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Capitalist Ideology, the United States and Great Britain


Last updated 12 Apr 2018

Capitalism is a political and economic theory which states that individuals are free. They are free to make money, own businesses, sell goods and services and crucially own private property. Emphasis within capitalist countries is on the role of individuals rather than the state. Throughout the Cold War the United States, United Kingdom and allies were described as capitalist.

At the time of the Second World War, the United States was led by President Franklin D Roosevelt. He had been President since 1933. Roosevelt was a champion of democracy and fought against dictatorship in Japan and Germany. However, Roosevelt was pragmatic, with the defeat of Nazism and the Japanese, Roosevelt realised that Stalin and the Soviet Union must be recognised as a superpower.

Britain at this time was led by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Churchill was a supporter of Empire and Britain’s imperial power status, and wished to defend this at all costs. This view sometimes put him at odds with Franklin Roosevelt who wished to see democracy rule above all else. Churchill was particularly suspicious of Stalin, whom he thought was attempting to build a large communist empire.  

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