World: Redefining That Special Relationship

WHEN British Prime Minister Harold Wilson pays his first call on President Nixon this week, a familiar phrase may very well come up during their meeting—the "special relationship." Even today, the phrase conjures up deep and enduring ties between the two countries that may be helpful. Yet it does not come even close to carrying the significance that it did in 1946 when the phrase was coined by Winston Churchill.

The foundations of the special relationship were laid at the turn of the century. According to Henry Adams, it was fostered by "the sudden...

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