The Special Relationship: U.S./U.K. Relations since 1900
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The ?special relationship? between the United States and the United Kingdom is arguably the most powerful cultural, political, and military union of any two countries in history. It has, however, been a long road to friendship since America declared its independence from Britain in 1776. While the relationship is taken for granted by most, understanding the roots of the relationship are as important as understanding the relationship itself. What was the ?turning point? from adversary to foe? At what point did the special relationship as we know it today begin? Why has Britain felt that its best interests lie with the United States over continental Europe? Needless to say, the twenty first century, with the terror attacks of 9/11 and subsequent liberation of Iraq, have so far marked a critical point in the transatlantic alliance. Britain?s decision to snub its European neighbors and join the U.S. in a war that achieved slightly-better-than moderate support at its outset are clearly indicative of its foreign policy objectives towards the United States. The U.S., on the other hand, has enjoyed a significant measure of international legitimacy with Britain by its side in Iraq than it would have otherwise.To understand these points and answer the aforementioned questions, it is important to know the history behind the relationship and the players on both sides of the Atlantic who helped shape it.