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BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY 1895 - 1914 An Overview KEY EVENTS Boer War (1899-1902) – exposes GB isolation Boer War (1899-1902) – exposes GB isolation Imperial.

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Presentation on theme: "BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY 1895 - 1914 An Overview KEY EVENTS Boer War (1899-1902) – exposes GB isolation Boer War (1899-1902) – exposes GB isolation Imperial."— Presentation transcript:

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2 BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY An Overview

3 KEY EVENTS Boer War ( ) – exposes GB isolation Boer War ( ) – exposes GB isolation Imperial Clashes with France in the Nile area (Fashoda Incident 1898) Imperial Clashes with France in the Nile area (Fashoda Incident 1898) In the 1880s, to oppose French ambitions in Med. and North Africa, Salisbury leaned towards Triple Alliance – Mediterranean agreements (1887) In the 1880s, to oppose French ambitions in Med. and North Africa, Salisbury leaned towards Triple Alliance – Mediterranean agreements (1887) Kaiser Willhelm II’s dismissal of Bismarck (1890) leads to Germany’s pursuit of more global role Kaiser Willhelm II’s dismissal of Bismarck (1890) leads to Germany’s pursuit of more global role Kruger Telegram (1895) exemplified greater German willingness to be hostile to GB Kruger Telegram (1895) exemplified greater German willingness to be hostile to GB

4 KEY EVENTS – 2 Franco-Russian Alliance 1894 – implications for Salisbury’s Med. policy; Franco-Russian Alliance 1894 – implications for Salisbury’s Med. policy; Turkish massacre of Armenians – British cabinet not willing to deploy fleet for fear of Franco- Russian strength – GB joins Russia in calling on Sultan for reform. Turkish massacre of Armenians – British cabinet not willing to deploy fleet for fear of Franco- Russian strength – GB joins Russia in calling on Sultan for reform. Austria senses GB moving away from anti- Russian policy in Balkans Austria senses GB moving away from anti- Russian policy in Balkans GB’s Mediterranean agreements not renewed GB’s Mediterranean agreements not renewed

5 KEY EVENTS - 3 Lansdowne takes over as Foreign Secretary 1901 – pursues more concrete foreign agreements to secure GB’s position Lansdowne takes over as Foreign Secretary 1901 – pursues more concrete foreign agreements to secure GB’s position Russian expansion in China causes GB concern – Germany refuses an alliance (fear of Russia) Russian expansion in China causes GB concern – Germany refuses an alliance (fear of Russia) GB turns to Japan – Anglo-Japanese Alliance 1902(relieves pressure on GB to maintain 2 Power Standard in Far East) GB turns to Japan – Anglo-Japanese Alliance 1902(relieves pressure on GB to maintain 2 Power Standard in Far East) Japan’s success in war against Russia (1904) leads to renewal of Agreement, extended to cover mutual defence (thus, Japanese assistance could be enlisted to defend Indian frontier). Japan’s success in war against Russia (1904) leads to renewal of Agreement, extended to cover mutual defence (thus, Japanese assistance could be enlisted to defend Indian frontier).

6 KEY EVENTS - 4 Lansdowne also pursues agreement with France – Entente Cordiale 1904 Lansdowne also pursues agreement with France – Entente Cordiale 1904 Resolves some outstanding colonial disputes Resolves some outstanding colonial disputes Prominent among these, GB support for French dominance in Morocco (leading to support for French position in two crises – 1905 and 1911) Prominent among these, GB support for French dominance in Morocco (leading to support for French position in two crises – 1905 and 1911)

7 KEY EVENTS - 5 Germany increasingly seen as a more likely hostile power (especially by Admiralty and right- wing press) Germany increasingly seen as a more likely hostile power (especially by Admiralty and right- wing press) Liberal victory in 1905 brings Edward Grey to Foreign Office (until 1916) Liberal victory in 1905 brings Edward Grey to Foreign Office (until 1916) Grey supports rapprochement with Russia Grey supports rapprochement with Russia Russia more inclined after Japanese defeat Russia more inclined after Japanese defeat Anglo-Russian Convention 1907 – helps to ease possible conflict over India, Persia and Afghanistan Anglo-Russian Convention 1907 – helps to ease possible conflict over India, Persia and Afghanistan

8 KEY EVENTS - 6 By 1905, rivalry from Germany was becoming a dominant feature of foreign policy By 1905, rivalry from Germany was becoming a dominant feature of foreign policy Tirpitz (Germany’s Naval Secretary) was embarked on naval building programme, seemingly challenging GB’s pre-eminence Tirpitz (Germany’s Naval Secretary) was embarked on naval building programme, seemingly challenging GB’s pre-eminence GB responded with Dreadnought programme (1906) GB responded with Dreadnought programme (1906) Second Morocco crisis (1911) exacerbated tension Second Morocco crisis (1911) exacerbated tension

9 KEY EVENTS - 7 But, on eve of war, relations between GB and Germany appeared to have eased But, on eve of war, relations between GB and Germany appeared to have eased Naval Race was over Naval Race was over Agreement reached on two outstanding issues – building of Berlin-Baghdad Railway, and future of Portugal’s African colonies Agreement reached on two outstanding issues – building of Berlin-Baghdad Railway, and future of Portugal’s African colonies When Balkan crisis broke out, with murder of Franz Ferdinand, lack of GB interest in that area suggested she would steer clear of any conflict. When Balkan crisis broke out, with murder of Franz Ferdinand, lack of GB interest in that area suggested she would steer clear of any conflict.

10 Summary of Approaches - Salisbury Salisbury pursued flexible policy, not ‘splendid isolation’ as such, but informal agreements and pragmatic accommodation – result being that he kept GB out of European entanglements Salisbury pursued flexible policy, not ‘splendid isolation’ as such, but informal agreements and pragmatic accommodation – result being that he kept GB out of European entanglements

11 Summary - Lansdowne Lansdowne realised GB’s increasingly exposed position (Boer War, rivalry in Africa, danger in Far East) and sought to develop more formal links with other powers. This led in particular to alliance with Japan and agreement with France. Lansdowne realised GB’s increasingly exposed position (Boer War, rivalry in Africa, danger in Far East) and sought to develop more formal links with other powers. This led in particular to alliance with Japan and agreement with France.

12 Summary - Grey Grey took Lansdowne’s policy further, seeking in particular rapprochement with Russia. He also presided over increasing German rivalry, which nonetheless seemed to have died down by Grey took Lansdowne’s policy further, seeking in particular rapprochement with Russia. He also presided over increasing German rivalry, which nonetheless seemed to have died down by The Liberal cabinet, moreover, contained pro- Germans (Haldane), strong anti-Russian ministers, and a general opposition to military engagement. The Liberal cabinet, moreover, contained pro- Germans (Haldane), strong anti-Russian ministers, and a general opposition to military engagement.


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