The Burse’s Treaty of 17 March, 1948 paved the way for the formation of NATO


During the World War II, Britain, the United States and the USSR had together fought against the fascist countries,

but after the war con­flict began to emerge between Britain and the US on the one hand and the USSR on the other, the relation between them began to deteriorate and came to be characterized by what is called the Cold War.

It became more and more intense and the world was divided into two major blocks- the US and West European countries forming one bloc and USSR and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe forming the other. With the in­crease in the might of the USSR the emergence of government ruled by communist parties in many parts of the world alarmed the government of US, Britain and other west European countries.


They all became aligned and began to follow a policy mainly aimed at curbing the growth of communism.

In this tense international situation, the Brussels’ Treaty was signed on 17 March, 1948 by Britain, France, Belgium, Holland and Luxem­burg. It was a treaty of economic, social and cul­tural collaboration and collective self defense. It was a commitment by the five powers who.

Signed it that if any of them was attacked in Europe (which meant that their colonies were not cov­ered) all other signatories would provide all mili­tary aid and other assistance within their power. This treaty created the Brussels’ Treaty organiza­tion also. It was defensive in nature without nam­ing any enemy in advance, but Soviet bloc inter­preted it as an alliance against her as was the tense situation at that time.

It is in this background that the North Atlan­tic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) was formed in 1949 for defense against Soviet Union. The mem­bers of this alliance were US, Britain, France, Bel­gium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Netherland, Luxemburg, Norway and Portugal. NATO army was created which established its bases in many countries in Europe.

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