By C.J. Bartlett
An account of British international coverage within the twentieth century, discussing the difficult commitments, international Wars, chilly struggle and readjustments to the current day.
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Extra info for British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century
Arms limitation agreements still seemed to offer hope for the future. Only in the autumn of 1936 was there serious alarm about the extent of Nazi aims and capabilities, and theneeforward British Intelligence either exaggerated German military power or evaluated it uncritically, giving litde or no attention to weaknesses of which Germany's own military leaders were only too conscious. Unwarranted assumptions were made about totalitarian efficiency and clarity of purpose. The degree to which Hitler relied on bluff, intuition and improvisation was not consistently appreciated.
Correlli Barnett, for instance, attributes these to the peculiar educational and social environment in which the post-Palmerstonian elite grew up. Kennedy stresses the persisting 'aristocratic detachment, the tendency to understatement and irony, the appeal to reasoned argument'. 15 It is also true that British politicians were adept at clothing mundane and selfish considerations in fine language. Indeed British selfinterest and idealism interacted to such effect over a long period that the inftuence of the former over the latter was easily forgotten.
Similarly, the longer the war went on the more policy-makers began to fret at the growth in American inftuence. The greater, to~, would be Britain's dependence upon that burgeoning country. Some Americans were fuHy aware of these possibilities, and it was due to the limited political skills of President Woodrow Wilson and to the reluctance of his mostly inward-looking countrymen to 25 British Foreign Poliey in the Twentieth Century finance an expensive foreign policy from 1919 that the British escaped the worst of post-war competition from that quarter.
British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century by C.J. Bartlett