British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century by C.J. Bartlett

By C.J. Bartlett

An account of British overseas coverage within the twentieth century, discussing the tough commitments, global Wars, chilly conflict and readjustments to the current day.

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Nor did they wish to drive Germany into the arms of the Bolsheviks. 45 The British delegation in Versailles was exposed to conflicting press ures from the start. Domestic demands for the severe punishment of Germany, and for heavy reparations, were soon followed by pressures to cut the size of Britain's armed forces and for a rapid return to normallife. Money, it was argued, ought to be spent on badly needed reform at horne rather than on an ambitious foreign policy. Some believed that German reparations would both punish Germany and assist British reconstruction.

The French were not so short-sighted, though not in agreement among themselves as to how they should proceed. In the end Clemenceau, the French prime minister, insisted that his country would obtain genuine security only through longterm co-operation with Britain and the United States. The harsher the peace the more difficult it would be for France to enlist British and American sympathy and support. 46 As it was the will to enforce even the peace that was agreed withered with alarming speed. Not surprisingly some historians argue that it is difficult to see how, in the atmosphere of 1919 and given the conditions ofthe time, a better peace could have been negotiated.

33 Britain could not give unqualified priority to Europe or to the empire until others decided on the venue of the next great war. This same conclusion also begins to provide an ans wer to the assertion that Britain would have served Europe better had she tried to act as a truly disinterested upholder of the European balance of power. She should, it is claimed, have paid more attention to the fate of the Habsburg Empire whose growing sense of insecurity was the most obvious threat to the peace of Europe.

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