Anglo-American Relations and the Politics of Militarization in the British Bahamas, 1960-1973

Maternowski, Christopher, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Hitchcock, William, History, University of Virginia

For much of the Cold War, Britain and the United States maintained an extensive military presence in the Bahamas. These Anglo-American military installations served as laboratories for weapons testing, hubs for deep-ocean exploration, and facilities for undersea acoustic research. This thesis examines how the Anglo-American military-industrial complex figured prominently in the political life of the Bahamas and shaped the outcome of the country’s decolonization process. Between 1960 and 1973, these military installations served as domestic political capital and diplomatic leverage for rival Bahamian political parties. This thesis also considers Anglo-American relations within the context of the Bahamas. During the early 1960s, Britain and the United States enjoyed cordial relations in the Bahamas. The United States heavily relied on Britain to extract basing concessions from the Bahamians. By the early 1970s, however, relations between Britain and the United States had deteriorated. Many Bahamians cast the British as imperialists, which convinced the Americans to act unilaterally. The British, once a negotiating asset, had become a hindrance.

MA (Master of Arts)
Bahamas, U.S. bases, British Empire, Anglo-American relations, Caribbean, decolonization, military-industrial complex
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