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Abstract

This article deals with the response of the Northern Ireland government to the presence of African American troops in the country during the Second World War, using extensive archival research at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, The National Archives at Kew and the National Records and Archives Administration in Maryland. It examines the pressures placed upon Stormont by both Westminster and, more particularly, the American military authorities in relation to U.S. racial mores. It demonstrates that despite edicts from London and attempts by the Americans to impose racial segregation, the Northern Ireland government fashioned a response which did not endorse ‘Jim Crow’ racism but, instead, dealt with the problem pragmatically and thoughtfully.