The 'New Frontier' of Empire in the Caribbean: The Transfer of Power in British Guiana, 1961-1964

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr.. Cary Fraser, Associate Professor of Political Science (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: The vicissitudes of British imperial divestment after 1945 require scholars to explore systematically the United States’ role in reshaping the contours of the British Empire. According to William Roger Louis and Ronald Robinson, 'the post-war Empire was more than British and less than an imperium ... it was nationalized and internationalized as part of the Anglo-American coalition. US foreign policy after 1945 was directed not only at forging a North Atlantic coalition which would 'contain' die Warsaw Pact, but also at collaborating in die management of the political and economic changes that swept die non-European world. The history of international relations since 1945 has been defined by the 'end of empire' - whether Belgian, British, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, or Soviet. As each empire has disintegrated, US influence has been extended during, and through, die process of imperial disengagement. In some cases, for example the Japanese mandates acquired at the end of die Second World War, die extension of US influence led to formal control. In others, as in Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, and die former Belgian Congo, the United States has used military and/or economic aid to fashion an 'informal empire', to borrow die term popularized by Robinson and John Gallagher. The transfer of power in British Guiana between 1961 and 1964 illustrates Louis and Robinson's claim that British imperial disengagement was managed by the Anglo-American coalition. It shows how die two powers constantly (re)negotiated die terms of their relationship in various parts of the world in order to maintain their strategic partnership. And it shows how British disengagement created the conditions for US control. In effect, die transfer of power in British Guiana was not simply the accession to office in an independent country by the nationalist elite; it also transferred control of the country's political system and economic and foreign policy to the United States. As Louis and Robinson observe, 'Kennedy's "New Frontier" began where Europe's imperial frontiers had ended.

Additional Information

Fraser, Cary. "The 'New Frontier' of Empire in the Caribbean: The Transfer of Power in British Guiana, 1961-1964". International History Review 22, no.3 (September 2000): 583-610. RG059/LBJ Library/JRF Library
Language: English
Date: 2000

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