UK to become a state of US?

Nov 19th, 2003, 02:31 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 942
UK to become a state of US?

I know this isn't travel, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

I seem to recall seeing something on a History Channel show a few years back on WW II. I thought it said that at one point during WW II or shortly after, there were secret discusions between the US and the UK about the UK becoming a state. I know it sounds ridiculous, or at least did to me.

I have searched the Internet, though I don't know the best words to use. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?

Again, I know it sounds outrageous. I'm very interested in the history of the relationship between our two countries, especially as it relates to WW II...please don't lambast me too bad!
mdtravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 02:45 PM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,378
Hi md,

Arthur Conan Doyle, in one of his Sherlock Holmes stories in the 1890's, suggested that the world would be better off if there were a union between the British Empire and the US.
ira is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 02:47 PM
  #3  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,378
PS,

In 1940, as France was collapsing, Winston Churchill flew over to see the French PM and President. In order to bolster the French, he suggested that France merge with Great Britain.

He was rebuffed.
ira is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 02:53 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 942
Interesting on the France/UK thing. I honestly don't know where I heard this so it may be a crock. I seem to recall Churchill's involvement, secret discussions of course, but not much more.
mdtravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 10:59 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,207
Md?

The central point about the relationship between Britain and the US is that there are a multipicity of contacts. The official relationship between the two governments, and the things done by the Foreign Office/State Dept, are pretty much the same as what goes on between any other two governments.

But the plethora of unofficial relationships between institutions (like the armed forces, or the CIA/ MI5), thinktanks, cross-shareholdings, visiting professorships, presence on Boards of Directors and all the rest of it is unique (Banal example: how many Vietnamese - VN has the same population as the UK - give their views advice on the Fodor Asia boards?)

There can be no subject (except possibly the US playing cricket)that at some point hasn't cropped up in one of those forums. How many get beyond being an interesting idea for a bunch of foreign-affairs specialists after a well-oiled dinner to being even a minor feasibility study by ministries? .00001% at best I'd say.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:47 AM
  #6  
JonJon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Well, Flanner, if Britain did become a state (assuming any of us would actually welcome another sinking economy as a further drain on the one we already have..although given the amount of GB monetary investment in the US infrastructure perhaps that's a moot point) there are TWO things you xenophobes would no longer have to worry about: being "forced" to use that nasty and dreaded Euro and having to learn the identity of the more than one person pictured on those notes as well as having to obtain some sort of EU passport. Of course, if statehood doesn't work out I suspect Texas might have room for another county. Cheers!
 
Nov 20th, 2003, 02:09 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,207
JonJon

Your use of the word "xenophobe" is highly offensive. I hope you wouldn't use such racist stereotypes for any other group of people.

If you're using it to describe the country wich receives more asylum seekers than any in the world (including the USA), gives a vote in its elections to more nationalities than any other, and is the only major EU state prepared to grant the "new" members full rights of residence and work, it's also arrant nonsense.

flanneruk is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 02:26 AM
  #8  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,378
Dear flanneruk,

I agree that JonJOn was offensive, but aren't we being a might excessive describing "xenophobe" as a racist epithet?
ira is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 03:35 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 942
I have to admit that I really didn't understand what the heck flanner was saying, so was surprised that the follow ups were seemingly harsh.

Back to my topic, because I'd really like to find out if anyone else has ever heard such a thing.

Was there ever secret discussions between Churchill and Roosevelt/Truman on the US making the UK a state?
mdtravel is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 03:49 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 111
If this was mentioned anywhere it must have been in the preamble to NATO or the postamble to SHAPE. I can only assume that if the UK was considered a state then an attack on the UK would constitute an attack on the US. Would you not agree that this sounds very close to the NATO concept of 'An attack on one of its members is an attack on all'?
rquirk is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 04:04 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 669
md - yr Q, I think, was. "does anyone else remember hearing of such a thing?" Am I right so far? If so - a great post. If it happened, let's hear about it. But if the subtext is - the UK should be/wants to be/is soon to be "a state of the US" - then over my
alice13 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 04:07 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 669
.... dead body.
Love my laptop but it's getting tired and misbehaves sometimes.

Go the Poms!
alice13 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 04:10 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 353
You might be thinking of a history channel show that talked about the UK and France briefly considering becoming one state in 1940 right before the Germans overan France.
hansikday is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 04:44 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,117
Getting back to the question, I think flanneruk's point was that millions of things are discussed between the two countries every day, by people in every kind of occupation and leadership position. Ergo, sooner or later, all manner of subjects will be broached. Consequently, one should not attach undue credibility to a given subject's merely being raised.

Another theory to explain what you heard, mdtravel, was that it was a rather exaggerated description of the reality that when countries ally themselves in war, it follows that the administrations of both have to work together more closely. Indeed, they need to work together very closely, given the secrecy required in planning operations of war. But this is generally intended only as an ad hoc arrangement, to last only so long as it takes to achieve victory against their mutual opponent (the Axis, in this case.) It is a long, long way from that arrangement to formally merging two governments on a permanent basis, which as you can probably guess is a far more complex idea.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 04:57 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,854
It sounds unthinkable - from Churchill's point of view it could only have come up as some last-ditch idea to ensure all-out US support in the event of a successful Nazi invasion in 1940. Roosevelt wasn't that daft. It could never have been sold to the populace or Congress/parliament in either country.

If it isn't a mishearing of Churchill's Franoc-British Union idea, it might be a reflection of some part of the debates over the legal status of US forces in Britain (the Visiting Forces Act still allows a larger degree of self-regulation outwith UK law than many people realise): there was some strong feeling about, e.g., racial segregation in the US forces in WW2.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 05:53 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,654
To be honest, I find the idea that anyone would think that the UK, with it's proud history, would EVER give up its independance rather insulting. Whoever suggests such a thing knows nothing about the British psyche. We'd rather die.

(and JonJon, we are many things, but a sinking economy we are not. 4th largest economy in the world, which isn't bad for such an itsybitsy island).
Kate is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 06:49 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 219
Interesting, I had never heard about the UK broaching this subject with either the US or France, but I think Kate has it wrong when she says she would rather die, or at least, she doesn't understand how desperate the UK was in 1940-41.

The big question that comes to my mind is, if this was ever being considered, how would the royal family be handled? Obviously the US electorate would have no interest in taking on the royal family, so there would have to be a delicate way to address that issue.
Yawn_boring is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 07:58 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Seems highly unlikely.

Great Britain was THE world power at the time, remember how the sun never set on the British Empire? Why would Britain want to be part of a lesser state?

More likely that there were discussions of the US becoming part of the British Commonwealth, like India did in 1945. As are Canada and Australia part of THE Commonwealth (believe they dropped the "British") even today. The Commonwealth is made up of about 50 some nations. I believe they were all British "colonies" at one time or another, just like the US was.

But then, had the US joined the Commonwealth, that would have meant accepting the Queen/King of England, which wouldn't go down too well with colonists who fought to be free of a king or queen.

Furthermore, at Yalta in 1945, Roosevelt sided with Stalin, much to the discomfort of Churchill.

All this doesn't add up to any kind of union between two very independent states.

Just my opinion.
easytraveler is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 08:16 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 177
One thing I find very interesting is the talk of a French-German union within the E.U. I guess they are thinking further intergration between their two nations can create a powerful entity within Europe. What would be their capital, Paris or Berlin?
quebec is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 09:48 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 942
I agree that it sounds outrageous...even said so myself. And I did consider the pride of the British. I've been trying not to speculate since my memory of what I read/heard/saw is sketchy, but it did have something to do with getting America into the war or trying to ensure Germany would leave the UK alone. My interest was spaked when I toured the bunker that Churchill occupied during the war and read/heard about the very close relationship between the two leaders. It may have been the US becoming a Commonwealth member, but I don't think so. I'd not given much thought to the royals, but as one poster pointed out, there were greater concerns during those years.
mdtravel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:56 AM.