ATLANTIC ARCHIVE: UK-US Relations in an Age of Global War 1939-1945

Project Summary

This project is hosted by: Institute of Latin American Studies

Research interests:
Contemporary History, Digitisation, International Relations, Political Institutions
Africa, Asia, North America, United Kingdom
Project period:
01-Nov-2010 - 30-Nov-2013
Project summary:
The ATLANTIC ARCHIVE: UK-US Relations in an Age of Global War 1939-1945 project at the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) aims to create and sustain a free online database of digitised British government reports and newspapers discussing the United States during WWII (1939-1945). Both elements are essential ingredients for enabling researchers and teachers (secondary to higher education) to establish a detailed understanding of British opinions towards the US within the political, economic and social fields. The government reports, for example, include British Embassy reports on American and British claims for sovereignty over Pacific islands such as Canton and Enderbury. The newspaper collection includes articles from the Labour oriented pro-working class and trade-union Daily Herald and the Liberal-supporting News Chronicle.

Britain’s relationship with the United States changed fundamentally in the first half of the twentieth century, and the period 1939 to 1945 was particularly significant in this transformation. Britain was overtaken by the United States as the world’s foremost economic power, it became dependent on the US to achieve its foreign policy goals of maintaining the balance-of-power in Europe and its colonial empire abroad, and surrendered ‘English’ cultural hegemony to the US as Hollywood films, jazz and other cultural forms developed a global brand and appeal.

The government and newspaper documents provide the detail of this trans-Atlantic relationship. These documents will allow scholars to investigate whether British opinions of the US were informed and educated, or rooted in ‘Old World’ perspectives; how UK government departments and personnel, along with newspapers and journals, portrayed the US in relationship to their own domestic or partisan positions; and how common economic and foreign policy problems were understood by Britain.

Management Details

Lead researcher & project contact:

Name Position Institute Organisation Contact
Dr Matthew Hill Institute for the Study of the Americas


Related Activities

Related websites:

Title Details
ATLANTIC ARCHIVE: UK-US Relations in an Age of Global War 1939-1945 This online hub for the Atlantic Archive houses the database, along with the project blog, in the spotlight section, and the engagement forum.