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Study on the relationship between American and the Vatican: 1945-1984

Author: WangYaPing
Tutor: BaiJianCai
School: Shaanxi Normal University
Course: American History
Keywords: America Vatican Cold war
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 60
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The United States is the most powerful country in the world, while the Vatican City State is the smallest city state in the world but is the oldest diplomatic entity. The Vatican City or the Holy See was named the Papal States which owned large scale of Italian Peninsula and was very powerful in old Europe Continent when the United States of America formed. As is known, force of America is based on its military and economical strength,but the force of Vatican is based on the pope’s spiritual strength over about1billion catholic believers. The gap between U.S. and the Vatican is so deep that it seems this is the last couple to establish formal relationship, but it took place in1984.The most changes happen between1945to1984, what are they? Is the Cold War have influence on the development of their relationship? How to evaluate the formal relationship between them? The thesis try to make these questions clear.The dissertation is organized into five parts: introduction and four chapters.The introduction part takes some words to explain why I chose this issue and why I think the relationship between America and Vatican is of importance. Then it is a review of the domestic and foreign research results and finally I will introduce the documents and methods which is used when doing the work.Chapter I provides a brief historical backgrounds of the relationship between Vatican and U.S. before1945. On December24,1939, the White House announced the President F.D.Roosevelt will dispatch a personal representative to the Vatican.It was Taylor,and he was sent to the Vatican to promote parallel efforts for peace and for the elleviation of suffering.By the early spring of1946, the Truman Administration was moving forward a policy of containment to halt Soviet expansionism. In such a case, it became important to unify the moral strength of Vatican and material strength of U.S..Truman dispatches Taylor to Vatican again because of he is worried about the future of Italy. The unity of effort was apparent in the Italian General Election of1948. In1951the White House announced the nomination of General Mark.W. Clark as ambassador to the State of Vatican City. But the storm of protest was so spread and violent that the nomination has to be withdrawn. Chapter II argues that it’s the Cold War and Anti-Communism push forward the relationship between Truman and Vatican. The Clark Nomination is a great example of the religion’s mercurial role in U.S. foreign policyChapter III explores the complex relationship between the Vatican and U.S. throughout six presidential administrations from Eisenhower to Carter. During the thirty years, owning to domestic political consideration, resume of relationship with Vatican was proposed many times,mostly by diplomatic corps,but all the proposals ended with nothing.While under the peaceful surface, the whole international environment,the religious and cultural situation in America and the doctrine and foreign policy of Vatican have been changing toward a good direction to remove the obstacles between America-Vatican relationship. Further more, U.S and Vatican were involved with Vietnam War and cooperated closely with each other in international Human Rights field.Chapter IV takes the relationship of America and Vatican in Reagan Administration as the object of research. I will try to explore the circumstances that permitted President Ronald Reagan to establish full diplomatic relations with Vatican where other U.S. presidents had failed in the past. It suggests the dynamic personalities, life experiences, and repudiation of communism created a natural bond between Reagan and the Pope Paul II that resulted in a period of warm relations between America and Vatican. In addition several events occurred in which they shared common interests and collaborated extensively. Furthermore, within the domestic realm there was support—or, more accurately, little active opposition—from Congress,the courts, and Protestant groups. The combination of these factors created the proper environment for the Reagan administration to establish formal relationship to Vatican.Conclusion: In retrospect,it demonstrates that it is the rise of the Cold War provided a favourable chance for America and Vatican to develop a closer relationship. The reason why the first cold war president Truman tried to send an ambassador to Vatican is his goal at winning the battle in the field of ideology and to seek the famous Cold Warrior Pius XII to become his anti-communism alliance. From the perspective of United States, the diplomatic interest and its domestic political interest is against with each other, it means resume of relationship with Vatican was consistent with American diplomatic interest in international world, while it would cause political and religious trouble for the government. While with the change of Vatican,American society and religious environment, and share of common interests make they establish formal relationship.

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