By Mark Mazower
No Enchanted Palace lines the origins and early improvement of the United international locations, the most influential but possibly least understood businesses energetic on this planet at the present time. Acclaimed historian Mark Mazower forces us to put aside the preferred fantasy that the UN miraculously rose from the ashes of global struggle II because the father or mother of a brand new and peaceable worldwide order, supplying as an alternative a strikingly unique interpretation of the UN's ideological roots, early heritage, and altering position in international affairs.
Mazower brings the founding of the UN brilliantly to lifestyles. He indicates how the UN's creators expected an international association that might guard the pursuits of empire, but how this imperial imaginative and prescient used to be decisively reshaped by way of the postwar reaffirmation of nationwide sovereignty and the unanticipated upward push of India and different former colonial powers. this can be a tale advised in the course of the conflict of personalities, reminiscent of South African statesman Jan Smuts, who observed within the UN a way to guard the previous imperial and racial order; Raphael Lemkin and Joseph Schechtman, Jewish intellectuals at odds over how the UN should still wrestle genocide and different atrocities; and Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first leading minister, who helped remodel the UN from an device of empire right into a discussion board for finishing it.
A much-needed historic reappraisal of the early improvement of this important global establishment, No Enchanted Palace finds how the UN outgrew its origins and has exhibited a rare flexibility that has enabled it to undergo to the current day.
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Extra resources for No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (The Lawrence Stone Lectures)
The question was how to make it peaceful, to prevent it leading to instability, war, or what he called “imperialism”—in other words, unregulated landgrabs at the expense of the reasonable claims of other European powers. One answer was to look to the idea of a commonwealth of nations. indd 34 7/25/09 12:59:58 PM Chapter 1 35 advocating an imperial government—and later a strong world government too. But Smuts’s viewpoint was more sensitive to national loyalties and ultimately more influential. He too identified wholly with the idea of British leadership.
And wouldn’t British troops find themselves putting out fires all over the world? Meanwhile, empire hardliners like Milner rejected anything that would entangle the empire in Europe but wanted at the same time to ensure closer relations with the United States. 15 These arguments were rehearsed at the crucial British cabinet meeting that met on Christmas Eve 1918 ahead of the peace conference in Paris. indd 41 7/25/09 12:59:59 PM 42 Smuts and Imperial Internationalism took internationalism further than most of the former wished to go, but tied it to the preservation and even extension of imperial power.
Mindful of the way the North American colonies had broken away at the end of the eighteenth century, and wishing to keep other white settler colonies (notably his own Union of South Africa) within the safety of the empire’s embrace, Smuts and other theorists of the British Empire had turned to the concept of commonwealth to imagine a way of unifying nations in a common cause for the sake of democracy. In his view, South Africa needed to remain within the empire, not only for its own safety but in order to carry out its mission as bearer of civilization to the Dark Continent.