Though the war was in principal a mere dispute over territory and supremacy and apart from setting national identities it changed not only societies on both sides but is often cited as the root of the traditional rivalry and at times hatred between the two countries During this era the English lost their last territories in France except Calais which would remain in the hands of England for another 105 years In the following years they were engaged in numerous wars too The French and British fought each other and made treaties with Native American tribes to gain control of North America Both nations coveted the Ohio Territory and in 1753 a British expedition led by George Washington clashed with a French force Shortly after the French and Indian war broke out and became in 1756 part of the wider Seven Years War 1750s 1763 in which Britain and France as parts of opposing coalitions This war has even been called the first world war because fighting took place in different continents The Seven Years War is thought to be a critical moment in the history of Anglo French relations It is important to mention that France and Britain never went to war after 1815 although there were a few war scares Relations were again strained over the Iraq crisis Britain backed America s tough stance against Saddam Hussein while France wanted the UN weapons inspectors to be given more time before any military action
Despite the many wars there are times that British and French worked closely together too Examples During the Scramble for Africa in the 1870s and 1880s they recognised each other s spheres of influence The Suez Canal which was initially built by the French became a British French project in 1875 as both saw it as a way to maintain their influence and empires in Asia Another big alliance was during World War II when it became apparent that France would not be able to fend off the German attack and Winston Churchill the prime minister at the time pledged that the United Kingdom would continue to fight for France s freedom even if it must do so alone The final bond between the two nations was so strong that members of the British cabinet had proposed a temporary union of the two countries for the sake of morale In addition in 2007 President Nicolas Sarkozy attempted to forge closer relations between France and the United Kingdom Even the Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in March 2008 that there has never been greater cooperation between France and Britain as there is now Sarkozy also encouraged both countries to overcome their long standing rivalries and build together a future that will be stronger
Now after the British referendum this year to leave from the EU a completely different approach from the commitment of France to ever closer union it has put into question the ability of the two states to remain in harness as the leaders of Europe s foreign policy-making process Yet despite the obvious reasons to assume a divergence there are good reasons to think that France and the UK will probably work together for as long as possible in foreign and security policy because of its great importance In conclusion the relationship of England and France is a very complex but nonetheless interesting At times they fight each other for power and other issues regarding their position in the world but other times when they are faced with great danger example World War II they unite in order to confront the difficulties together However considering the recent events it is questionable what repercussions Brexit will have in England and France how it will affect their relations and what changes will occur
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