity. Men are mainly seen in the administration part. They are the Superintendents, Principals,......

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...major superstructural “levels”: the one that can be called “civil society”, that is the ensemble of organisms commonly called “private”, and that of “political society” or “the State”. These two levels correspond on the one hand to the function of “hegemony” which the dominant group exercises throughout society and on the other hand to that of “direct domination” or command exercised through the State and “judicial” government. The functions in question are precisely organisational and connective. The intellectuals are the dominant group’s “deputies” exercising the subaltern functions of social hegemony and political government.” →Antonio Gramsci From Gramsci’s prison note books Introduction Hegemony is a concept that has been used to describe and explain the dominance of one social group over another, such that the ruling group or hegemon acquires some degree of consent from the subordinate, as opposed to dominance purely by force. It is used broadly to mean any kind of dominance, and narrowly to refer to specifically cultural and non-military dominance, as opposed to the related notions of empire and suzerainty Gramsci and Hegemony The idea of a ‘third face of power’, or ‘invisible power’ has its roots partly, in Marxist thinking about the pervasive power of ideology, values and beliefs in reproducing class relations and concealing contradictions. Marx recognised that......

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Moroccan Hegemony

...The Hegemony of the Moroccan Monarchy Morocco is a peculiar country in many ways. Its location on the far west of North Africa as well as the context of its neighboring countries has made it quite the exception in the area. Morocco is run by a monarchy and through its political apparatus gives an important deal of power to the king. Recently, the whole middle eastern and North African scene have been the subject of turmoil as many of the countries in the area have managed to change through the actions of its population to overthrow the corrupted powers in place. In the case of Morocco, a counter regime movement appeared as well, but was lacking the radical ambitions of the neighboring countries populations. The movement known as 20th February was more for reform in the system while keeping the same structure. According to Molina, “This coincidence of official celebrations and mass mobilization against the regime – both employing the discourse of democratization – illustrates the duality of the political process in which Morocco has been immersed since the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring. On the one hand, the new and unforeseen regional dynamic has acted as a catalyst for a cycle of unprecedented protests in the country, breaking new ground in terms of demands and spreading across the kingdom. On the other hand, the regime promptly responded to these changing dynamics by offering generous socio-economic measures and political concessions in the classic reformist......

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...‘Double Hegemony’? State and Class in American Foreign Economic Policymaking CHRISTOPH SCHERRER, UNIVERSITY OF KASSEL Published in: Amerikastudien 46 (2001, 4), 573-591. ABSTRACT The paper introduces research on transatlantic relations done by neo-Gramscian authors. This research is distinctive by focusing on class in international relations and by using the concept of hegemony in a relational sense. Hegemony is leadership through the active consent of other classes and groups. A central question of this neo-Gramscian research is whether an international class of capitalists has emerged. Some authors have answered in the positive. This paper, however, maintains that hegemony in the international realm is still exercised by the American state, though its foreign economic policies have been greatly influenced by internationally-oriented corporations and that these actors have increasingly found allies among economic elites in other countries. The paper explores the relationship between hegemony by the American state and by internationally-oriented capital groups against the backdrop of transatlantic relations in the post-war period and the current debate on labor rights in international trade agreements. 1. Introduction The United States government has been, without doubt, the decisive force in establishing and shaping the main multilateral institutions of the world market since the Second World War. It has consistently pursued the opening of other nations’ markets to......

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To Be or Not to Be an American

...Ryan Woods English Miss Orenstein April 5, 2011 To be…or not to be an American Separation and more specifically oppression has been a staple of the United States of America ever since it was settled back in the 17th century. As soon as they stepped foot off the boats, the immigrants fleeing Europe immediately saw other people and saw them as different and even as far as calling them savages. All of the native people who were living there before had their land taken from them and were beginning to be pushed west. This oppression of certain races continued long after the Mayflower hit the America’s shores. Next, the white man separated himself apart from blacks. Africans were enslaved because the “New World” needed free labor to jumpstart the economy and also because they were seen as being different than white people. It would have been very difficult to sustain a decent economy if people had to hire workers instead of having free labor with their slaves. It was not until the Declaration of Independence that someone finally acknowledged the idea of every man being equal and having the same rights. It was Thomas Jefferson who wrote that, “All men are created equal” in the opening line of the Declaration of Independence. The only thing wrong with the statement Jefferson made is that it is completely contradictory to the fact that he owned a slave and so did many others of the founding fathers. The Civil Rights Movement was the next significant step in this racial...

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...It Mean To Be An American? For hundreds of years the United States has been attracting immigrants from a variety of different countries, races, and religions to come live in a land full of freedom and opportunity. These people were looking for more than just rights and privileges. Their real desire was to become something that represents pride and honor, an American. Being an American means much more than living in the United States. Along with the name come a number of different benefits such as, freedom of speech to express your own opinion, freedom of religion, and equality for all, including different sexes, races, religions and status. As an American you have the right to speak your mind. Expressing one’s opinion is a big part of being American. This particular freedom enables us to serve our country, as we stand up for what is both right and just. Being American also means that not only do we have the opportunity to overcome challenges by coming together to find solutions that those from other countries can’t but we also have the freedom to worship as we please. Unlike other countries, American’s are not defined in terms of religion. This question was posted on my Facebook page for some insight. As expected, some of the comments were uneducated dribble. One comment that stood out came from my brother-in-law. He is a Swedish citizen but resides in the United States. He wrote “The question is mind-bogglingly complex. To be American (or from any 1st......

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...Hegemony Hegemony was a concept developed from Karl Marx’s ideas by the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937). Marx had originally argued that the capitalist society would become ever more polarized between working class and the ruling class, however during the 20th Century neo-Marxists realised that this was not happening and it soon became evident that society was becoming more complex rather than polarized and in fact there was now more classes and intermediate groups within society than before so neo-Marxists began to rethink how capitalist societies functioned. Gramsci was a key thinker in the debate about class and power and developed the concept of ‘Hegemony’ in his famous Prison Notebooks after being imprisoned by Mussolini’s fascist government, for being a leader in the Italian Communist party. Gramsci’s idea of the concept of Hegemony has come to be central when discussing sociologically the complexity of the modern society. Gramsci’s concept of Hegemony is the way in which ‘one class dominates another through consent rather than force.’(Macionis & Plummer, 1997) For Gramsci the state equals political society and civil society. He stated that the ruling class must gain the consent of the working class and that no government could rule by force alone for very long. He believed that there was a process where in which a dominant group wins over a subordinated/ less dominant group through its ideas, forming political alliances with other groups...

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...America’s Aggressive Economic Hegemony American Expansionism during the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century is a result of America’s economic necessity as a growing country. Through this economic conquest, America was led to the forefront of the world stage in the process. America’s idea of Manifest Destiny, first coined by John O’Sullivan in 1845, was used as their catalyst to spur expansion of the United States territory and its trade to all parts of the globe. Through America’s first conflict with Spain in the Seminole War they were allowed to take over Florida, starting its progress onto the world stage. America’s victory in one of its first foreign affairs on foreign soil in the Mexican-American War further led to this rise on the world stage. After the success of the Mexican-American War, America turned to Hawaii and East Asia and continued their economic pursuits there through movements such as the Tyler Doctrine and the Treaty of Kanagawa. President James Monroe was keen on removing Spain from Florida in 1818 and gave General Andrew Jackson orders to quell the Seminole rebellion in any manner he saw fit. By doing so, America would have leverage over Spain in negotiations. While this message was misinterpreted, the aftermath favored the United States on the grounds that “Spain’s inability to maintain order compelled United States to do so.” The removal of Indians, obtaining more territories and delaying of British intervention was justified through the idea......

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To Be American

...            “To be American (unlike being English or French or whatever) is precisely to imagine a destiny rather than inherit one; since we have always been, insofar as we are Americans at all, inhabitants of myth rather than history.” In the context of this quote attributed to Leslie Fiedler, being American means subscribing to a socially constructed national identity--to the collective American Dream. This observation expresses a core truth about Americans, and about an American greatness that is in fact exceptional, but it is also problematic in several ways. First, the public has never felt compelled to fix the meaning of the American Dream, a term that presumably everyone knows. Second, while Fielder’s assertion is true of Americans, it is not uniquely so: All people, in some sense or another, inhabit myths. Finally, while Americans have certainly imagined destinies for themselves, they also live in history. Everyone does. The American Dream is neither a self-evident falsehood nor a scientifically demonstrable principle. Beyond the abstract belief that anything is possible if you want it bad enough, there is no single American Dream. The theoretical basis for the American idea incorporates an explicit allegiance to the concept “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But as the history of slavery and the struggle for women’s rights make......

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...will only be remembered or laughed at just as the big hair and shoulder pads of the eighties.  Popular American Culture Paper When we talk about American Pop Culture, we are talking about society today, and how it has made a difference from the past. Culture is defined appreciating good music, food, and art. We see culture in our everyday lives; we eat, breathe, and speak culture in our homes. People become used to what is consider the new style. In our modern world, others refuse to participate. American Pop Culture is defined as culture that refers to the knowledge and customs of a specific group during a specific period of time, and simultaneously reflects and influences behaviors (Petracca & Sorapure, 2007). With the media changing through the years, our social habits have changed drastically for some, and not for others. For example I used to write letters to my family overseas, and now we email each other or use Facebook to keep in touch with all the updates within our family. Technology has gotten better throughout the years. With new technologies, everyone wants to be involved with in. Another great example of new technology is researching. We used to go to libraries to research on a book, product, or person. Now we are able to do it online in the comfort of our own homes. We also get to shop online which is another great example of pop culture.  American pop culture has influenced our lives in many ways, like fashion for instance. Some of us like the new......

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American Imperialism

...been established on the premise that our American way is the better way. As we proceed to attain and use more, America spreads its hand and control even further through the uses of its corporations and other services. Koning (1993) has revealed that in 1845, author John L. O’Sullivan coined the term Manifest Destiny. At that time, America was growing at a staggering rate with the independence of Mexico and some Native American nations. People like O’Sullivan felt even larger expansions were inevitable. This phrase justified our divine right to expand westward and to exercise hegemony over our neighbors and ultimately is a defense of what we now call Imperialism. This was a complex set of ideas encompassing opinions of race, religion, culture, and economic necessity. Throughout the nation, settlers traveled in search of land to further expand their wealth and prominence. In Texas and Florida, they found oil. In California, Nevada, and Arizona, they found gold. All the while, settling into these “uncivilized” regions spreading what they felt was progress and democracy. The fact that the lands were already occupied was of little consequence of the ultimate goal of controlling the land. It was, after all, our destiny. In the wake of many wars fought with the indigenous people of this land, we have filled our coffers with the booty of our empire and by the blood of the natives. Perkins, John, The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men,......

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Us Religious Hegemony

...Nikolas Does the USA still remain a global hegemon? Hegemony is the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others. This power is based on the countries structural position which enables the hegemon to shape the actions and influence other states by using soft power (Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction via politics, culture and foreign policies) more often than not rather than hard power (Hard power is the use of military and economic means to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies aggressively) and use of force. The US is commonly known as a superpower or ‘hegemon’ though this idea has been challenged by both external and internal factors like the economic prowess of other countries like China who’s rise has been astonishing and are projected to overtake the USA by 2030 as the greatest financial power. If judged in military terms then the USA appears to remain dominant, their lead over the rest of the world is huge. In 2011, the US accounted for 42% of the world’s military spending and had a x5 fold lead over China, the second largest military spender. The US has around 700 military bases around the world as well as an unequivocal lead in high tech weaponry that can intervene militarily in any part of the world and sustain multiple operations like in Afghanistan and Iraq. Though, their power in military terms could be rendered redundant due to their......

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British Hegemony

...corn will be assimilated into industry and manufacturing. Cost of bread will be cheaper which will in turn reduce wedges. If they allow other countries to freely sell their corn to Britain the other countries will feel the need to reciprocate and open up their markets to British manufactured goods. This also had The British industrialist sells their manufactures to other countries that will deter those countries from develop their own industries instead they will focus on producing primary goods and depend on British manufactures to provide for their needs. This will help the empire to maintain its presence on the world stage and encourage growth of industry in Britain. The end of an era Britain had started its decent from hegemony decades before the start of the Great War. The decline of Britain, lead to a major change to the political and economic landscape in Europe and the world. Global economic growth slowed down nation states fragmented into competing blocs. The gains of free trade of previous decades and centuries were reversed in favor of protectionism. When the Great War was over attempts were made by the financial elites of Europe, beginning at Versailles to restore the Holy Roman Empire and have the same economic success as they had prior to the Great War. Denise Richards in (An illustrated history of modern Europe 1789-1984) Says at Versailles “ …nothing was restored no holly, nor roman, nor an empire” In short Versailles was a failure.......

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To Be an American

...2015 To be an American It's morning, you just woke up and are getting ready to leave the house. You decide to wear jeans and a nice shirt that says "Jesus loves you" on the front. While reading the newspaper you realize something, today is voting day. Everyone will be voting for the new mayor of the city of Wakeman. You have researched all the candidates and decide Joe Smith is the best choice for the city. All of these choices you have made this morning are possible because you are an American. To be an American you have the rights to the first amendment, that is the freedom of religion, speech, press, the right to vote, and individuality. One of the most important values of being an American is the first amendment. The first amendment allows us to have freedom of speech, which gives us the right to say what we think about topics or arguments. Such as who is the better pick for mayor and why you believe in him. We also have freedom of press which allows us to gather and distribute information to others. An example of this is a congressman that has committed fraud, the press would have the right to inform the public of his/her actions. Another freedom we have in the first amendment is freedom of religion. We have the right to practice whatever religion you choose. You can be Catholic, Buddhist, Baptist, Atheist, or any other religion you choose. It is your rights and your decisions as an American. Hanko 2 Another value of being an American is......

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Language Hegemony

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