Churchill, Fulton and the Anglo-American special relationship: setting the agenda?

Anna Marchi, Steve Marsh
2016 Journal of Transatlantic Studies  
the Anglo-American special relationship: setting the agenda? Abstract: Churchill is often deemed to have failed at Fulton in delivering 'the crux' of what he came to secure, namely a special Anglo-American relationship based in both interest and 'fraternal association'. As other contributions to this special edition demonstrate, there are good grounds for this verdict. However we ask whether, and if so in what ways, Churchill was actually able in and through the Sinews of Peace speech to set
more » ... agenda and frame the terms of discussion for the later emergence of a special relationship. To do this we treat the special relationship as a discursive construct and by combining diplomatic history with corpus assisted discourse studies map discourse features of the Sinews of Peace speech against media discourse on Anglo-American relations in the early 1950s. In 1946 an elderly private British citizen travelled to the United States and visited a then obscure College in Fulton Missouri where he delivered what became one of the most significant speeches on international affairs in modern history. That individual was Winston Churchill, celebrated wartime leader of Great Britain but recently cast out of office by an electorate keen to address wartime deprivations and overdue domestic reforms. Churchill himself once called his Sinews of Peaceor Iron Curtain as it was often referred tospeech the most important of his career. Its immediate impact was certainly considerable, albeit the response within and beyond America was far from uniformly positive. Particularly riled were those who thought a less confrontational approach to the Soviets advisable, or feared that Churchill was angling for an Anglo-American military alliance, or were suspicious of British imperialism, or felt excluded by the 'othering' language of Churchill's English speaking peoples. In hindsight it is often argued that the speech achieved 'much of the effect Churchill desired, once the initial fuss had died down.' 1 This is reasonable in terms of its aiding the Truman administration in persuading the American people of the Soviet Union's transition from wartime friend to peacetime foe and of reconfiguring
doi:10.1080/14794012.2016.1230258 fatcat:cqvfveisxzhzzpa4fqucpne6vi