Information

Why did United Kingdom not keep the colonies after Napoleon's defeat?


During the Napoleonic Wars the British occupied some French, Dutch and Danish colonies mainly in the Caribbean like: Dutch Surinam, Danish West Indies, French Martinique.

I have 2 questions:

  1. Why did the British not occupied Dutch Curaçao ?

  2. Why did the British not keep their occupations after the Napoleonic Wars? I know that they keept Malta (1800), Cape Town (1795), Trinidad (1795) and Ceylon (1795). Since United Kingdom was the 'winner' of the Napoleonic Wars I simply don't understand why they gave away these occupations to the 'losers' like France and Denmark.


Unlike the earlier European wars of the 18th Century, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, from a British perspective, were not about acquiring or retaining territory. The purpose of war for the British Government was more of an ideological one, to prevent the spread of revolutionary ideas (especially to Britain) by restoring the French monarchy.

As a consequence, the war was waged against the French revolutionaries and Napoleon's Empire, rather than against the French state. Where territories were taken, it was done in order to help win the war rather than to expand the British Empire.

As has already been answered here, the peace deal at the end of the wars, was very lenient to the French. The hope being that a stable French empire under a restored French monarch was the best chance of a lasting peace deal.

Britain retained those territories that were strategically important to them, such as Malta (which gave them a naval base in the center of the Mediterranean) and the South African Cape (which gave them a base on the route to India).


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922. It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into a unified state. The establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 led to the remainder later being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927, which continues to exist.

  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  1. ^ The state did not cease to exist after the Irish Free State seceded from the Union in 1922 but continued as the same country, renamed under its current name of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" under The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927.
  2. ^ Monarch of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760.
  3. ^ Continued as monarch of the United Kingdom and the Irish Free State until 1936.

The United Kingdom, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia was a relatively small operation in a century where Britain was largely at peace with the Great Powers. [3] Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century. The Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform.

The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry, trade and finance, in which Britain largely dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the principal British overseas possessions and to the United States. The British Empire was expanded into most parts of Africa and much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop. British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan, France and Russia, and moved closer to the United States.

Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, and the state was renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927. The modern-day United Kingdom is the same country—a direct continuation of what remained after Ireland's secession—not an entirely new successor state. [4]


Assorted References

Archaeologists working in Norfolk in the early 21st century discovered stone tools that suggest the presence of humans in Britain from about 800,000 to 1 million years ago. These startling discoveries underlined the extent to which archaeological research is responsible for any knowledge of…

In Britain, by contrast, only peers of the realm, whether entitled duke, marquess, earl, or baron, had corporate status: numbering under 200, they enjoyed few special privileges beyond membership of the House of Lords. The gentry, however, with assured social position, knighthoods, armorial bearings, and estates,…

…trends were prominent, as in England, where there was a free intellectual life. New money, as lavished by the duke of Chandos, builder of the great house of Canons and patron of the composer George Frideric Handel, could be fruitful. Also important was the fusion of aristocratic style with ecclesiastical…

…existed to the west, in England and France, where liberals, only half satisfied by the compromises of 1830 and 1832, felt the push of new radical demands from the socialists, communists, and anarchists. Reinforcing these pressures was the unrest caused by industrialization—the workingman’s claims on society, expressed in strikes, trade…

The Marquês de Pombal was inspired by what he had seen in London, and it was in Great Britain (as it became after the Act of Union with Scotland in 1707) that the entrepreneurial spirit was least restricted and most influential in government and…

…European balance of power, Great Britain played the role of the “balancer,” or “holder of the balance.” It was not permanently identified with the policies of any European nation, and it would throw its weight at one time on one side, at another time on another side, guided largely by…

…movement that took shape in England immediately after the failure of the Chartist agitation of 1848. Their general purpose was to vindicate for “the Kingdom of Christ” its “true authority over the realms of industry and trade,” and “for socialism its true character as the great Christian revolution of the…

English dentistry did not advance as far as French dentistry in the 18th century. The guild that had united the barbers and surgeons was dissolved in 1745, with the surgeons going their own way. Some barbers continued their dental ministrations and were designated “tooth drawers.”…

In 1856 English dentist Sir John Tomes led the formation of the first dental organization in England, the Odontological Society. It was through the activity of this group that the Royal Dental Hospital of London was established in 1858. In opposition to the Odontological Society, a group…

…major political issue in the United Kingdom beginning in the early 1970s. Many people in Scotland and Wales began demanding greater control over their own affairs, a trend reflected in a rise in support for the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales). In 1979 the Labour…

There were no English ducal titles (the duchies of Normandy and Aquitaine held by the English kings being, of course, French fiefs) until 1337, when Edward III erected the county of Cornwall into a duchy for his son Edward, the Black Prince.…

…France, Spain pitted itself against England, the dominant sea power of the period, which used its naval forces to reduce and eventually cut communications between Spain and the Americas. Unable to preserve any sort of monopoly on trade, the Spanish crown was forced to loosen the restrictions on its colonies’…

In England the movement for enclosure began in the 12th century and proceeded rapidly in the period 1450–1640, when the purpose was mainly to increase the amount of full-time pasturage available to manorial lords. Much enclosure also occurred in the period from 1750 to 1860, when…

In England all but a few insignificant forms had gone, though feudal spirit lingered in deference to the squire. Enclosures were reducing the yeoman to the condition of a tenant farmer or, for most, a dependent, landless labourer. Although alodial tenures (absolute ownership) ensured freedom from…

Great Britain struggled with low growth and recession during most of the second half of the 1920s. The country did not slip into severe depression, however, until early 1930, and its peak-to-trough decline in industrial production was roughly one-third that of the United States. France…

…and Germany, historical scholarship in England long paid relatively little attention to legal, as opposed to literary, records. Although John Mitchell Kemble published his collection of Anglo-Saxon documents, the Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici (1839–48), an extensive study of Anglo-Saxon and Norman legal and administrative documents was delayed until the 20th…

England after the Norman Conquest of 1066 also was influenced by Roman example, and the clerics who staffed the Norman and Plantagenet monarchies and who provided the earliest of their judges enabled the notion of a legal profession, and especially of litigious representation, to be…

The earliest policing system in England, which predates the Norman Conquest in 1066, was community-based and implied collective responsibility. The Saxon frankpledge required all adult males to be responsible for the good conduct of each other and to band together for their community’s protection. To formalize that obligation, they were…

At the same time that the lieutenant general of police was trying to maintain public order in Paris, the reactive and inefficient urban policing system of England, in which nearly unpaid public constables had to rely on private, stipendiary thief-takers to maintain an appearance…

The investigation of crimes was not a central function of the early preventive police departments in England and the United States. Yet, despite the high hopes of reformers when they created police forces, the number of preventable crimes was limited.…

… came to the throne in Great Britain in 1837, there were more than 50 pornographic shops on Holywell Street (known as “Booksellers’ Row”) in London. Pornography continued to flourish during the Victorian Age in Britain and in the United States despite—or perhaps because of—the taboos on sexual topics that were…

In Britain, although there was no economic miracle, there were industrial success stories in chemicals, quality cars, nuclear energy, and aviation. It was a British airline that in 1952 inaugurated the world’s first purely jet airline service. By the end of the decade, Heathrow in London…

When the first regular radio broadcasting began in London in 1922, the station was privately owned (by receiver manufacturers). It was supported by a tax on new receivers as well as by a continuing annual fee for receiver owners. The British Broadcasting Company,…

…disturbances that occurred briefly in 1839 and with greater violence from 1842 to 1844 in southwestern Wales. The rioting was in protest against charges at the tollgates on the public roads, but the attacks were symptomatic of a much wider disaffection caused by agrarian distress, increased tithe charges, and the…

In the United Kingdom it amounted to little more than a Chartist demonstration and a republican agitation in Ireland. In Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark it manifested itself in peaceful reforms of existing institutions, but democratic insurrections broke out in the capitals of the three great monarchies,…

…by John Logie Baird in Britain (see the photograph) and Charles Francis Jenkins in the United States to build the world’s first successful televisions. The question of priority depends on one’s definition of television. In 1922 Jenkins sent a still picture by radio waves, but the first true television success,…

…cause of the first Sino-British clash in the 19th century, began in the late 18th century as the British attempted to counterbalance their unfavourable China trade with traffic in Indian opium. After monopolizing the opium trade in 1779, the East India Company’s government began to sell the drug at…

…and in the following century English and French merchants controlled about half of the transatlantic slave trade, taking a large percentage of their human cargo from the region of West Africa between the Sénégal and Niger rivers.

After Great Britain outlawed slavery throughout its empire in 1833, the British navy diligently opposed the slave trade in the Atlantic and used its ships to try to prevent slave-trading operations. Brazil outlawed the slave trade in 1850, but the smuggling of new slaves into Brazil…

Cold War

…the United States and Great Britain on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other began to unravel. By 1948 the Soviets had installed left-wing governments in the countries of eastern Europe that had been liberated by the Red Army. The Americans and the British feared the permanent…

Britain was exhausted and committed to the Labour government’s extensive welfare programs. In France, Charles de Gaulle’s postwar government quickly gave way to a Fourth Republic paralyzed by quarreling factions that included a large, disciplined Communist party. In Italy, too, Communists threatened to gain power…

The Suez crisis of 1956, followed by Soviet space successes and rocket-rattling after 1957, dealt serious blows to the morale of western Europe. Given the potential of the war scares over Berlin to fracture NATO, the United States had to reassure its…

…powers (the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) to abandon their post-World War II jurisdictions in West Berlin.

…followed World War II, Great Britain announced that it could no longer afford to aid those Mediterranean countries, which the West feared were in danger of falling under Soviet influence. Truman outlined what became known as the Truman Doctrine in a speech to a joint session of Congress on March…

Conflicts

…killed in Afghanistan, while the British troops suffered some 300 deaths and the Canadians some 150. Both Britain and Canada stationed their troops in Afghanistan’s south, where fighting had been most intense. More than 20 other countries also lost troops during the war, though many—such as Germany and Italy—chose to…

and British invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 was preceded by over two decades of war in Afghanistan (see Afghan War). On December 24, 1979, Soviet tanks rumbled across the Amu Darya River and into Afghanistan, ostensibly to restore stability following a coup that brought to…

The hijacking and crashing of four U.S. jetliners on September 11, 2001, brought instant attention to Afghanistan. The plot had been hatched by al-Qaeda, and some of the 19 hijackers had trained in Afghanistan. In the aftermath of the attacks, the administration of…

…the United States against Great Britain, accumulated during and after the American Civil War (1861–65). The claims are significant in international law for furthering the use of arbitration to settle disputes peacefully and for delineating certain responsibilities of neutrals toward belligerents. The dispute centred on the Confederate cruiser Alabama, built…

British encounters with the Afrīdīs began during the first Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42), notably when General George Pollock fought against them during his march to Kabul. After the British annexation of the Punjab in 1849, various methods were tried to keep the Khyber Pass open, including…

…1878–80 1919) in which Great Britain, from its base in India, sought to extend its control over neighbouring Afghanistan and to oppose Russian influence there.

…movement began in 1806–07, when British attacks on Buenos Aires were repelled in the two battles known as the Reconquista and the Defensa. Also important there, as elsewhere in Spanish America, were the ramifications of Napoleon I’s intervention in Spain, beginning in 1808, which plunged that country into a civil…

…her main foreign support from Britain, which feared that, if the French achieved hegemony in Europe, the British commercial and colonial empire would be untenable. Thus, the War of the Austrian Succession was, in part, one phase of the struggle between France and Britain that lasted from 1689 to 1815.

…a victory of French and British forces led by Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne, over Spanish forces near Dunkirk (then just north of the French frontier in the Spanish Netherlands). The victory led to the surrender of Dunkirk by Spain and eventually to the conclusion of

…the one hand, and Great Britain and Canada, on the other, over the international status of the Bering Sea. In an attempt to control seal hunting off the Alaskan coast, the United States in 1881 claimed authority over all the Bering Sea waters. Britain refused to recognize this claim. In…

…which advocated violence against the United Kingdom to force it to withdraw from Northern Ireland. The incident remained a source of controversy for decades, with competing accounts of the events. In June 2010 the Saville Report, the final pronouncement of a government inquiry initiated by British Prime Minister Tony Blair…

…source of long-standing dispute between England and France until 1953, when the International Court of Justice confirmed British sovereignty. In the late 20th century the dispute revived, as sovereignty of these islands determines allocation of rights to economic development (specifically, petroleum) of the continental shelf.

… between the Russians and the British, French, and Ottoman Turkish, with support from January 1855 by the army of Sardinia-Piedmont. The war arose from the conflict of great powers in the Middle East and was more directly caused by Russian demands to exercise protection over the Orthodox subjects of the…

…War (1853–56), in which 50,000 British and French troops (joined by 10,000 Piedmontese troops during 1855), commanded by Lord Raglan and Gen. François Canrobert, besieged and finally captured the main naval base of the Russian Black Sea fleet. Sevastopol’s defenses had been built by the military engineer Colonel Eduard Totleben,…

…export of Norwegian timber to Great Britain. During wars in the middle of the century, Denmark-Norway had to bow to the British claim of ruling the waves. In 1780, during the American Revolution (1775–83), the Danish foreign minister Andreas Peter, greve (count) af Bernstorff, negotiated an armed neutrality treaty with…

…1800, was considered hostile by Great Britain. In 1801 British navy ships entered The Sound and destroyed much of the Danish fleet in a battle in the Copenhagen harbour. When the British fleet next proceeded to threaten the Swedish naval port of Karlskrona, Russia started negotiations with Britain. The result…

…Rebellion, Irish republican insurrection against British government in Ireland, which began on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, in Dublin. The insurrection was planned by Patrick Pearse, Tom Clarke, and several other leaders of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which was a revolutionary society within the nationalist

…the Indians, the French, the British, and the Americans. At the fortifications in Crown Point, the British dislodged the French (August 4, 1759), who in turn were ousted by the Green Mountain Boys (May 11, 1775). Similarly, Fort Ticonderoga was held by the French (1755–59) and the British (1759–75) until…

…Tewodros to feel insulted by England. When he imprisoned several British missionaries and envoys, accusing them of plotting against him, Great Britain sent the Napier expedition (1867–68) to rescue the prisoners. Aided by rebellious nobles along the way, the British force attacked Tewodros’s forces at Magdela on April 10, 1868.…

In 1862 Tewodros offered Britain’s Queen Victoria an alliance to destroy Islam. The British ignored the scheme, and, when no response came, Tewodros imprisoned the British envoy and other Europeans. This diplomatic incident led to an Anglo-Indian military expedition in 1868. Sir Robert Napier, the commander, paid money and…

war fought between Argentina and Great Britain in 1982 over control of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and associated island dependencies.

…Argentina increased pressure on the United Kingdom to relinquish the Falkland Islands. With popular support at home, Argentine troops landed on the Falklands and South Georgia island in early April, overcame the British Royal Marines stationed there, and raised the Argentine flag. For the next three weeks, while a British…

The British government of Margaret Thatcher was taken by surprise but began at once to mobilize supplies, ships, and men to reconquer the islands some 8,000 miles from home. The United States was torn between loyalty to its NATO ally (and political friend of President Reagan)…

…Falkland Islands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina in 1982 exhibited the tactical environment of sea-based forces fighting land-based forces in the guided-missile era. In this, the only extended naval campaign after World War II, were observed several modern influences on naval combat. First, submarines were formidable weapons, not…

…territorial disputes in Africa between Great Britain and France.

Austria, Prussia, and Great Britain formed a coalition (later called the First Coalition), to which most of the rulers of Europe adhered. France lost Belgium and the Rhineland, and invading forces threatened Paris. These reverses, as those of 1792 had done, strengthened the extremists. The Girondin leaders were driven…

…states for this reason, the United Kingdom declared its neutrality in the war between Iran and Iraq (1980–88), refusing to sell either side military equipment that would have significantly enhanced its capability to prolong the conflict.

…a republic, the end of British rule in Northern Ireland, and the reunification of Ireland.

…Oman, who was aided by Britain. The rebels sought independence and control of the interior lands and any oil to be found therein.

…by William III of Great Britain and the League of Augsburg against France under Louis XIV. Canadian and New England colonists divided in support of their mother countries and, together with their respective Indian allies, assumed primary responsibility for their own defense. The British, led by Sir William Phips, captured…

After defeating the British in the Battle of Chippewa on July 5, 1814, U.S. troops under General Jacob Brown established themselves at Queenston. On the night of July 24–25, a British force under General Phineas Riall moved forward to Lundy’s Lane. On the 25th he was reinforced by…

…United States, France, and the United Kingdom. The handover came after several days of debate among NATO countries over the limits of international military intervention several countries argued that the coalition’s aggressive targeting of pro-Qaddafi ground forces had exceeded the mandate set by the UN Security Council to protect civilians.

…the unification of several former British territories, including Sabah and Sarawak. The negotiations included special guarantees of rights for Malays (including the position of sultans) and the establishment of a colonial government. These developments angered the Communist Party of Malaya, an organization that was composed largely of Chinese members and…

…suspended all payments to Spain, Britain, and France. The three European powers prepared to send a punitive expedition to Mexico. The intervention was spearheaded by Spain, the forces of which landed at Veracruz on Dec. 14, 1861, and were followed soon after by French and British contingents. When the allies…

…also agreed not to oppose Britain’s moves in Egypt in exchange for a free hand in Morocco. Germany, however, insisted upon an open-door policy in the area and, in a dramatic show of imperial power, the emperor William II visited Tangier and, from his yacht on March 31, 1905, declared…

…a complex diplomatic issue, but British war vessels captured and held for a time the flagship of the small Paraguayan navy. In most of those contretemps, López was forced to give in, and the consequent humiliation lent greater urgency to his desire to strengthen Paraguay’s defenses. By the time of…

…to turn his attention toward Britain and toward Sweden and Portugal, the two powers that remained allied or friendly to Britain. Russia, it was decided, would deal with Sweden, while Napoleon, allied to Spain since 1796, summoned (July 19) the Portuguese “to close their ports to the British and declare…

…with France, Austria, and Great Britain.

…interfere with the interests of Britain in other parts of China, made an alliance with Japan in January 1902. Negotiations between Russia and Japan continued, but they were insincere on both sides. On the night of January 26/27 (February 8/9, New Style), 1904, Japanese forces made a surprise attack on…

…in varying measures supported by Great Britain with money and war matériel. The Allied intervention was initially inspired by the desire to reactivate the Eastern Front, but after the Armistice it lost its clear purpose, and it was continued on the insistence of Winston Churchill, who saw in Bolshevism a…

…the United States and the United Kingdom argued that Iraq had resorted to its earlier practices, that it was willfully hindering inspection efforts, and that, given the large volume of material unaccounted for from previous inspections, it doubtless continued to conceal large quantities of proscribed weapons. Other countries, particularly France,…

…from the United States and Great Britain (with smaller contingents from several other countries) invaded Iraq and rapidly defeated Iraqi military and paramilitary forces. It was followed by a longer second phase in which a U.S.-led occupation of Iraq was opposed by an insurgency. After violence began to decline in…

>Great Britain on the other. The war arose out of the attempt of the Austrian Habsburgs to win back the rich province of Silesia, which had been wrested from them by Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48).…

…breakdown of friendly relations between England and France.

…in 1949, between Israel, Great Britain, France, and Egypt in 1956, and between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt in 1970. None of these states was at the time declared an aggressor. On the other hand, Japan was found to be an aggressor in Manchuria in 1933, Paraguay in the Chaco area…

Britain and France feared that Nasser might close the canal and cut off shipments of petroleum flowing from the Persian Gulf to western Europe. When diplomatic efforts to settle the crisis failed, Britain and France secretly prepared military action to regain control of the canal…

The British were understandably hostile to Nasser, as were the French, who were battling Islāmic nationalists in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

…attacks, the United States and Britain launched an intensive bombing campaign against the Taliban and provided significant logistical support to Northern Alliance forces in an attempt to force the regime to yield to its demands. Devastated by the U.S. bombardment, Taliban forces folded within days of a well-coordinated ground offensive…

…the Napoleonic Wars, which established British naval supremacy for more than 100 years it was fought west of Cape Trafalgar, Spain, between Cádiz and the Strait of Gibraltar. A fleet of 33 ships (18 French and 15 Spanish) under Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve fought a British fleet of 27 ships…

…nearly precipitated war between Great Britain and the United States. On Nov. 8, 1861, Captain Charles Wilkes, commanding the Union frigate San Jacinto, seized from the neutral British ship Trent two Confederate commissioners, James Murray Mason and John Slidell, who were seeking the support of England and France for the…

…serious diplomatic problem—a dispute with Great Britain over the boundary between eastern Venezuela and western British Guiana. This virtually uninhabited wilderness territory, in which gold was discovered in 1877, had been the object of alternating claims and counterclaims between Venezuela and Great Britain for more than half a century. Great…

…addition, by the 1760s the British had made clear their intention to take the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands. Although Spain pressured the British out of temporary possession of the islands, the need for greater military control of the South Atlantic region had become apparent.

Culture

…both the United States and Britain. Although blackface minstrelsy gradually disappeared from the professional theatres and became purely a vehicle for amateurs, its influence endured in later entertainment genres and media, including vaudeville theatre, radio and television programs, and the world-music and motion-picture industries of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Economic affairs

2 million to the British government to fund its war against France, eventually became the world’s most powerful and influential financial institution. It was the first public bank to assume most of the characteristics of modern central banks, including acceptance, by the late 19th century, of an official role…

…a dual monarchy) and Great Britain. The affair arose over the illegal trading activities of an English company in the Norwegian port of Bodø, where Norwegian officials in 1818 seized a large cargo belonging to the company and arrested one of its owners, who later escaped. The Stockholm foreign ministry,…

…Chinese and foreign merchants, especially British, in the South China trading city of Guangzhou (Canton) from the 17th to the 19th century. The major characteristics of the system developed between 1760 and 1842, when all foreign trade coming into China was confined to Canton and the foreign traders entering the…

…a trade language between the British and the Chinese, first in Canton, China, and later in other Chinese trade centres (e.g., Shanghai). Although some scholars speculate that Chinese Pidgin English may be based on an earlier Portuguese pidgin used in Macao from the late 16th century (as evidenced by certain…

… designed by Napoleon to paralyze Great Britain through the destruction of British commerce. The decrees of Berlin (November 21, 1806) and Milan (December 17, 1807) proclaimed a blockade: neutrals and French allies were not to trade with the British.

…by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States. Such thinking was given powerful credence by the fiscal crises and growing economic and political instability experienced in several major industrialized economies. This was most evident in the United Kingdom when, in September 1976, Chancellor of…

…in which Western countries, mostly Great Britain, exported opium grown in India and sold it to China. The British used the profits from the sale of opium to purchase such Chinese luxury goods as porcelain, silk, and tea, which were in great demand in the West.

Britain received $3.75 billion, but only on condition that it make sterling freely convertible. As soon as it did, there was a run on the pound. The entire loan, it was reckoned, would have melted away in two and a half months if Britain had…

…spirits, and silks in 18th-century England, coffee in many European countries, and tobacco almost everywhere) or prohibitions on importation (narcotics) or on exportation (arms and currency).

…speculation mania that ruined many British investors in 1720. The bubble, or hoax, centred on the fortunes of the South Sea Company, founded in 1711 to trade (mainly in slaves) with Spanish America, on the assumption that the War of the Spanish Succession, then drawing to a close, would end…

…on the part of Great Britain, Lesseps was anxious for international participation and offered shares widely. Only the French responded, however, buying 52 percent of the shares of the remainder, 44 percent was taken up by Saʾīd Pasha. The first board of directors included representatives of 14 countries.

Industrial Revolution

…Revolution was largely confined to Britain. Aware of their head start, the British forbade the export of machinery, skilled workers, and manufacturing techniques. The British monopoly could not last forever, especially since some Britons saw profitable industrial opportunities abroad, while continental European businessmen sought to lure British know-how to their…

…revolution took shape, led by Britain, which retained leadership in industrialization well past the middle of the 19th century. In 1840, British steam engines were generating 620,000 horsepower out of a European total of 860,000. Nevertheless, though delayed by the chaos of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, many western…

…world, the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain laid down the economic pattern. It also brought revolutionary changes to society. The share of people employed in agriculture fell from 60 percent to about 25 percent, while the share of those employed in industry rose from less than 20 percent to nearly…

As those names suggest, Britain was the country that experienced the breakthrough to higher levels of production. The description “Industrial Revolution” is misleading if applied to the economy as a whole, but innovations in techniques and organization led to such growth in iron, woolens, and, above all, cotton textiles…

…and John Kaye’s flying shuttle, British inventions set textile production on a dizzy path of growth. Abraham Darby’s process of coke smelting was perhaps the most important single improvement, since it liberated the iron founder from dependence on charcoal. The shortage of timber, a source of anxiety everywhere except in…

International relations

Argentina

…trade pact between Argentina and Great Britain, signed in May 1933, that guaranteed Argentina a fixed share in the British meat market and eliminated tariffs on Argentine cereals. In return, Argentina agreed to restrictions with regard to trade and currency exchange, and it preserved Britain’s commercial interests in the country.…

China

…into alliance with China, and Great Britain joined the Pacific war as its colonial possessions were attacked. This widening of the Sino-Japanese conflict lifted Chinese morale, but its other early effects were harmful. With the Japanese conquest of Hong Kong on December 25, China lost its air link to the…

…for the successful negotiation with Great Britain for the return of Hong Kong and adjacent territories in 1997 and with Portugal for the return of Macau in 1999 both were given special administrative status. Furthermore, China became an advocate of arms control and assumed a more-constructive, less-combative stance in many…

…contact negotiated in 1869 between Great Britain and China. The implementation of the Alcock Convention would have put relations between the two countries on a more equitable basis than they had been in the past. Its rejection by the British government weakened the power of progressive forces in China that…

Netherlands

England reacted to the French occupation of the Netherlands and the flight and overthrow of the stadtholder by a declaration of war and a blockade. Dutch overseas trade and fishing, the country’s most essential occupations, were brought to a near standstill, while most of the…

29, 1709) Great Britain agreed to support the restoration to the United Provinces of the fortresses that it had been granted by the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697), which had been lost to the French in 1701. In return the United Provinces undertook to support the succession of…

…the East India Company and British paramountcy in India began to affect Arabian politics and commerce most directly in the southern coastal region, while the interior was little concerned at first. Coastal Arabia now came fully into the world economy through commerce in coffee, slaves, pearls, and dates and the…

…its historic ties to the United Kingdom and become a republic with a president appointed by a two-thirds majority of Parliament. The referendum failed to carry, and Howard, who had opposed it, was vindicated.

…with Spain, whereupon France, Great Britain, and Prussia formed a rival alliance. But soon after Russia was won over to the Habsburg cause, Prussia changed sides. As the outbreak of a European war seemed imminent, attempts were made at the Congress of Soissons to relax political tensions. Spain abruptly changed…

, British, French, and Soviet). In September 1945 a conference of representatives of all states extended the authority of the Renner government to all parts of Austria.

…enemies being France and Great Britain on the one hand and Prussia and Austria on the other, the reversal refers to Austria’s abandoning Great Britain as an ally in favour of France and Prussia’s abandoning France as an ally in favour of Great Britain. However, it may be argued that…

…the foreign ministers of Great Britain, the U.S.S.R., and the United States, a declaration was published that declared the Anschluss null and void and pledged the Allies to restore Austrian independence it also reminded the Austrians that they had to make an effort to rid themselves of the German yoke.…

Having Great Britain as an ally in his opposition to the Russian advance in southeastern Europe and Bismarck as an “honest broker,” Andrássy managed at the Congress of Berlin in July 1878 to force Russia to retreat from its excessive demands. Bulgaria was broken up again, Serbian…

…Mediterranean Agreements of 1887 joined Great Britain to the powers (Austria-Hungary and Italy) interested in blocking Russia from the Straits and enabled Kálnoky to abandon direct agreements with Russia. The Three Emperors’ League of 1881 was allowed to expire, and Austria-Hungary was thus left without any formal understanding with Russia.…

Several times during the 19th century, the British intervened to suppress war and piracy and to prevent the establishment of Egyptian, Persian, German, or Russian spheres of influence. The first Bahraini-British treaty was signed in 1820, although the country’s British-protected status dates from…

…Asia, but England and the United Provinces forced him after a few years to abandon the project. At the death of Charles VI in 1740, the southern Netherlands passed to his daughter Maria Theresa. The War of the Austrian Succession, however, resulted in a new French occupation in 1744. Austrian…

In 1979 the United Kingdom and Brunei signed a treaty whereby Brunei would become fully independent in 1984. Malaysia and Indonesia both gave assurances that they would recognize Brunei’s status, thereby allaying the sultan’s concern that the state might be incorporated by one of its larger neighbours.

…was intolerable to Austria-Hungary and Britain, and they forced a revision of the Treaty of San Stefano a few months later at the Congress of Berlin.

…to the new regime Great Britain had already done so in February.

Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. The United States, Japan, and a number of Southeast Asian, East Asian, and Pacific countries joined later. The plan came into full operation in 1951. Its name was changed following the end of participation by several newly communist countries of Southeast Asia.

…the United States and the United Kingdom. Development of this base for air and naval support in the late 1970s and ’80s evoked strong opposition from littoral states of the Indian Ocean area, who wished to preserve a nonmilitarized status in the region. Numerous air operations were launched from Diego…

” Only Thatcher of the United Kingdom voiced doubts about merging Britain into a continental superstate. The alternative, however, would seem to leave Britain out in the cold, and so, despite Thatcher’s opposition, plans for European unity went ahead. (In 1990, members of Thatcher’s own party forced her resignation over…

…occupation of Georgia by the British. The Georgians viewed Anton Ivanovich Denikin’s counterrevolutionary White Russians, who enjoyed British support, as more dangerous than the Bolsheviks. They refused to cooperate in the effort to restore the tsarist imperial order, and British forces evacuated Batʿumi in July 1920.

…pushing it too hard, while British Prime Minister Thatcher was openly skeptical. Gorbachev was expected to demand large concessions in return for his approval. Bush presumably had reassured him at Malta that events would not be allowed to get out of control. To underscore their intention to assert their rights…

Moreover, Tirpitz’s plans alienated Britain. Germany already had the most powerful army in the world when it fastened on becoming a great naval power. The British found this threatening and negotiated an alliance with Japan in 1902 and another one with France in 1904. In 1907 Britain settled its…

purposes of occupation, the Americans, British, French, and Soviets divided Germany into four zones. The American, British, and French zones together made up the western two-thirds of Germany, while the Soviet zone comprised the eastern third. Berlin, the former capital, which was surrounded by the Soviet zone, was placed under…

…1815, the establishment of a British protectorate. Although governed like a colony, the Ionian Islands under British rule, in theory, constituted an independent state and an example of free Greek soil, adjacent to but not under the control of the Ottoman Empire.

With the support of a British military mission, the guerrillas engaged in some spectacular acts of resistance, most notably the destruction in November 1942 of the Gorgopotamos viaduct, which carried the railway line from Thessaloníki to Athens, and in April 1944 the kidnapping and removal to Egypt of the German…

Great Britain threatened to declare war, and Teleki, blaming himself for the development of a situation that it had been his life’s aim to avoid, committed suicide on April 2. His successor, László Bárdossy, waited until Croatia had declared its independence (April 10) and then,…

…provoked strong protests from the United Kingdom and West Germany, and the British navy was repeatedly sent to the Icelandic fishing grounds to protect British trawlers. The struggle with Britain, commonly known as the “Cod Wars,” came to an end in 1976 when Britain recognized the 200-mile limit. Although all…

…trade were followed by a British mission from India in 1800, which ultimately opened the way for a drain of Persian bullion to India. This drain was made inevitable by the damage done to Iran’s productive capacity during Āghā Muḥammad Khan’s campaigns to conquer the country.

In 1798 a permanent British diplomatic residency was established there, and the British residents soon acquired a power and prestige second only to that of the governor.

Britain’s influence in Iraq had received a major boost in 1798 when Süleyman Paşa gave permission for a permanent British agent to be appointed in Baghdad. This increasing European penetration and the restoration of direct Ottoman rule, accompanied by military, administrative, and other…

Merging the three provinces of Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra into one political entity and creating a nation out of the diverse religious and ethnic elements inhabiting these lands were accomplished after World War I. Action undertaken by the British…

…Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, would have 100 members in the House of Commons, about one-fifth of the body’s total representation. The union of the churches of England and Ireland as the established denominations of their respective countries was also effected, and the…

By 1818 British hegemony over India was complete, and many other colonies and mandates followed between then and the aftermath of World War I. Not all Muslim territories were colonized, but nearly all experienced some kind of dependency, be it psychological, political, technological, cultural, or economic. Perhaps…

…al-Aʿlā al-Mawdūdī (1903–79), founder in British India in 1941 of the Islamic Assembly, the first Islamic political party. The Islamic Assembly was reconfigured after the partition of Pakistan and India in 1947 in order to support the establishment of an Islamic state in Pakistan.

…he found support in Great Britain. In 1903 the British government offered 6,000 square miles (15,500 square km) of uninhabited Uganda for settlement, but the Zionists held out for Palestine.

Britain, however, opposed the restoration of conservative governments in Modena and Tuscany, and Napoleon III, with his position at home strengthened by the acquisition of Savoy and Nice, reconsidered his position. As a result, Cavour’s policy prevailed, and he returned to office on January 21,…

…retinue, his followers attacked four Britons who rode past the procession without paying proper respect to Hisamitsu. One was killed and two others were wounded. Britain’s demand for a huge indemnity precipitated a major crisis. The shogun agreed to pay £100,000, but the Satsuma han refused to pay anything. The…

In 1808 the English warship Phaeton made an incursion on Nagasaki, and three years later the Russian naval lieutenant V.M. Golovnin landed on Kunashiri Island, where he was arrested by bakufu authorities. When these various incidents were resolved, peace continued for a time in the northern regions the…

The United States and Great Britain did what they could to assist the Chinese Nationalist cause. The Burma Road into southern China permitted the transport of minimal supplies to Nationalist forces. Constant Japanese efforts to close this route led to further tensions between Great Britain and Japan. Anti-Japanese feeling…

…Palestine, was given to Great Britain, and the other, over Syria, went to France. This act effectively separated the area now occupied by Israel and Jordan from that of Syria. In November 1920 Abdullah, Faisal’s brother, arrived in Maʿān (then part of the Hejaz) with 2,000 armed supporters intent on…

…this princely state helped the British safeguard their northern flank in their advance to the Indus and beyond during the latter part of the 19th century. The state thus formed part of a complex political buffer zone interposed by the British between their Indian empire and the empires of Russia…

…on the Transvaal from the British-controlled Cape Colony. The telegram was interpreted in the Transvaal as a sign of possible German support in the future. William’s intention was to demonstrate to the British that they were diplomatically isolated and should become friendly with Germany. This proved to be a diplomatic…

On the other hand, if Britain and the United States pursued their own interests without regard to French needs, then France would be forced to find solutions to its triple crisis through harsher treatment of Germany.

…refuse, their obstinacy might give London an excuse to leave them to their fate. Colonel Beck, however, had seen the fate of Schuschnigg and Hácha, and he would not submit to a Hitlerian kidnapping or to another Munich. When Hitler’s ultimatum expired, the German army staged a border incident and…

…a volunteer Sanūsī force, the British foreign minister pledged in 1942 that the Sanūsīs would not again be subjected to Italian rule. During the discussions, which lasted four years, suggestions included an Italian trusteeship, a United Nations (UN) trusteeship, a Soviet mandate for Tripolitania, and various compromises. Finally, in November…

… (1810–28), allied himself with the British governor of the nearby island of Mauritius, Sir Robert Farquhar. In order to prevent reoccupation of the east coast by the French, Farquhar supported Radama’s annexation of the area by supplying him with weapons and advisers and giving him the title “King of Madagascar.”…

…Portuguese claims—establishing Mozambique’s northern boundary—British claims to the region contradicted those of Portugal, leading to prolonged negotiations. However, the Portuguese crown was heavily in debt to British financiers, and the small country was no match for Britain’s military in 1891 Portugal was forced to accept Britain’s definition of Mozambique’s…

…his reign he was under British pressure to end the slave trade. He told a captain of the Royal Navy that “to put down the slave trade with the Muslims, that is a stone too heavy for me to lift without some strong hand to help me.” By a treaty…

…Al-Sīb was negotiated by the British between the tribal leaders and Sultan Taymūr ibn Fayṣal, who reigned in 1913–32. By its terms, the sultan recognized the autonomy but not the sovereignty of the Omani interior.

…in that stance by neutral Britain and the Netherlands, who sought to guard the commercial privileges that they had secured from the sultan through the Capitulations by preventing any country from gaining control of the entire Ottoman Empire and thereby becoming dominant in Europe. Russia and Austria fought the Ottomans…

Accepting British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s guarantee of March 1939 and turning it into a full-fledged alliance with Britain, Warsaw rejected German demands. On September 1, 1939, Hitler, having secured Soviet cooperation through the German-Soviet (Molotov-Ribbentrop) Nonaggression Pact a week earlier, launched an all-out attack against…

…Germany’s rapid industrial surge, threatened Britain. France ran a massive empire, but its nationalistic yearnings were not fully satisfied and the humiliating loss of Alsace-Lorraine had not been avenged. Russia encountered a new opponent in the Far East in the rise of Japan. The Japanese, fearful of Russian expansion in…

In 1916 Britain signed a treaty with Qatar’s leader that resembled earlier agreements with other gulf states, giving Britain control over foreign policy in return for British protection.

The Ottoman Empire, Iran, and Britain all had an interest in finding allies among the small Arab sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf during the 19th century. A treaty signed in 1868 between Britain and one of those states, Qatar, may have been the occasion for the creation of the distinctive…

…they saw in France and Britain the chief guarantors of the postwar international order.

… (1914–18), he was aided by British subsidies, but he managed by adroit diplomacy to be relatively quiescent, though surrounded by enemies. In 1919, however, he struck his first blow, against Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī of the Hejaz, whose army was annihilated by the Ikhwān. In 1920 Ibn Saud’s son Fayṣal captured…

New Zealand, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and the United States to advise them on economic, social, and health matters affecting the South Pacific island territories they administered. It is the oldest regional organization in the Pacific and is headquartered in Nouméa, New Caledonia. Guam and the Trust Territory of…

To England, a Bourbon king in Spain would disrupt the balance of power in Europe in favour of French hegemony. Louis XIV conceived of Spain under a Bourbon king as a political and commercial appendage of France to be ruled by correspondence from Versailles. He wished…

Thus, the agreement between Great Britain and Germany in May 1885, the first to make use of the term, provided for “a separation and definition of their respective spheres of influence in the territories on the Gulf of Guinea.” This agreement was followed by many of a similar nature, of…

England, at the moment busy in Spain, could offer little help. Sweden thus became politically isolated, with enemies in the east, south, and west. The Swedish army defended Finland poorly, with that defense reaching its nadir when the strong fortress of Sveaborg near Helsingfors was…

For Great Britain, the blockade was an important weapon, and Sweden’s demand to import freely favoured Germany exclusively. As a result, the Allies stopped a large percentage of Sweden’s trade. This, however, not only affected Sweden’s exports to Germany but also from 1916 caused a severe…

After an ultimatum, a British, Ottoman, and Austrian force landed on the Syrian coast the British encouraged a local insurrection, and the Egyptians were forced to withdraw from Syria, which reverted to the sultan’s government.

>United Kingdom were opposed to military action. A motion in the British Parliament to authorize strikes in Syria failed on August 29, and a similar vote in the U.S. Congress was postponed. Meanwhile, diplomacy took centre stage, resulting in an agreement between Russia, Syria, and…

>United Kingdom were opposed to military action. A motion in the British Parliament to authorize strikes in Syria failed on August 29, and a similar vote in the U.S. Congress was postponed on September 10. Meanwhile, diplomacy took centre stage, resulting in an agreement between…

…1909 Siam ceded to Great Britain the four Malay states of Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah, and Perlis, and this brought some moderation of the system of extraterritoriality—which ended only two decades later. In relations with the West, Chulalongkorn even-handedly balanced the colonial powers against one another and consistently sought to have…

When Britain declared war on the Burmese kingdom in 1824, Rama III feared that the British might also attack Siam. He subsequently agreed to sign the Burney Treaty (1826), which set conditions for the conduct of trade between the two countries.

…and the diplomatic visits from British India, which had been started in 1774. Tibet was now closed, and mutual ignorance enshrouded future exchanges with its British neighbours in India.

United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union took the lead in designing the new organization and determining its decision-making structure and functions. Initially, the “Big Three” states and their respective leaders (Roosevelt, Churchill, and Soviet premier Joseph Stalin) were hindered by disagreements on issues that foreshadowed…

British policy toward the American colonies was inevitably affected by the domestic politics of England since the politics of England in the 17th and 18th centuries were never wholly stable, it is not surprising that British colonial policy during those years never developed along clear…

…of pain and resentment against Great Britain and its people—still for many Americans a kind of paternal relationship. And, by freeing them of anxieties on this front, it also freed Americans to look to the West.

…allow belligerents (in reality only Great Britain and France, both on the Allied side) to purchase munitions on a cash-and-carry basis. With the fall of France to Germany in June 1940, Roosevelt, with heavy public support, threw the resources of the United States behind the British. He ordered the War…

…had the upper hand the British finally accepted the inevitable and arranged the transfer of sovereignty to the NLF on November 30, 1967.

Occupation of

Egypt

The British occupation marked the culmination of developments that had been at work since 1798: the de facto separation of Egypt from the Ottoman Empire, the attempt of European powers to influence or control the…

…an end 54 years of British occupation in Egypt it was ratified in December 1936. Nevertheless, Egyptian sovereignty remained circumscribed by the terms of the treaty, which established a 20-year military alliance that allowed Great Britain to impose martial law and censorship in Egypt in the event of international emergency,…

The first colonists (1632) were French, but, with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), Great Britain and France agreed to treat the island as neutral ground and leave it to the Caribs. From that time until 1805, Dominica went back and forth between…

In December 1917 British troops under Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem after the retreat of Ottoman forces. This opened a new era that lasted until 1948, during which Jerusalem again became a capital, this time of a territory administered by the British under a mandate from the League of…

…just prior to independence, the British territory of Nyasaland, renamed Malawi at independence, was granted a coat of arms, which replaced a flag badge of earlier British colonial origin. The new design showed a leopard and a lion with a shield between them. On the shield was portrayed a stylized…

Palestinian Arabs, however, believed that Great Britain had promised them independence in the Ḥusayn-McMahon correspondence, an exchange of letters from July 1915 to March 1916 between Sir Henry McMahon, British high commissioner in Egypt, and Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, then emir of Mecca, in which the British made certain commitments to…

On May 14 the last British high commissioner, General Sir Alan Cunningham, left Palestine. On the same day the State of Israel was declared and within a few hours won de facto recognition from the United States and de jure recognition from the Soviet Union. Early on May 15 units…

jointly by Egypt and Great Britain, with a governor-general appointed by the khedive of Egypt but nominated by the British government. In reality, however, there was no equal partnership between Britain and Egypt in the Sudan, as the British dominated the condominium from the beginning. Their first order of…

…it was transferred to the English crown as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II. The English put great hopes on this new possession, but, though a fine mole (breakwater) was built and a new fortification erected, the expense of maintaining the city against Moroccan…

Policy toward

…1807 they succeeded in persuading Britain to abolish the trade British antislavery ships soon patrolled the western coast of Africa. Ivory became the most important export from west-central Africa, satisfying the growing demand in Europe. The western port of Benguela was the main outlet, and the Ovimbundu and Chokwe, renowned…

England was the only imperial nation in which colonial companies were successful over the long term, in large part because ordinary citizens were eventually granted clear (and thus heritable) title to land. In contrast, other countries generally reserved legal title to overseas real estate to…

The British government’s efforts to relieve the famine were inadequate. Although Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel continued to allow the export of grain from Ireland to Great Britain, he did what he could to provide relief in 1845 and early 1846. He authorized the import…

Ships and shipping history

…Century” was the 17th, and England’s overtaking of France as Europe’s seat of industry also occurred then. The English realized quickly that their merchant ships had to carry enough cannon and other firepower to defend their factories at Bombay and elsewhere and to ward off pirates and privateers on the…

British inventors were active in this same period. Both Rumsey and Fitch ultimately sought to advance their steamboats by going to England, and Robert Fulton spent more than a decade in France and Britain promoting first his submarine and later his steamboat. In 1788 William…

Steamship transportation was dominated by Britain in the latter half of the 19th century. The early efforts there had been subsidized by mail contracts such as that given to Cunard in 1840. Efforts by Americans to start a steamship line across the Atlantic were not notably successful. One exception was…

” In May 1912 the British inquiry began. It was overseen by the British Board of Trade, the same agency that had been derided by U.S. investigators for the insufficient lifeboat requirements. The presiding judge was Sir John Charles Bigham, Lord Mersey. Little new…

Treaties and alliances

…Scotland under the name of Great Britain.

… under the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Garret FitzGerald, the Irish taoiseach (prime minister), on Nov. 15, 1985, at Hillsborough Castle in County Down, N.Ire., that gave the government of Ireland an official consultative role in the affairs of Northern Ireland

…Entente Cordiale, signed by Great Britain and France, had provided, among other things, for British support of French special interests in Morocco. France’s attempt to implement the agreement by presenting the Moroccan sultan with a program of economic and police “reforms” brought the indignant German emperor William II to Tangier…

, by Britain, France, Spain, and the Batavian Republic (the Netherlands), achieving a peace in Europe for 14 months during the Napoleonic Wars. It ignored some questions that divided Britain and France, such as the fate of the Belgian provinces, Savoy, and Switzerland and

…differences between France and Great Britain, which continued to recognize the sultan’s government in Istanbul, and by releasing Turkish nationalist forces from the southeastern front for fighting on the western front against the Greeks.

Australia, Belgium, Britain, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Later other nations acceded to the treaty.

the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the treaty was enacted on June 23, 1961.

…satisfy the interests of Great Britain (by denying Russia the means to extend its naval power and by maintaining the Ottoman Empire as a European power) and to satisfy the interests of Austria-Hungary (by allowing it to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina and thereby increase its influence in the Balkans). In…

…Free State, to which Great Britain, France, and Germany had already agreed in principle.

…the original anti-French coalition, only Britain remained hostile to France after the conclusion of this treaty Prussia had made peace in March 1795 after the effectuation of the Third Partition of Poland in January 1795.

…the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain at Çanak (now Çanakkale, Tur.) that affirmed the principle that no warships of any power should enter the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. The treaty anticipated the London Straits Convention of 1841, by which the other major powers committed themselves to this…

Iran, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. Until March 1959 the organization was known as the Middle East Treaty Organization, included Iraq, and had its headquarters in Baghdad.

…the United States, and the United Kingdom formulated proposals for a world organization that became the basis for the United Nations.

…matters, ended antagonisms between Great Britain and France and paved the way for their diplomatic cooperation against German pressures in the decade preceding World War I (1914–18). The agreement in no sense created an alliance and did not entangle Great Britain with a French commitment to Russia (1894).

United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, the Viet Minh (i.e., the North Vietnamese), and the State of Vietnam (i.e., the South Vietnamese). The 10 documents—none of which were treaties binding the participants—consisted of 3 military agreements, 6 unilateral declarations, and a Final Declaration…

…agreement in Belgium between Great Britain and the United States to end the War of 1812 on the general basis of the status quo antebellum (maintaining the prewar conditions). Because the military positions for each side were so well balanced, neither country could obtain desired concessions. No mention was made…

…been rejected by Austria, Great Britain, and France, accepted Russian military aid early in 1833. In return he concluded, at the village of Hünkâr İskelesi, near Istanbul (Constantinople), an eight-year treaty that proclaimed peace and friendship between the two nations and a commitment to reach a mutual agreement on all…

…of Modena and Tuscany, and British and French observers, the congress proclaimed its hostility to revolutionary regimes, agreed to abolish the Neapolitan constitution, and authorized the Austrian army to restore the absolutist monarchy. The British and French protested the decision, thereby encouraging unsuccessful resistance among the Neapolitans. A similar revolt…

France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy mutually guaranteed peace in western Europe. The treaties were initialed at Locarno, Switz., on October 16 and signed in London on December 1.

Hosted by Great Britain, it included representatives of the United States, France, Italy, and Japan. At the end of three months of meetings, general agreement had been secured on the regulation of submarine warfare and a five-year moratorium on the construction of capital ships. The limitation of aircraft…

…1, 1968, signed by the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, and 59 other states, under which the three major signatories, which possessed nuclear weapons, agreed not to assist other states in obtaining or producing them. The treaty became effective in March 1970 and was to remain so…

…the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom that banned all tests of nuclear weapons except those conducted underground.

…was attributable chiefly to the British prime minister, David Lloyd George, who chose to have his mandate confirmed by a general election before entering into negotiations.

…signed by representatives of Great Britain on one side and the United States, France, and Spain on the other. Preliminary articles (often called the Preliminary Treaty of Paris) were signed at Paris between Britain and the United States on November 30, 1782. On September 3, 1783, three definitive treaties were…

… joined the Triple Alliance of Britain, the Dutch Republic (United Provinces), and France to prevent Spain from altering the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). Philip V of Spain, influenced by his wife, Elizabeth Farnese of Parma, and her adviser Giulio Alberoni, seized control of

…of the Napoleonic Wars, by Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, for the purpose of defeating Napoleon, but conventionally dated from Nov. 20, 1815, when it was officially renewed to prevent recurrence of French aggression and to provide machinery to enforce the peace settlement concluded at the Congress of Vienna. The…

…on April 22, 1834, between Britain, France, and the more liberal claimants to the thrones of Spain and Portugal against the conservative claimants to those thrones. The alliance successfully supported Maria Cristiana, who was acting as regent for Isabella II in Spain and had allied herself with the liberals against…

…diplomatic and trade relations with Britain. The treaty was followed by a short period of close ties between France and Austria.

the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The treaty came into force on February 19, 1955. Pakistan withdrew in 1968, and France suspended financial support in 1975. The organization held its final exercise on February 20, 1976, and formally ended on June 30, 1977.

…its Brazilian colony, and Great Britain, represented by its ambassador, Lord Strangford. The treaty provided for the importation of British manufactures into Brazil and the exportation of Brazilian agricultural produce to Great Britain also, British naval vessels were allowed to be resupplied in Brazilian ports, British Protestants were given freedom…

…System against British trade if Britain rejected Russian mediation in its conflict with France. Russia was given a free hand to conquer Finland from Sweden. Prussia was forced to join the Continental System and close its ports to British trade.

…signed by representatives of Great Britain and Hanover on one side and France and Spain on the other, with Portugal expressly understood to be included. It was signed in Paris on Feb. 10, 1763.

…“Big Four”—David Lloyd George of Britain, Georges Clemenceau of France, Woodrow Wilson of the United States, and Vittorio Orlando of Italy. The first three in particular made the important decisions. None of the defeated nations had any say in shaping the treaty, and even the associated Allied powers played only…

Public opinion in France and Britain wished to impose harsh terms, especially on Germany. French military circles sought not only to recover Alsace and Lorraine and to occupy the Saar but also to detach the Rhineland from Germany. Members of the British Parliament lobbied to increase the reparations Germany was…

Russia, and Great Britain, the four powers that were chiefly instrumental in the overthrow of Napoleon, had concluded a special alliance among themselves with the Treaty of Chaumont, on March 9, 1814, a month before Napoleon’s first abdication. The subsequent treaties of peace with France, signed on May…

World War I

…States and enforced by the British navy, sufficed to spare Latin America new European adventures, the only major exception—Napoleon III’s gambit in Mexico—occurring while the United States was preoccupied with civil war. When the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian tsar and Canada acquired dominion status, both in 1867,

…on November 4 (excepting a British reservation about “freedom of the seas,” a French one about “removal of economic barriers and equality of trade conditions,” and a clause enjoining Germany to repair war damage). House and Wilson jubilantly concluded that the foundations of a liberal peace were in place: substitution…

Thereupon, Great Britain, which had no concern with Serbia and no express obligation to fight either for Russia or for France but was expressly committed to defend Belgium, on August 4 declared war against Germany.

In addition, the British were about to bomb Berlin on a scale hitherto unattempted in air warfare.

…blockaded in port by the Royal Navy, mounted a night bombing offensive—the first aerial strategic bombardment campaign in history.

Difficulties arose first with the British government, which at once used its vast fleet to establish a long-range blockade of Germany. The U.S. State Department sent several strong protests to London, particularly against British suppression of American exports of food and raw materials to Germany. Anglo-American blockade controversies were not…

The United States, however, protested on the ground that international law did not permit diversion of the vessel unless search at sea showed probable cause for capture. As a result, the British adopted the navicert system in 1916. The navicert issued by the belligerent’s representative in…

…World War I between Great Britain and France, with the assent of imperial Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq,

World War II

The British and French parliaments, confident that their governments had turned every stone in search of peace, declared war on Germany on September 3.

…was the refusal to order British and American armies to race the Soviets to Berlin. On March 7, 1945, General George Patton’s tanks broke through weak German lines and the 1st Army infantry captured intact a Rhine bridge at Remagen. Churchill pleaded for a rapid thrust in order to secure…

In response, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3, at 11:00 am and at 5:00 pm , respectively. World War II had begun.

, British, and French delegations. At midnight on May 8, 1945, the war in Europe was officially over.

Strategic planning

, the British, and to some extent the Soviet—defeated those that were less relentlessly rational. It was, ironically perhaps, the United States and Britain that adopted large-scale mobilization of women in war production and auxiliary military service, while Germany and Japan flinched at such an upheaval in…

At Bletchley Park, a British government establishment located north of London, a small group of code breakers developed techniques for decrypting intercepted messages that had been coded by German operators using electrical cipher machines, the most important of which were the Enigma and, later in the war, the sophisticated…

…on Germany’s sole remaining enemy: Great Britain, which was protected from the formidable German Army by the waters of the English Channel. On July 16, 1940, Hitler issued a directive ordering the preparation and, if necessary, the execution of a plan for the invasion of Great Britain. But an amphibious…

Britain lost French naval support just when its own sea power had been hurt by losses incurred in the retreat from Norway and the evacuation from Dunkirk and stretched by Italian belligerency. Axis air power imperiled and eventually barred the direct route through the Mediterranean…

Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and their respective military chiefs and aides, who planned future global military strategy for the western Allies. Though invited, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin declined to attend.

…1941 the Soviet Union and Britain jointly granted the Beneš government in exile full recognition U.S. recognition arrived only in October 1942. Along with seeking recognition for his government, Beneš devoted his efforts to getting the Munich agreement annulled.

Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom, each of which claims the island, all have operated stations there. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes disturbed the island in 1967 and thereafter.

… seaport of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) to England. Naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats were used in the evacuation, which began on May 26. When it ended on June 4, about 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops had been saved.

The British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley, had some 50,000 members. In Belgium the Rexist Party, led by Léon Degrelle, won about 10 percent of the seats in the parliament in 1936. Russian fascist organizations were founded by exiles in

Britain was a possible ally, provided that it would abandon its traditional policy of maintaining the balance of power in Europe and limit itself to its interests overseas. In the west France remained the natural enemy of Germany and must, therefore, be cowed or subdued…

The British recognized the need for such ships after the debacle at Dunkirk in 1940, when they left behind tons of badly needed equipment because no vessels were available with the capability to bridge the gap between the sea and the land. Following the evacuation, Prime…

…settlement reached by Germany, Great Britain, France, and Italy that permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland, in western Czechoslovakia.

…1935 alliance that had pledged Britain, France, and Italy to jointly oppose German rearmament and expansion. In fact, just the opposite happened: fascist Italy turned its back to the democratic West and took to the road of alliance with Nazi Germany. On October 25, 1936, the Rome-Berlin Axis was proclaimed,…

The British undertook that offensive with more than twice as many tanks as their opponent. In addition, some one-third of Rommel’s tanks were poorly armed Italian ones. Rommel handled his tanks more skillfully than the British, however, and he made clever and effective use of concealed…

The Anglo-U.S. invasion of northwest Africa had its origins at the Arcadia Conference in Washington, D.C., in the winter of 1941–42 and at meetings in London the following July. Under pressure from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to open a second front, the Western Allies debated how…

…the three major Allied powers—Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States—moved back Poland’s eastern boundary with the Soviet Union to the west, placing it approximately along the Curzon Line. Because this settlement involved a substantial loss of territory for Poland, the Allies also agreed to compensate the reestablished…

…discipline, however, in 1937 in Britain as a result of the initiative of A.P. Rowe, superintendent of the Bawdsey Research Station, who led British scientists to teach military leaders how to use the then newly developed radar to locate enemy aircraft. By 1939 the Royal Air Force formally commenced efforts…

…hypothetical enemies and China and Great Britain were included. Until 1941, however, the basic assumption was that Japan would be fighting only a single enemy, not two or three enemies simultaneously. In the event of war with the United States, the plan called for the Japanese Navy to destroy the…

Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (or Clement Attlee, who became prime minister during the conference), and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.

and British strategists about the coordination of the Italian campaign with Operation Overlord (the planned Normandy Invasion) were not resolved and had to be settled at meetings in Moscow, Tehrān, and Cairo later that year. Roosevelt and Churchill met again at Quebec the following year—the Octagon…

Unable to secure help from Britain and France, the exhausted Finns made peace (the Treaty of Moscow) on Soviet terms on March 12, 1940, agreeing to the cession of western Karelia and to the construction of a Soviet naval base on the Hanko Peninsula.

Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Tehrān during World War II. The chief discussion centred on the opening of a “second front” in western Europe. Stalin agreed to an eastern offensive to coincide with the forthcoming Western Front, and he…

The British captured the port from the Italians in January 1941, taking 25,000 prisoners in the process. The British were then forced by the Germans to withdraw to the east, leaving Tobruk an isolated British garrison that was periodically besieged by the Germans (March 1941–June 1942)…

” Britain and the United States supported a Polish government-in-exile in London, while the Soviets supported a communist-dominated Polish committee of national liberation in Lublin. Neither the Western Allies nor the Soviet Union would change its allegiance, so they could only agree that the Lublin


United States and France conclude the Louisiana Purchase

On April 30, 1803, representatives of the United States and Napoleonic France conclude negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, a massive land sale that doubles the size of the young American republic. What was known as Louisiana Territory comprised most of modern-day United States between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, with the exceptions of Texas, parts of New Mexico, and other pockets of land already controlled by the United States. A formal treaty for the Louisiana Purchase, antedated to April 30, was signed two days later.

Beginning in the 17th century, France explored the Mississippi River valley and established scattered settlements in the region. By the middle of the 18th century, France controlled more of the modern United States than any other European power: from New Orleans northeast to the Great Lakes and northwest to modern-day Montana. In 1762, during the French and Indian War, France ceded its America territory west of the Mississippi River to Spain and in 1763 transferred nearly all of its remaining North American holdings to Great Britain. Spain, no longer a dominant European power, did little to develop Louisiana Territory during the next three decades. In 1796, Spain allied itself with France, leading Britain to use its powerful navy to cut off Spain from America.


Contents

Revolution and Confederation Edit

From the establishment of the United States after regional, not global, focus, but with the long-term ideal of creating an "Empire of Liberty."

The military and financial alliance with France in 1778, which brought in Spain and the Netherlands to fight the British, turned the American Revolutionary War into a world war in which the British naval and military supremacy was neutralized. The diplomats—especially Franklin, Adams and Jefferson—secured recognition of American independence and large loans to the new national government. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 was highly favorable to the United States which now could expand westward to the Mississippi River.

Historian Samuel Flagg Bemis was a leading expert on diplomatic history. According to Jerold Combs:

Bemis's The Diplomacy of the American Revolution, published originally in 1935, is still the standard work on the subject. It emphasized the danger of American entanglement in European quarrels. European diplomacy in the eighteenth century was "rotten, corrupt, and perfidious," warned Bemis. America's diplomatic success had resulted from staying clear of European politics while reaping advantage from European strife. Franklin, Jay, and Adams had done just this during the Revolution and as a consequence had won the greatest victory in the annals of American diplomacy. Bemis conceded that the French alliance had been necessary to win the war. Yet he regretted that it had brought involvement with "the baleful realm of European diplomacy." Vergennes [the French foreign minister] was quite willing to lead America to an "abattoir" [slaughterhouse] where portions of the United States might be dismembered if this would advance the interests of France. [1]

American foreign affairs from independence in 1776 to the new Constitution in 1789 were handled under the Articles of Confederation directly by Congress until the new government created a department of foreign affairs and the office of secretary for foreign affairs on January 10, 1781. [2]

Early National Era: 1789–1801 Edit

The cabinet-level Department of Foreign Affairs was created in 1789 by the First Congress. It was soon renamed the Department of State and changed the title of secretary for foreign affairs to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson returned from France to take the position.

When the French Revolution led to war in 1793 between Britain (America's leading trading partner), and France (the old ally, with a treaty still in effect), Washington and his cabinet decided on a policy of neutrality, as enshrined in the Neutrality Act of 1794. In 1795 Washington supported the Jay Treaty, designed by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton to avoid war with Britain and encourage commerce. The Jeffersonians led by Jefferson and James Madison vehemently opposed the treaty, but Washington's support proved decisive, and the U.S. and Britain were on friendly terms for a decade. However the foreign policy dispute polarized parties at home, leading to the First Party System. [3] [4]

In a "Farewell Message" that became a foundation of policy President George Washington in 1796 counseled against foreign entanglements: [5]

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence therefore it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations & collisions of her friendships, or enmities. Our detached & distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course.

By 1797 the French were openly seizing American ships, leading to an undeclared war known as the Quasi-War of 1798–99. President John Adams tried diplomacy it failed. In 1798, the French demanded American diplomats pay huge bribes in order to see the French Foreign Minister Talleyrand, which the Americans rejected. The Republicans, suspicious of Adams, demanded the documentation, which Adams released using X, Y and Z as codes for the names of the French diplomats. The XYZ Affair ignited a wave of nationalist sentiment. Overwhelmed, the U.S. Congress approved Adams' plan to organize the navy. American public opinion swung against France, encouraging the Federalists to attempt to suppress the Republican Party. Adams reluctantly signed the Alien and Sedition Acts designed to weaken the Republicans. However Adams broke with the Hamiltonian wing of his Federalist Party and made peace with France in 1800. The Federalist party now split, and was unable to reelect Adams in 1800 it never regained power. However, the Republicans hated Napoleon, and no longer supported France in its war with Britain. [6]

Thomas Jefferson envisioned America as the force behind a great "Empire of Liberty", [7] that would promote republicanism and counter the imperialism of the British Empire. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803, made by Jefferson in a $15 million deal with Napoleon Bonaparte, doubled the size of the growing nation by adding a huge swath of territory west of the Mississippi River, opening up millions of new farm sites for the yeomen farmers idealized by Jeffersonian Democracy. [8]

President Jefferson in the Embargo Act of 1807 forbid trade with both France and Britain, but his policy, largely seen as partisan in favor of agrarian interests instead of commercial interests, was highly unpopular in New England and ineffective in stopping bad treatment from British warships.

War of 1812 Edit

The Jeffersonians deeply distrusted the British in the first place, but the British shut down most American trade with France, and impressed into the Royal Navy about 6000 sailors on American ships who claimed American citizenship. American honor was humiliated by the British attack on the American warship Chesapeake in 1807. [9]

In the west, Indians supported and armed by Britain used ambushes and raids to kill settlers, thus delaying the expansion of frontier settlements into the Midwest (Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, especially). [10]

In 1812 diplomacy had broken down and the U.S. declared war on Britain. The War of 1812 was marked by very bad planning and military fiascoes on both sides. It ended with the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. Militarily it was a stalemate as both sides failed in their invasion attempts, but the Royal Navy blockaded the coastline and shut down American trade (except for smuggling supplies into British Canada). However the British achieved their main goal of defeating Napoleon, while the American armies defeated the Indian alliance that the British had supported, ending the British war goal of establishing a pro-British Indian boundary nation in the Midwest and giving them territorial advantage over the U.S. The British stopped impressing American sailors and trade with France (now an ally of Britain) resumed, so the causes of the war had been cleared away. Especially after the great American victory at the Battle of New Orleans, Americans felt proud and triumphant for having won their "second war of independence." [11] Successful generals Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison became political heroes as well. After 1815 tensions de-escalated along the U.S.-Canada border, with peaceful trade and generally good relations. Boundary disputes were settled amicably. Both the U.S. and Canada saw a surge in nationalism and national pride after 1815, with the U.S. moving toward greater democracy and the British postponing democracy in Canada.

After 1780 The United States opened relations with North African countries, and with the Ottoman Empire. [12]

Latin America Edit

In response to the new independence of Spanish colonies in Latin America in 1821, the United States, in cooperation with Great Britain, established the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. [13] This policy declared opposition to European interference in the Americas and left a lasting imprint on the psyche of later American leaders. The failure of Spain to colonize or police Florida led to its purchase by the U.S. in 1821. John Quincy Adams was Secretary of State under President Monroe [14] . [15]

Mexican–American War Edit

In 1846 after an intense political debate in which the expansionist Democrats prevailed over the Whigs, the U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas. Mexico never recognized that Texas had achieved independence and promised war should the U.S. annex it. President James K. Polk peacefully resolved a border dispute with Britain regarding Oregon, then sent U.S. Army patrols into the disputed area of Texas. That triggered the Mexican–American War, which the Americans won easily. As a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 the U.S. acquired territory that included California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and the Hispanic residents there were given full U.S. citizenship. [16]

Nicaraguan canal Edit

The British wanted a stable Mexico to block American expansion to the Southwest, but an unstable Mexico attacked Texas and wanted revenge for its defeat. The result was a vast American expansion. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 brought a heavy demand for passage to the gold fields, with the main routes crossing Panama to avoid a very long slow sailing voyage around all of South America. A railroad was built that carried 600,000 despite the dangerous environment in Panama. A canal in Nicaragua was a much more healthier and attractive possibility, and American businessman Cornelius Vanderbilt gained the necessary permissions, along with a U.S. treaty with Nicaragua. Britain had long dominated Central America, but American influence was growing, and the small countries look to the United States for protection against British imperialism. However the British were determined to block an American canal, and seized key locations on the Miskito coast on the Atlantic that blocked it. The Whigs were in charge in Washington and unlike the bellicose Democrats wanted a business-like peaceful solution. The Whigs took a lesson from the British experience monopolizing the chokepoint of Gibraltar, which produced no end of conflicts, wars, and military and naval expenses for the British. The United States decided that a canal should be open and neutral to all the world's traffic, and not be militarized. Tensions escalated locally, with small-scale physical confrontations in the field. [17]

In the Clayton–Bulwer Treaty of 1850 Washington and London found a diplomatic solution. To avert an escalating clash it focused on a Nicaragua Canal that would connect the Pacific and the Atlantic. The three main treaty provisions stated that neither nation would build such a canal without the consent and cooperation of the other neither would fortify or found new colonies in the region if and when a canal was built, both powers would guarantee that it would be available on a neutral basis for all shipping. However, disagreements arose and no Nicaragua canal was ever started, but the treaty remained in effect until 1901. By 1857–59, London dropped its opposition to American territorial expansion. [18]

The opening of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 made travel to California fast, cheap and safe. Americans lost interest in canals and focused their attention on building long-distance railways. The British, meanwhile, turned their attention to building the Suez Canal through Egypt. London maintained a veto on American canal building in Nicaragua. In 1890s, the French made a major effort to build a canal through Panama, but it self-destructed through mismanagement, severe corruption, and especially the deadly disease environment. By the late 1890s Britain saw the need for much improved relations with the United States, and agreed to allow the U.S. to build a canal through either Nicaragua or Panama. The choice was Panama. The Hay–Pauncefote Treaty of 1901 replaced the Clayton–Bulwer Treaty, and adopted the rule of neutralization for the Panama Canal which the U.S. built it opened in 1914. [19] [20]

President Buchanan, 1857-1861 Edit

Buchanan had a great deal of experience in foreign policy and entered the White House with an ambitious foreign policy, but he and Secretary of State Lewis Cass had very little success. The primary obstacle was opposition from Congress. His ambitions centered around establishing American hegemony over Central America at the expense of Great Britain. [21] He hoped to re-negotiate the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, which he viewed as a mistake that limited U.S. influence in the region. He also sought to establish American protectorates over the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora, In part as a destination for Mormons. [22]

Aware of the decrepit state of the Spanish Empire, he hoped to finally achieve his long-term goal of acquiring Cuba, where slavery still flourished. After long negotiations with the British, he convinced them to agree to cede the Bay Islands to Honduras and the Mosquito Coast to Nicaragua. However, Buchanan's ambitions in Cuba and Mexico were blocked in the House of Representatives where the anti-slavery forces strenuously opposed any move to acquire new slave territory. Buchanan was assisted by his ally Senator John Slidell (D.-Louisiana). But Senator Stephen Douglas, a bitter enemy of Buchanan inside the Democratic Party, worked hard to frustrate Buchanan's foreign-policy. [23] [24]

Buchanan tried to purchase Alaska from Russia, possibly as a colony for Mormon settlers, but the U.S. and Russia were unable to agree upon a price.

In China, despite not taking direct part in the Second Opium War, the Buchanan administration won trade concessions. The president relied on William Bradford Reed (1806–1876) his Minister to China in 1857–58. A former Whig, Reed had persuaded many old-line Whigs to support Buchanan in the 1856 campaign. The Treaty of Tientsin (1858) granted American diplomats the right to reside in Peking, reduced tariff levels for American goods, and guaranteed the free exercise of religion by foreigners in China. Reed developed some of the roots of the Open Door Policy that came to fruition 40 years later. [25] [26]

In 1858, Buchanan was angered by "A most unprovoked, unwarrantable, and dastardly attack" and ordered the Paraguay expedition. Its successful mission was to punish Paraguay for firing on the USS Water Witch which was on a scientific expedition. Paraguay apologized and paid an indemnity. [27]

American Civil War Edit

Every nation was officially neutral throughout the American Civil War, and none recognized the Confederacy. That marked a major diplomatic achievement for Secretary Seward and the Lincoln Administration. France, under Napoleon III, had invaded Mexico and installed a puppet regime it hoped to negate American influence. France therefore encouraged Britain in a policy of mediation suggesting that both would recognize the Confederacy. [28] Lincoln repeatedly warned that meant war. The British textile industry depended on cotton from the South, but it had stocks to keep the mills operating for a year and in any case the industrialists and workers carried little weight in British politics. Knowing a war would cut off vital shipments of American food, wreak havoc on the British merchant fleet, and cause the immediate loss of Canada, Britain, with its powerful Royal Navy, refused to go along with French schemes. [29]

Lincoln's foreign policy was deficient in 1861 in terms of appealing to European public opinion. Diplomats had to explain that United States was not committed to the ending of slavery, but instead they repeated legalistic arguments about the unconstitutionality of secession. Confederate spokesman, on the other hand, were much more successful by ignoring slavery and instead focusing on their struggle for liberty, their commitment to free trade, and the essential role of cotton in the European economy. In addition, the European aristocracy (the dominant factor in every major country) was "absolutely gleeful in pronouncing the American debacle as proof that the entire experiment in popular government had failed. European government leaders welcomed the fragmentation of the ascendant American Republic." [30]

Elite opinion in Britain tended to favor the Confederacy, while public opinion tended to favor the United States. Large scale trade continued in both directions with the United States, with the Americans shipping grain to Britain while Britain sent manufactured items and munitions. Immigration continued into the United States. British trade with the Confederacy was limited, with a trickle of cotton going to Britain and some munitions slipped in by numerous small blockade runners. The Confederate strategy for securing independence was largely based on the hope of military intervention by Britain and France, but Confederate diplomacy proved inept. With the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, it became a war against slavery that most British supported. [31]

A serious diplomatic dispute with the United States erupted over the "Trent Affair" in late 1861. Public opinion in the Union called for war against Britain, but Lincoln gave in and sent back the diplomats his Navy had illegally seized. [32]

British financiers built and operated most of the blockade runners, spending hundreds of millions of pounds on them but that was legal and not the cause of serious tension. They were staffed by sailors and officers on leave from the Royal Navy. When the U.S. Navy captured one of the fast blockade runners, it sold the ship and cargo as prize money for the American sailors, then released the crew.

A long-term issue was the British shipyard (John Laird and Sons) building two warships for the Confederacy, including the CSS Alabama, over vehement protests from the United States. The controversy was resolved after the Civil War in the form of the Alabama Claims, in which the United States finally was given $15.5 million in arbitration by an international tribunal for damages caused by British-built warships. [33]

In the end, these instances of British involvement neither shifted the outcome of the war nor provoked either side into war. The U.S. diplomatic mission headed by Minister Charles Francis Adams, Sr. proved much more successful than the Confederate missions, which were never officially recognized. [34]

Historian Don Doyle has argued that the Union victory had a major impact on the course of world history. [35] The Union victory energized popular democratic forces. A Confederate victory, on the other hand, would have meant a new birth of slavery, not freedom. Historian Fergus Bordewich, following Doyle, argues that:

The North's victory decisively proved the durability of democratic government. Confederate independence, on the other hand, would have established An American model for reactionary politics and race-based repression that would likely have cast an international shadow into the twentieth century and perhaps beyond." [36]

Tension with Canada Edit

Relations with Britain (and Canada) were tense Canada was negligent in allowing Confederates to raid Vermont. Confederation came in 1867, in part as a way to meet the American challenge without depending on British armed forces. [37]

Washington looked the other way when Irish activists known as Fenians tried and failed badly in an invasion of Canada in 1871. The Fenians movement collapsed from its own incompetence. [38] The arbitration of the Alabama Claims in 1872 provided a satisfactory reconciliation The British paid the United States $15.5 million for the economic damage caused by Confederate warships purchased from it. [39] Congress did pay Russia for the Alaska Purchase in 1867, but otherwise rejected proposals for any major expansions, such as the proposal by President Ulysses Grant to acquire Santo Domingo. [40]

Canada could never be defended so the British decided to cut their losses and eliminate the risk of a conflict with the U.S. The first ministry of William Gladstone withdrew from all its historic military and political responsibilities in North America. It brought home its troops (keeping Halifax as an Atlantic naval base), and turned responsibility over to the locals. That made it wise to unify the separate Canadian colonies into a self-governing confederation named the Dominion of Canada. [41]

James G. Blaine Edit

James G. Blaine, a leading Republican (and its losing candidate for president in 1884) was a highly innovative Secretary of State in the 1880s. By 1881, Blaine had completely abandoned his high-tariff Protectionism and used his position as Secretary of State to promote freer trade, especially within the Western Hemisphere. [42] His reasons were twofold: firstly, Blaine's wariness of British interference in the Americas was undiminished, and he saw increased trade with Latin America as the best way to keep Britain from dominating the region. Secondly, he believed that by encouraging exports, he could increase American prosperity. President Garfield agreed with his Secretary of State's vision and Blaine called for a Pan-American conference in 1882 to mediate disputes among the Latin American nations and to serve as a forum for talks on increasing trade. At the same time, Blaine hoped to negotiate a peace in the War of the Pacific then being fought by Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. Blaine sought to expand American influence in other areas, calling for renegotiation of the Clayton–Bulwer Treaty to allow the United States to construct a canal through Panama without British involvement, as well as attempting to reduce British involvement in the strategically located Kingdom of Hawaii. [43] His plans for the United States' involvement in the world stretched even beyond the Western Hemisphere, as he sought commercial treaties with Korea and Madagascar. By 1882, however, a new Secretary was reversing Blaine's Latin American initiatives. [44]

Serving again as Secretary of State under Benjamin Harrison, Blaine worked for closer ties with the Kingdom of Hawaii, and sponsored a program to bring together all the independent nations of the Western Hemisphere in what became the Pan-American Union. [45]

Before 1892 senior diplomats from the United States to other countries, and from them to the U.S., were called "ministers." In 1892 four major European countries (Britain, France, Germany, and Italy) raised the title of their chief diplomat to the US to "ambassador" the US reciprocated in 1893. [46]

Hawaii Edit

While European powers, and Japan, engaged in an intense scramble for colonial possessions in Africa and Asia, the United States stood aloof. This began to change in 1893. In the early 1880s, the United States had only a small army stationed at scattered Western forts, and an old fashioned wooden navy. By 1890 the U.S. began investment in new naval technology including steam-powered battleships with powerful armaments and steel decking. Naval planners led by Alfred Thayer Mahan used the success of the British Royal Navy to explore the opportunity for American naval power. [47]

In 1893 the business community in Kingdom of Hawaii overthrew the Queen and sought annexation by President Harrison, who forwarded the proposal to the Senate for approval. But the newly elected President Cleveland withdrew the proposed annexation Hawaii formed an independent Republic of Hawaii. Unexpectedly foreign-policy became a central concern of American politics. Historian Henry Graff says that at first, "Public opinion at home seemed to indicate acquiescence. Unmistakably, the sentiment at home was maturing with immense force for the United States to join the great powers of the world in a quest for overseas colonies." [48]

Cleveland, on taking office in March 1893, rescinded the annexation proposal. His biographer Alyn Brodsky argues he was deeply adverse to an immoral action against the little kingdom :

Just as he stood up for the Samoan Islands against Germany because he opposed the conquest of a lesser state by a greater one, so did he stand up for the Hawaiian Islands against his own nation. He could have let the annexation of Hawaii move inexorably to its inevitable culmination. But he opted for confrontation, which he hated, as it was to him the only way a weak and defenseless people might retain their independence. It was not the idea of annexation that Grover Cleveland opposed, but the idea of annexation as a pretext for illicit territorial acquisition. [49]

Cleveland had to mobilize support from Southern Democrats to fight the treaty. He sent former Georgia Congressman James H. Blount as a special representative to Hawaii to investigate and provide a solution. Blount was well known for his opposition to imperialism. Blount was also a leader in the white supremacy movement that was ending the right to vote by southern Blacks.. Some observers speculated he would support annexation on grounds of the inability of the Asiatics to govern themselves. Instead, Blount opposed imperialism, and called for the US military to restore of Queen Liliʻuokalani. He argued that the Hawaii natives should be allowed to continue their "Asiatic ways." [50] Cleveland wanted to restore the Queen, but when she promised to execute the governing leaders in Hawaii he drew back and the Republic of Hawaii was recognized by the powers. Japan was interested in annexing it, [51] [52]

Foreign policy suddenly became a major issue in national affairs after 1895. [53] International issues such as war, imperialism, and the national role in world affairs played a role in the 1900 presidential election. [54]

Expansionists triumphant Edit

A vigorous nationwide anti-expansionist movement, organized as the American Anti-Imperialist League, emerged that listened to Cleveland and Carl Schurz, as well as Democratic leader William Jennings Bryan, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, author Mark Twain and sociologist William Graham Sumner, and many prominent intellectuals and politicians who came of age in the Civil War. [55] The anti-imperialists opposed expansion, believing that imperialism violated the fundamental principle that just republican government must derive from "consent of the governed." The League argued that such activity would necessitate the abandonment of American ideals of self-government and non-intervention—ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's Farewell Address and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. [56]

Despite the efforts of the Cleveland and others, Secretary of State John Hay, naval strategist Alfred T. Mahan, Republican congressman Henry Cabot Lodge, Secretary of War Elihu Root, and young politician Theodore Roosevelt rallied expansionists. They had vigorous support from newspaper publishers William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, whipping up popular excitement. Mahan and Roosevelt designed a global strategy calling for a competitive modern navy, Pacific bases, an isthmian canal through Nicaragua or Panama, and, above all, an assertive role for America as the largest industrial power. [57] President McKinley's position was that Hawaii could never survive on its own. It would quickly be gobbled up by Japan—already a fourth of the islands' population was Japanese. Japan would then dominate the Pacific and undermine American hopes for large-scale trade with Asia. [58] While the Democrats could block a treaty in the Senate by denying it a two thirds majority, McKinley annexed Hawaii through a joint resolution, which required only a majority vote in each house. Hawaii became a territory in 1898 with full U.S. citizenship for its residents. It became the 50th state in 1959. [59]

United States, with backing from Great Britain, in 1900 announced the Open Door Policy so that all nations could gain access to the China market on equal, nonviolent terms. [60]

Foreign-policy expertise Edit

Foreign-policy expertise in America in the 1890s was in limited supply. The State Department had a cadre of diplomats who rotated around, but the most senior positions were political patronage appointments. The holders sometimes acquired a limited expertise, but the overall pool was shallow. At the level of presidential candidate and secretary of state, the entire half-century after 1850 showed minimal expertise or interest, with the exception of William Seward in the 1860s, and James G. Blaine in the 1880s. After 1900, experience deepened in the State Department, and at the very top level, Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Hoover and their secretaries of state comprised a remarkable group with deep knowledge of international affairs. American elections rarely featured serious discussion of foreign-policy, with a few exceptions such as 1910, 1916, 1920 and 1940. [61]

Anytime a crisis erupted, the major newspapers and magazines commented at length on what Washington should do. The media relied primarily on a small number of foreign-policy experts based in New York City and Boston. Newspapers elsewhere copied their reports and editorials. Sometimes the regional media had a local cadre of experts who could comment on Europe, but they rarely had anyone who knew much about Latin America or Asia. Conceptually, the media experts relied on American traditions – what would Washington or Jefferson or Lincoln have done in this crisis?-- And what impact it might have on current business conditions. Social Darwinist ideas were broad, but they seldom shaped foreign-policy views. The psychic crisis that some historians discovered in the 1890s had very little impact. Travel in Europe, and close reading of British media were the chief sources for media experts. [62] Religious magazines had a cadre of returned missionaries who were helpful, and ethnic groups, especially the Irish and the Germans and the Jews had their own national experts whose views appeared in their own periodicals. [63]

Cuba and Spain Edit

In the mid 1890s, American public opinion denounced the Spanish repression of the Cuban independence movement as brutal and unacceptable. The U.S. increased pressure and was dissatisfied with Spanish responses. When the American battleship the USS Maine exploded for undetermined reasons in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, on 15 February 1898, the issue became overwhelming and McKinley could not resist the demands for immediate action. Most Democrats and many Republicans demanded war to liberate Cuba. Almost simultaneously the two countries declared war. (Every other country was neutral.) The U.S. easily won the one-sided four-month-long Spanish–American War from April through July. In the Treaty of Paris, the U.S. took over the last remnants of the Spanish Empire, notably Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. It marked America's transition from a regional to a global power. Cuba was given independence under American supervision. [64] However the permanent status of the Philippines became a heated political issue. Democrats, led by William Jennings Bryan, had strongly supported the war but now they strongly opposed annexation. [65] McKinley was reelected and annexation was decided. [66]

The U.S. Navy emerged as a major naval power thanks to modernization programs begun in the 1880s and adopted the sea power theories of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan. The Army remained small but was reorganized in the Roosevelt Administration along modern lines and no longer focused on scattered forts in the West. The Philippine–American War was a short operation to suppress insurgents and ensure U.S. control of the islands by 1907, however, interest in the Philippines as an entry to Asia faded in favor of the Panama Canal, and American foreign policy centered on the Caribbean. The 1904 Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which proclaimed a right for the United States to intervene to stabilize weak states in the Americas, further weakened European influence in Latin America and further established U.S. regional hegemony. [67]

The outbreak of the Mexican Revolution in 1910 ended a half century of peaceful borders and brought escalating tensions, as revolutionaries threatened American business interests and hundreds of thousands of refugees fled north. President Woodrow Wilson tried using military intervention to stabilize Mexico but that failed. After Mexico in 1917 rejected Germany's invitation in the Zimmermann Telegram to join in war against the U.S., relations stabilized and there were no more interventions in Mexico. Military interventions did occur in other small countries like Nicaragua, but were ended by the Good Neighbor policy announced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, which allowed for American recognition of and friendship with dictatorships. [68]

From neutrality to war to end all wars: 1914–1917 Edit

American foreign policy was largely determined by President Woodrow Wilson, who had shown little interest in foreign affairs before entering the White House in 1913. His chief advisor was "Colonel" Edward House, who was sent on many top-level missions. Wilson's foreign policy was based on an idealistic approach to liberal internationalism that sharply contrasted with the realist conservative nationalism of Taft, Roosevelt, and William McKinley. [69] Since 1900, the consensus of Democrats had, according to Arthur Link:

consistently condemned militarism, imperialism, and interventionism in foreign policy. They instead advocated world involvement along liberal-internationalist lines. Wilson's appointment of William Jennings Bryan as Secretary of State indicated a new departure, for Bryan had long been the leading opponent of imperialism and militarism and a pioneer in the world peace movement. [70]

The United States intervened militarily in many Latin American nations to stabilize the governments, impose democracy, and protect commerce. In the case of Mexico it was a response to attacks on Americans. Wilson landed U.S. troops in Mexico in 1914 in Haiti in 1915 in the Dominican Republic in 1916 in Mexico several additional times in Cuba in 1917 and in Panama in 1918. Also, for most of the Wilson administration, the U.S. military occupied Nicaragua, installing an honest president. [71]

With the outbreak of war in 1914, the United States declared neutrality and worked to broker a peace. It insisted on its neutral rights, which included allowing private corporations and banks to sell or loan money to either side. With the British blockade, there were almost no sales or loans to Germany, only to the Allies. The widely publicized atrocities in Germany shocked American public opinion. Neutrality was supported by Irish-Americans, who hated Britain, by German Americans who wanted to remain neutral, and by women and the churches. It was supported by the more educated upscale WASP element, led by Theodore Roosevelt. Wilson insisted on neutrality, denouncing both British and German violations, especially those German violations in which American civilians were killed. The German U-boat torpedoed the RMS Lusitania in 1915. It sank in 20 minutes, killing 128 American civilians and over 1,000 Britons. It was against the laws of war to sink any passenger ship without allowing the passengers to reach the life boats. American opinion turned strongly against Germany as a bloodthirsty threat to civilization. [72] Germany apologized and repeatedly promised to stop attacks by its U-boats, but reversed course in early 1917 when it saw the opportunity to strangle Britain by unrestricted submarine warfare. It also made overtures to Mexico, in the Zimmermann Telegram, hoping to divert American military attention to south of the border. The German decision was not made or approved by the civilian government in Berlin, but by the military commanders and the Kaiser. They realized it meant war with the United States, but hoped to weaken the British by cutting off its imports, and strike a winning blow with German soldiers transferred from the Eastern front, where Russia had surrendered. Following the repeated sinking of American merchant ships in early 1917, Wilson asked Congress and obtained a declaration of war in April 1917. He neutralized the antiwar element by arguing this was a war with the main goal of ending aggressive militarism and indeed ending all wars. During the war the U.S. was not officially tied to the Allies by treaty, but military cooperation meant that the American contribution became significant in mid-1918. After the failure of the German spring offensive, as fresh American troops arrived in France at 10,000 a day, the Germans were in a hopeless position, and thus surrendered. Coupled with Wilson's Fourteen Points in January 1918, the U.S. now had the initiative on the military, diplomatic and public relations fronts. Wilsonianism—Wilson's ideals—had become the hope of the world, including the civilian population Germany itself. [73]

Involvement in Russia Edit

The U.S. joined with several Allies to intervene in Russia in 1918-1919. The U.S. military was strongly opposed, but President Wilson reluctantly ordered the action. The British had taken the lead and were emphatically urging American help. Wilson feared that if he said no he would undermine his primary goal of creating a League of Nations with full British support. [74] The main British goals were to help the Czechoslovak Legion re-establish the Eastern Front. At times between 1918 and 1920 the Czechoslovak Legion controlled the entire Trans-Siberian Railway and several major cities in Siberia. American Marines and sailors were deployed to Vladivostok and Murmansk from April 1918 to December 1919. The main American mission was to guard large munitions dumps. Americans also served alongside Japanese soldiers in Vladivostok in far eastern Siberia from 1918 to 1920. They were involved in little fighting most of the losses came from disease and cold. [75] [76] The U.S. and Allied powers ended operations by early 1920, though Japan continued until 1922. For Soviet Communists, the operation was proof that Western powers were keen to destroy the Soviet government if they had the opportunity to do so. [77]

Winning the war and fighting for peace Edit

At the peace conference at Versailles, Wilson tried with mixed success to enact his Fourteen Points. He was forced to accept British, French and Italian demands for financial revenge: Germany would be made to pay reparations that amounted to the total cost of the war for the Allies and admit guilt in humiliating fashion. It was a humiliating punishment for Germany which subsequent commentators thought was too harsh and unfair. Wilson succeeded in obtaining his main goal, a League of Nations that would hopefully resolve all future conflicts before they caused another major war. [78] Wilson, however, refused to consult with Republicans, who took control of Congress after the 1918 elections and which demanded revisions protecting the right of Congress to declare war. Wilson refused to compromise with the majority party in Congress, or even bring any leading Republican to the peace conference. His personal enemy, Henry Cabot Lodge, now control the Senate. Lodge did support the league of Nations, but wanted provisions that would insist that only Congress could declare war on behalf of the United States. Wilson was largely successful in designing the new League of Nations, declaring it would be:

a great charter for a new order of affairs. There is ground here for deep satisfaction, universal reassurance, and confident hope. [79]

The League did go into operation, but the United States never joined. With a two-thirds vote needed, the Senate did not ratify either the original Treaty or its Republican version. Washington made separate peace treaties with the different European nations. Nevertheless, Wilson's idealism and call for self-determination of all nations had an effect on nationalism across the globe, while at home his idealistic vision, called "Wilsonianism" of spreading democracy and peace under American auspices had a profound influence on much of American foreign policy ever since. [80]

Debate on Wilson's role Edit

Perhaps the harshest attack on Wilson's diplomacy comes from Stanford historian Thomas A. Bailey in two books that remain heavily cited by scholars, Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace (1944) and Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal (1945), Bailey:

contended that Wilson's wartime isolationism, as well as his peace proposals at war's end, were seriously flawed. Highlighting the fact that American delegates encountered staunch opposition to Wilson's proposed League of Nations, Bailey concluded that the president and his diplomatic staff essentially sold out, compromising important American ideals to secure mere fragments of Wilson's progressive vision. Hence, while Bailey primarily targeted President Wilson in these critiques, others, including House, did not emerge unscathed. [81]

More recently, prominent historians such as Thomas J. Knock, Arthur Walworth, and John Milton Cooper, among others, shied away from condemning Wilson and his peacemakers for extensive diplomatic failures in Paris. Instead, they framed Wilsonian progressivism, articulated through the League of Nations, as a comparatively enlightened framework tragically undermined by British and French machinations at the peace conference. . Historian Margaret MacMillan, continued this analytical trend in her prize-winning book, Paris, 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (2001), which characterized Wilson as the frustrated idealist, unable to secure his progressive vision due to opposition from old-guard imperialists in his midst. While realists like Lloyd E. Ambrosius questioned the merits of defining Wilsonian progressivism too idealistically, the idea has persisted that well-intentioned U.S. delegates encountered staunch opposition to Wilson's proposals in Paris, and therefore compromised under pressure. Even the great Wilson scholar, Arthur S. Link, subscribed to a version of this narrative. [82]

In the 1920s, American policy was an active involvement in international affairs, while ignoring the League of Nations, setting up numerous diplomatic ventures, and using the enormous financial power of the United States to dictate major diplomatic questions in Europe. There were large-scale humanitarian food aid missions during the war in Belgium, and after it in Germany and Russia, led by Herbert C. Hoover. [83] There was also a major aid to Japan after the 1923 earthquake. [84]

The Republican presidents, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, avoided any political alliances with anyone else. They operated large-scale American intervention in issues of reparations and disarmament, with little contact with the League of Nations. Historian Jerald Combs reports their administrations in no way returned to 19th-century isolationism. The key Republican leaders:

including Elihu Root, Charles Evans Hughes, and Hoover himself, were Progressives who accepted much of Wilson's internationalism. They did seek to use American political influence and economic power to goad European governments to moderate the Versailles peace terms, induce the Europeans to settle their quarrels peacefully, secure disarmament agreements, and strengthen the European capitalist economies to provide prosperity for them and their American trading partners. [85]

Rejection of the World Court Edit

The U.S, played a major role in setting up the "Permanent Court of International Justice", known as the World Court. [86] Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover supported membership but were unable to get a 2/3 majority in the Senate for a treaty. Roosevelt also supported membership, but he did not make it a high priority. Opposition was intense on the issue of losing sovereignty, led by the Hearst newspapers and Father Coughlin. The U.S. never joined. [87] [88] [89] The World Court was replaced by the International Court of Justice in 1945. However, the Connally Amendment of 1944 reserved the right of the United States to refuse to abide by its decisions. Margaret A. Rague, argues this reduced the strength of the Court, discredited America's image as a proponent of international law, and exemplified the problems created by vesting a reservation power in the Senate. [90] [91]

Naval disarmament Edit

The Washington Naval Conference (its formal title was " International Conference on Naval Limitation") was the most successful diplomatic venture the 1920s. Promoted by Senator William E. Borah, Republican of Idaho, it had the support of the Harding Administration. It was held in Washington, and was chaired by Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. Conducted outside the auspice of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations—the United States, Japan, China, France, Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Portugal [92] The USSR and Germany were not invited. It focused on resolving misunderstandings or conflicts regarding interests in the Pacific Ocean and East Asia. The main achievement was a series of naval disarmament agreements agreed to by all the participants, that lasted for a decade. It resulted in three major treaties: Four-Power Treaty, Five-Power Treaty (the Washington Naval Treaty), the Nine-Power Treaty, and a number of smaller agreements. These treaties preserved peace during the 1920s but were not renewed, as the world scene turned increasingly negative after 1930. [93]

Dawes Plan Edit

The Dawes plan was the American solution to the crisis of reparations, in which France was demanding more money than Germany was willing to pay, so France occupied the key industrial Ruhr district of Germany with its army. The Occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 Caused an international crisis Germany deliberately hyperinflated currency, making the occupation highly expensive for France. The crisis was solved by a compromise brokered by the United States in the form of the Dawes Plan in 1924. [94] This plan, sponsored by American Charles G. Dawes, set out a new financial scheme. New York banks loaned Germany hundreds of millions of dollars that it used to pay reparations and rebuild its heavy industry. France, Britain and the other countries used the reparations in turn to repay wartime loans they received from the United States. By 1928 Germany called for a new payment plan, resulting in the Young Plan that established the German reparation requirements at 112 billion marks ( US$26.3 billion ) and created a schedule of payments that would see Germany complete payments by 1988. With the collapse of the German economy in 1931, reparations were suspended for a year and in 1932 during the Lausanne Conference they were suspended indefinitely. Between 1919 and 1932, Germany paid less than 21 billion marks in reparations. After 1953 West Germany paid the entire remaining balance. [95]

Mexico Edit

Since the turmoil of the Mexican revolution had died down, the Harding administration was prepared to normalize relations with Mexico. Between 1911 and 1920, American imports from Mexico increased from $57,000,000 to $179,000,000 and exports from $61,000,000 to $208,000,000. Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover took the lead in order to promote trade and investments other than in oil and land, which had long dominated bilateral economic ties. President Álvaro Obregón assured Americans that they would be protected in Mexico, and Mexico was granted recognition in 1923. [96] A major crisis erupted in the mid-1930s when the Mexican government expropriated millions of acres of land from hundreds of American property owners as part of President Lázaro Cárdenas's land redistribution program. No compensation was provided to the American owners. [97] The emerging threat of the Second World War forced the United States to agree to a compromise solution. The US negotiated an agreement with President Manuel Avila Camacho that amounted to a military alliance. [98]

Intervention ends in Latin America Edit

Small-scale military interventions continued after 1921 as the Banana Wars tapered off. The Hoover administration began a goodwill policy and withdrew all military forces. [99] President Roosevelt announced the "Good Neighbor Policy" by which the United States would no longer intervene to promote good government, but would accept whatever governments were locally chosen. His Secretary of State Cordell Hull endorsed article 8 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States it provides that "no state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another". [100]

Spanish Civil War: 1936–1939 Edit

In the 1930s, the United States entered the period of deep isolationism, rejecting international conferences, and focusing mostly on reciprocal tariff agreements with smaller countries of Latin America.

When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, the United States remained neutral and banned arms sales to either side. This was in line with both American neutrality policies, and with a Europe-wide agreement to not sell arms for use in the Spanish war lest it escalate into a world war. Congress endorsed the embargo by a near-unanimous vote. Only armaments were embargoed American companies could sell oil and supplies to both sides of the fight. Roosevelt quietly favored the left-wing Republican (or "Loyalist") government, but intense pressure by American Catholics forced him to maintain a policy of neutrality. The Catholics were outraged by the systematic torture, rape and execution of priests, bishops, and nuns by anarchist elements of the Loyalist coalition. This successful pressure on Roosevelt was one of the handful of foreign policy successes notched by Catholic pressures on the White House in the 20th century. [101]

Germany and Italy provided munitions, and air support, and troops to the Nationalists, led by Francisco Franco. The Soviet Union provided aid to the Loyalist government, and mobilized thousands of volunteers to fight, including several hundred from the United States in the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. All along the Spanish military forces supported the nationalists, and they steadily pushed the government forces back. By 1938, however, Roosevelt was planning to secretly send American warplanes through France to the desperate Loyalists. His senior diplomats warned that this would worsen the European crisis, so Roosevelt desisted. [102]

Adolf Hitler and Franco mutually disliked one another, and Franco repeatedly manipulated Hitler for his own benefit during World War II. Franco sheltered Jewish refugees escaping through France and never turned over the Spanish Jews to Nazi Germany as requested, and when during the Second World War the Blue Division was dispatched to help the Germans, it was forbidden to fight against the Western Allies, and was limited only to fighting the Soviets. [103]

Coming of War: 1937–1941 Edit

President Roosevelt tried to avoid repeating what he saw as Woodrow Wilson's mistakes in World War I. [104] He often made exactly the opposite decision. Wilson called for neutrality in thought and deed, while Roosevelt made it clear his administration strongly favored Britain and China. Unlike the loans in World War I, the United States made large-scale grants of military and economic aid to the Allies through Lend-Lease, with little expectation of repayment. Wilson did not greatly expand war production before the declaration of war Roosevelt did. Wilson waited for the declaration to begin a draft Roosevelt started one in 1940. Wilson never made the United States an official ally but Roosevelt did. Wilson never met with the top Allied leaders but Roosevelt did. Wilson proclaimed independent policy, as seen in the 14 Points, while Roosevelt always had a collaborative policy with the Allies. In 1917, the United States declared war on Germany in 1941, Roosevelt waited until the enemy attacked at Pearl Harbor. Wilson refused to collaborate with the Republicans Roosevelt named leading Republicans to head the War Department and the Navy Department. Wilson let General John J. Pershing make the major military decisions Roosevelt made the major decisions in his war including the "Europe first" strategy. He rejected the idea of an armistice and demanded unconditional surrender. Roosevelt often mentioned his role in the Wilson administration, but added that he had profited more from Wilson's errors than from his successes. [105] [106] [107]

Pearl Harbor was unpredictable Edit

Political scientist Roberta Wohlstetter explores why all American intelligence agencies failed to predict the attack on Pearl Harbor. The basic reason was that the Japanese plans were a very closely held secret. The attack fleet kept radio silence and was not spotted by anyone en route to Hawaii. There were air patrols over Hawaii, but they were too few and too ineffective to scan a vast ocean. Japan Navy spread false information—using fake radio signals—to indicate the main fleet was in Japanese waters, and suggested their main threat was north toward Russia. The U.S. had MAGIC, which successfully cracked the Japanese diplomatic code. However, the Japanese Foreign Ministry and its diplomats were deliberately never told about the upcoming attack, so American intelligence was wasting its time trying to discover secrets through MAGIC. American intelligence expected attacks against British and Dutch possessions, and were looking for those clues. At Pearl Harbor, they focused on predicting local sabotage. There was no overall American intelligence center until the formation in 1942 of the Office of Strategic Services. It was the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In 1941 there was no coordination of the information coming in from the Army, Navy, and State department as well as from the British and Dutch allies. The system of notification was also flawed, and what the sender thought was an urgent message did not appear urgent to the recipient. After the attack, congressional investigators identified and linked together all sorts of small little signals pointing to an attack, while they discarded signals pointing in other directions. Even in hindsight there was so much confusion, noise, and poor coordination that Wohlstetter concludes no accurate predictions of the attack on Pearl Harbor was at all likely before December 7. [108] [109]

World War II Edit

The same pattern which emerged with the first world war continued with the second: warring European powers, blockades, official U.S. neutrality but this time President Roosevelt tried to avoid all of Wilson's mistakes. American policy substantially favored Britain and its allies, and the U.S. getting caught up in the war. Unlike the loans in World War I, the United States made large-scale grants of military and economic aid to the Allies through Lend-Lease. Industries greatly expanded to produce war materials. The United States officially entered World War II against Germany, Japan, and Italy in December 1941, following the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This time the U.S. was a full-fledged member of the Allies of World War II, not just an "associate" as in the first war. During the war, the U.S. conducted military operations on both the Atlantic and Pacific fronts. After the war and devastation of its European and Asian rivals, the United States found itself in a uniquely powerful position due to its enormous economic and military power . [110]

The major diplomatic decisions, especially relations with Britain, the Soviet Union, France and China, were handled in the White House by President Roosevelt and his top aide Harry Hopkins. [111] [112] Secretary of State Cordell Hull handled minor routine affairs. [113] The one State Department official Roosevelt depended upon was strategist Sumner Welles, whom Hull drove out of office in 1943. [114]

Postwar peace Edit

After 1945, the isolationist pattern that characterized the inter-war period had ended for good. Roosevelt policy supported a new international organization that would be much more effective than the old League of Nations, and avoid its flaws. He successfully sponsored the formation of the United Nations.

The United States was a major force in establishing the United Nations in 1945, hosting a meeting of fifty nations in San Francisco. Avoiding the rancorous debates of 1919, where there was no veto, the US and the Soviet Union, as well as Britain, France and China, became permanent members of the Security Council with veto power. The idea of the U.N. was to promote world peace through consensus among nations, with boycotts, sanctions and even military power exercised by the Security Council. It depended on member governments for funds and had difficulty funding its budget. In 2009, its $5 billion budget was funded using a complex formula based on GDP the U.S. contributed 20% in 2009. However, the United Nations' vision of peace soon became jeopardized as the international structure was rebalanced with the development and testing of nuclear weapons by major powers.

Truman and Eisenhower Edit

From the late 1940s until 1991, world affairs were dominated by the Cold War, in which the U.S. and its allies faced the Soviet Union and its allies. There was no large-scale fighting but instead numerous regional wars as well as the ever-present threat of a catastrophic nuclear war. [115] [116]

In 1948 the United States enacted the Marshall Plan, which supplied Western Europe—including Germany—with US$13 billion in reconstruction aid. Stalin vetoed any participation by East European nations. A similar program was operated by the United States to restore the Japanese economy. The U.S. actively sought allies, which it subsidized with military and economic "foreign aid", as well as diplomatic support. The main diplomatic initiative was the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949, committing the United States to nuclear defense of Western Europe, which engaged in a military buildup under NATO's supervision. The result was peace in Europe, coupled with the fear of Soviet invasion and a reliance on American protection. [117] In the 1950s, a number of other less successful regional alliances were developed by the United States, such as the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Economic and propaganda warfare against the communist world was part of the American toolbox. [118] The United States operated a worldwide network of bases for its Army, Navy and Air Force, with large contingents stationed in Germany, Japan and South Korea. [119]

Most nations aligned with either the Western or Eastern camp, but after 1960 the Soviets broke with China as the Communist movement worldwide became divided. Some countries, such as India and Yugoslavia, tried to be neutral. Rejecting the rollback of Communism by force because it risked nuclear war, Washington developed a new strategy called containment to oppose the spread of communism. The containment policy was developed by U.S. diplomat George Kennan in 1947. Kennan characterized the Soviet Union as an aggressive, anti-Western power that necessitated containment, a characterization which would shape US foreign policy for decades to come. The idea of containment was to match Soviet aggression with force wherever it occurred while not using nuclear weapons. The policy of containment created a bipolar, zero-sum world where the ideological conflicts between the Soviet Union and the United States dominated geopolitics. Due to the antagonism on both sides and each countries' search for security, a tense worldwide contest developed between the two states as the two nations' governments vied for global supremacy militarily, culturally, and influentially.

The Cold War was characterized by a lack of global wars but a persistence of regional proxy wars, often fought between client states and proxies of the United States and Soviet Union. The US also intervened in the affairs of other countries through a number of secret operations.

During the Cold War, the Containment policy seeking to stop Soviet expansion, involved the United States and its allies in the Korean War (1950–1953), a stalemate. Even longer and more disastrous was the Vietnam War (1963–75). Under Jimmy Carter, the U.S. and its Arab allies Succeeded in creating a Vietnamese -like disaster for the Soviet Union by supporting anti-Soviet Mujahideen forces in Afghanistan (Operation Cyclone). [120]

Kennedy and Johnson 1961–1969 Edit

The Cold War reached its most dangerous point during the Kennedy administration in the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tense confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States over the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. The crisis began on October 16, 1962, and lasted for thirteen days. It was the moment when the Cold War was closest to exploding into a devastating nuclear exchange between the two superpower nations. Kennedy decided not to invade or bomb Cuba but to institute a naval blockade of the island. The crisis ended in a compromise, with the Soviets removing their missiles publicly, and the United States secretly removing its nuclear missiles in Turkey. In Moscow, Communist leaders removed Nikita Khrushchev because of his reckless behavior. [121]

Vietnam and the Cold War are the two major issues that faced the Kennedy presidency. Historians disagree. However, there is general scholarly agreement that his presidency was successful on a number of lesser issues. Thomas Paterson finds that the Kennedy administration helped quiet the crisis over Laos was suitably cautious about the Congo liberalized trade took the lead in humanitarianism especially with the Peace Corps helped solve a nasty dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands achieve the Limited Test Man Treaty created a new Arms Control and Disarmament Agency defended Berlin and strengthened European defenses. His willingness to negotiate with Khrushchev smoothed the Berlin crisis, and Kennedy's personal diplomacy earned him the respect of Third World leaders. [122]

On the two major issues, no consensus has been reached. Michael L. Krenn argues in 2017:

Fifty-some years after his assassination, John F. Kennedy remains an enigma. Was he the brash and impulsive president who brought the world to the brink of World War III with the Cuban Missile Crisis? Or was he the brave challenger of the American military-industrial complex who would have prevented the Vietnam War? Various studies portray him as a Cold War liberal, or a liberal Cold Warrior, or come up with pithy phrases to summarize the man and his foreign policy. [123]

The Containment policy meant fighting communist expansion where ever it occurred, and the Communists aimed where the American allies were weakest. When he became president in November 1963, Lyndon Johnson's primary commitment was to his domestic policy, so he tried to minimize public awareness and congressional oversight of the operations in the war. [124] Most of his advisers were pessimistic about the long term possibilities, and Johnson feared that if Congress took control, it would demand "Why Not Victory", as Barry Goldwater put it, rather than containment. [125] American boots on the ground in Vietnam skyrocketed from 16,000 soldiers in 1963 to over 500,000 in 1968, plus many others in support roles outside Vietnam. Johnson refused to allow the trained men of the Army reserves or the National Guard to serve in Vietnam, because that would involve Congressional oversight. Instead he relied increasingly on the draft, which became increasingly unpopular. With college deferments from the draft widely available, out of the 2.5 million Americans who served in Vietnam (out of 27 million Americans eligible to serve in the military) 80% came from poor and working-class backgrounds. [126] In August 1964 Johnson secured almost unanimous support in Congress for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave him very broad discretion to use military force as he saw fit. South Vietnam had a large Well-equipped army, but it left nearly all the fighting to the Americans. In February 1968 the Viet Cong launched an all-out attack on South Vietnamese forces across the country in the Tet Offensive. The ARVN (South Vietnam's army) successfully fought off the attacks and reduced the Viet Cong to a state of ineffectiveness thereafter, it was the army of North Vietnam that was the main opponent. [127] However the Tet Offensive proved a public relations disaster for Johnson, as the public increasingly realized the United States was deeply involved in a war that few people understood.

Starting in 1964, the antiwar movement began. Some opposed the war on moral grounds, rooting for the peasant Vietnamese against the modernizing capitalistic Americans. Opposition was centered among the black activists of the civil rights movement, and college students at elite universities. [128] Republicans, such as California Governor Ronald Reagan, demanded victory or withdrawal, while on the left strident demands for immediate withdrawal escalated. [129]

Nixon and Ford 1969–1977 Edit

President Richard Nixon (1969–74) radically transformed American policy, with the aid of his top advisor Henry Kissinger. [130] First of all he rejected the long-standing containment policy that made it the highest goal to stop the expansion of communism. By playing off the two main communist rivals, China and the USSR, he managed to put a pause on the Cold War through friendly relationships with each of them, or Détente. Moscow and Beijing went along, and accepted Nixon's terms of pulling their support away from Vietnam. This allowed Nixon to turn that war over to the government of South Vietnam, withdrawing all American and Allied troops, while continuing a bombing threat. The Vietnamization policy seem to work until 1975, when North Vietnam militarily conquered South Vietnam as the United States stood by without intervening. [131] After Nixon resigned, president Gerald Ford continued his foreign policy, but came under strong attack from the right by Ronald Reagan, whom he defeated for the nomination in 1976. [132]

The Nixon Doctrine Edit

The Nixon Doctrine announced in July 1969 shifted the main responsibility for the defense of an ally, to the ally itself, especially regarding combat. The United States would work on the diplomacy, provide financial help and munitions, and help train the allied army. Specifically:

  • The U.S. would keep all its treaty commitments.
  • The U.S. would “provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security.”
  • In conflicts involving non-nuclear aggression, the U.S. would “look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for defense.” [133]

The Doctrine was exemplified by the Vietnamization process regarding South Vietnam and the Vietnam War. [134] It also played elsewhere in Asia including Iran, [135] Taiwan, [136] Cambodia [137] and South Korea. [138] The doctrine was an explicit rejection of the practice that sent 500,000 American soldiers to Vietnam, even though there was no treaty obligation to that country. A major long-term goal was to reduce the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and China, so as to better enable the détente process to work. [139] The particular Asian nation the Nixon Doctrine was aimed at with its message that Asian nations should be responsible for defending themselves was South Vietnam, but Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran seized upon the Nixon Doctrine with its message that Asian nations should be responsible for their own defense to argue that the Americans should sell him arms without limitations, a suggestion that Nixon eagerly embraced. [140] The US turned to Saudi Arabia and Iran as "twin pillars" of regional stability. [141] Oil price increases in 1970 and 1971 would allow funding both states with this military expansion. Total arms transfers from the United States to Iran increased from $103.6 million in 1970 to $552.7 million in 1972 those to Saudi Arabia increased from $15.8 million in 1970 to $312.4 million in 1972. The United States would maintain its small naval force of three ships in the Gulf, stationed since World War II in Bahrain, but would take on no other formal security commitments. [142]

India Pakistan, Bangladesh, 1971 Edit

A war for independence broke out in East Pakistan in 1971 with India joining in to defeat Pakistan, an American ally. Nixon sent a carrier group to the Bay of Bengal to symbolize support for Pakistan but without any combat action. Nixon and Kissinger saw India's alliance with the USSR as a threat to American interests. However they realized the American public would not accept hostilities against a fellow democracy. [143] Pakistan was a critical ally in the secret negotiations underway for a rapprochement with China. Nixon feared that an Indian invasion of West Pakistan would risk Soviet domination of the region, and that it would seriously undermine the global position of the United States and the regional position of America's new tacit ally, China. To demonstrate to China the bona fides of the United States as an ally, and in direct defiance of the US Congress-imposed sanctions on Pakistan, Nixon sent military supplies to Pakistan, while also encouraging China to increase its arms supplies to Pakistan. In the end Pakistan lost and Bangladesh became independent, but the USSR did not expand its control. India resented the American role for decades. [144]

Carter 1977–1981 Edit

Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated Ford in the election of 1976, but his foreign-policy became mired in endless difficulties, including a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and a confrontation with the new anti-American regime in Iran. [145] [146] Carter had very little foreign policy experience, and he was unable to stop the bitter infighting between his top foreign policy advisers, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, on the dovish side, versus national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski was a hard-line Cold Warrior opposed to Communism and the USSR. Carter initially wanted to nominate George Ball as Secretary of State, but he was vetoed by Brzezinski as too dovish. [147] Vance negotiated the Panama Canal Treaties, along with peace talks in Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa. He worked closely with Israeli Ministers Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman to secure the Camp David Accords in 1978. Vance was a strong advocate of disarmament. He insisted that the President make Paul Warnke Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, over strong opposition by Senator Henry M. Jackson. The fiercest debates came over continuing détente policies with Moscow. Vance tried to advance arms limitations by working on the SALT II agreement with the Soviet Union, which he saw as the central diplomatic issue of the time, but Brzezinski lobbied for a tougher more assertive policy vis-a-vis the Soviets. He argued for strong condemnation of Soviet activity in Africa and in the Third World as well as successfully lobbying for normalized relations with the People's Republic of China in 1978. Brzezinski took control of the negotiations with Beijing. Vance was marginalized and his influence began to wane. When revolution erupted in Iran in late 1978, the two were divided on how to support the long-time ally the Shah of Iran. Vance argued in favor of demanding reforms while Brzezinski urged the Shah to crack down. Unable to obtain a direct course of action from Carter, the mixed messages that the Shah received from Vance and Brzezinski contributed to his confusion and indecision as he fled Iran in January 1979 and his regime collapsed. [148] In April 1980, Vance resigned in protest because of the failed Operation Eagle Claw, the secret mission to rescue American hostages in Iran which he had opposed. He was succeeded by Edmund Muskie. [149]

Reagan 1981–1989 Edit

Reagan rejected détente, and containment, and announced his goal was to win the Cold War, by destroying the threat of Soviet communism, denouncing Moscow as the "evil Empire". His main action was a dramatic increase in military spending, and a heavy investment in high-tech weapons that the Soviets, with their primitive computer systems, were unable to match. [150] [151] After furious political battles at home and in Western Europe, Reagan succeeded in stationing medium-range ballistic Missiles in Western Europe, aimed at the Soviet Union. [152]

The Reagan administration made dramatic increases in defense spending one of their three main priorities on taking office, along with cutting taxes and welfare. The transition to the new professional all-professional force was finalized, and the draft forgotten. A dramatic expansion of salary bases and benefits for both enlisted and officers made career service much more attractive. Under the aggressive leadership of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, the development of the B-1 bomber was reinstated, and there was funding for a new B-2 bomber, as well as cruise missiles, the MX missile, and a 600 ship Navy. The new weaponry was designed with Soviet targets in mind. In terms of real dollars after taxation, defense spending jump 34 percent between 1981 in 1985. Reagan's two terms, defense spending totaled about 2 trillion dollars, but even so it was a lower percentage of the federal budget or have the GDP, then before 1976. [153]

There were also major arms sales to build up allies as well. The most notable came in 1981, a $8.5 billion sale to Saudi Arabia involving aircraft, tanks, and Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS). Israel protested, since the AWACS would undermine its strategic attack capabilities. To mollify Israel and its powerful lobby in Washington, the United States promised to supply it with an additional F-15 squadron, a $600 million loan, and permission to export Israeli-made Kfir fighting aircraft to Latin American armies. [154] [155]

In its first term administration looked at arms control measures with deep suspicion. However, after the massive buildup, and the second term it looked at them with favor and achieve major arms reductions with Mikhail Gorbachev. [156] It was possible because the sclerotic Soviet leadership died out, and finally in 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev came to power with a commitment to salvage communism in the Soviet Union. He negotiated a series of compromises with Reagan, that weakened Soviet power. In 1989, all the East European satellites revolted in overthrew Moscow's control. West Germany took over East Germany. In 1991, Russia overthrew communism, and at the end of the year Gorbachev lost power and the Soviet Union was dissolved. The United States and NATO had won the Cold War, leaving the United States the world's only superpower. [157] Reagan had a vision for restoring American power, and defeating the Soviet enemy, and it all came true shortly after he left office. However, he was highly inattentive to details and let his senior staff, and sometimes his junior staff, make the presidential-level decisions. Putting all together, historians and presidential scholars have Reagan high marks in foreign policy. In 2017 a C-SPAN survey of scholars – most of whom opposed his specific policies—ranked Reagan in terms of leadership in comparison with all 42 presidents. He ranked number nine in international relations. [158] [159]

George H. W. Bush: 1989–1993 Edit

Unlike Reagan, Bush downplayed vision and emphasized caution and careful management. His main foreign policy advisors were Secretaries of State James Baker and Lawrence Eagleburger, and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft. Bush entered the White House with a long and successful portfolio in foreign affairs including ambassadorial roles to China in the United Nations, director of the CIA, and official visits to 65 foreign countries as vice president. Momentous geopolitical events that occurred during Bush's presidency include:

Momentous geopolitical events that occurred during Bush's presidency include: [160] [161] [162]

  • The crushing in June 1989 of the Tiananmen Square protests in China, which was widely condemned in the United States and around the world.
  • The United States invasion of Panama in December 1989 to overthrow a local dictator.
  • The signing with the USSR of the START I and START II treaties for nuclear disarmament.
  • The Gulf War in 1991, in which Bush led a large coalition that defeated Iraq when it invaded Kuwait.
  • Victory in the Cold War over Soviet communism. and the collapse of Communism, especially in Eastern Europe in 1990, with the democratic West absorbing the ex-Communist East.
  • The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, replaced by a friendly Russia and 14 other countries.

Except for Tiananmen Square in China, all the events strongly favored the United States. Bush took the initiative in the invasion of Panama and the START treaties. Otherwise, he was mostly a passive observer trying not to interfere or gloat about the events. Given the favorable outcomes, scholars generally give Bush high marks in foreign policy, except for his unwillingness to condemn the Tiananmen Square crackdown. He thought long-term favorable relations with China were too important to jeopardize. [163]

Favorable world scene Edit

For the first time since the mid-1930s the international scene was highly favorable. [164] Old enemies had collapsed with the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union. Other problems seemed far less pressing and President Bill Clinton, with little expertise in foreign affairs, was eager to concentrate his attention on domestic issues. as Walter B. Slocombe argues:

Germany. had been reunified peacefully and its partners in the European Union were moving toward economic integration with political integration a long-term, but now less implausible, prospect. The former Warsaw Pact satellites were on the way to stable democracy and market prosperity. North and South Korea had agreed on a process of denuclearization. China seemed absorbed in its internal development, having cast off revolutionary zeal in exchange for growth (and continued regime control) under market principles. Iraq was humbled by recent defeat in the Gulf War and under pervasive international surveillance and supervision. Apartheid was ending in South Africa, and peacefully so. Most of Latin America was emerging from rule by juntas and coups to democratic order. Taiwan and South Korea had cast off authoritarian regimes while remaining strong friends of the United States. Even in the Middle East, the Madrid agreements appeared to open the path to resolution of the Israel-Palestine problem. [165]

Less attention was being paid to the remaining minor trouble spots, as Slocombe lists them:

Iran, Haiti, the wreckage of Yugoslavia, the seemingly endless tragedy of Africa exemplified by the chaos in Somalia, and even Northern Ireland, as well as nontraditional security challenges ranging from environmental degradation to terrorism. [166]

After the successful Gulf War of 1991, many scholars, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, claimed the lack of a new strategic vision for U.S. foreign policy resulted in many missed opportunities for its foreign policy. During the 1990s, the United States mostly scaled back its foreign policy budget as well as its cold war defense budget which amounted to 6.5% of GDP while focusing on domestic economic prosperity under President Clinton, who succeeded in achieving a budget surplus for 1999 and 2000. The United States also served as a peacekeeper in the warring ethnic disputes in the former Yugoslavia by cooperating as a U.N. peacekeeper.

Historians agree that foreign policy was not a high priority for the Clinton administration (1993-2000). However Harvard Professor Stephen Walt does give it "two cheers": [167]

Under Clinton, the United States consolidated its Cold War victory by bringing three former Warsaw Pact members into its own alliance. It shored up its alliances in East Asia and readied itself for a possible competition with a rising China while encouraging Beijing to accept a status quo that favored the United States. It forced its allies to bear a greater share of the burden in Europe and East Asia while insisting on leading both alliances. And together with its NATO allies, it asserted the right to intervene in the sovereign territory of other states, even without Security Council authorization. Clinton may cloak U.S. policy in the rhetoric of "world order" and general global interests, but its defining essence remains the unilateral exercise of sovereign power.

Global war on terrorism Edit

A decade of economic prosperity ended with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. The surprise attack by terrorists belonging to a militant Al-Qaeda organization prompted a national mourning and paradigm shift in U.S. foreign policy. The focus on domestic prosperity during the 1990s gave way to a trend of unilateral action under President George W. Bush to combat what was seen to be the growing trend of fundamentalist terrorism in the Middle East. The United States declared a War on Terrorism. This policy dominated U.S. foreign policy over the last decade as the nation embarked on two military campaigns in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although both campaigns attracted international support, particularly the fighting in Afghanistan, the scale and duration of the war has lessened the motivation of American allies. Furthermore, when no WMDs were found after a military conquest of Iraq, there was worldwide skepticism that the war had been fought to prevent terrorism, and the war in Iraq has had serious negative public relations consequences for the image of the United States. The "Bush Doctrine" shifted diplomatic and security policy toward maximizing the spread of liberal political institutions and democratic values. The policy has been called "democratic realism," "national security liberalism," "democratic globalism," or "messianic universalism." The policy helped inspire democratic upheavals in the Middle East. [168]

Across the world there was a transition from a bipolar world to a multipolar world. While the United States remains a strong power economically and militarily, rising nations such as China, India, and Brazil as well as Russia have challenged its dominance. Foreign policy analysts such as Nina Harchigian suggest that the six emerging big powers share common concerns: free trade, economic growth, prevention of terrorism, efforts to stymie nuclear proliferation. And if they can avoid war, the coming decades can be peaceful and productive provided there are no misunderstandings or dangerous rivalries.

In his first formal television interview as president, Barack Obama addressed the Muslim world through an Arabic-language satellite TV network and expressed a commitment to repair relations that have deteriorated under the previous administration. [169] Still under the Obama administration, American foreign policy has continued to irritate the Muslim world including one of its main allies, Pakistan.

But serious problems remain for the U.S. The Mideast continues to fester with religious hatred and Arab resentment of Israel. The U.S. position is that the danger of nuclear proliferation is more evident with nations such as Iran and North Korea openly flouting the international community by insisting on building nuclear weapons. Important issues such as climate change, which require many governments to work together in sometimes tough solutions, present tough diplomatic challenges [ citation needed ] .

An insight into recent thinking inside the State Department was provided in November 2010 and the following months through the WikiLeaks United States diplomatic cables release.

New directions under President Trump Edit

President Donald Trump's first Secretary of State was Rex Tillerson. a nonpolitical corporate executive who disagreed with Trump on many policy issues, and had the reputation of a very poor manager of the State Department. He was largely ignored by the White House and finally Trump fired him. Trump named Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo who took office in April 2018. [170] [171]

Trumps foreign policy has been highly controversial. He rejected numerous agreements entered into by president Obama including the 12-nation trade deal called the "Trans-Pacific Partnership", [172] the international Paris climate accord, [173] and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to curtail Iranian development of nuclear weapons. [174] He imposed tariffs on Canada, Mexico, Europe, and other nations, and opened an escalating trade war with China. Relations with dictator Kim Jong Un of North Korea have oscillated between extreme hostility and close personal friendship. Trump has tried repeatedly to reduce entry of Muslims and Mexicans into the United States, as well as asylum-seekers from Latin America. Trump has given very strong support to Saudi Arabia and Israel, and strenuously opposed the governments of Iran and Venezuela. The business community, which generally approved his domestic tax and deregulation policies, has strongly opposed his protectionist trade policy, especially the trade war with China. [175] [176]

Richard Haass argues that the Trump administration brought the reversal of many key American positions:

Support for alliances, embrace of free trade, concern over climate change, championing of democracy and human rights, American leadership per se – these and other fundamentals of American foreign policy have been questioned and, more than once, rejected. [177]

Debate over the United States as an empire Edit

The United States was formed as the first successful revolt against a major empire in 1776, and historically has strongly imposed imperialism, as seen in the Monroe doctrine, in the war against the Spanish Empire in 1898, and support for dissolving the British and Dutch empires after 1945. Jefferson called for an empire of liberty, with the United States showing the way to Republicanism. Efforts to seize or purchase colonies in Latin America were rejected in the 1850s. In 1898–1900, there was a fierce debate by anti-imperialists who formed a special-purpose lobby—the American Anti-Imperialist League—to fight against taking control of the Philippines after Spain left the scene. [178] The chief proponents of going to war in response to the cruelty of the Spanish Empire—most notably William Jennings Bryan—insisted the United States should not follow in the same footsteps. The opponents of declaring war, led by President McKinley, decided that America had responsibilities and insisted on taking the Philippines. Congress made the decision not to take ownership of Cuba. Any excitement about becoming an imperial power was short-lived, however, and by 1905 expansionary interests under Theodore Roosevelt turned away from Asia and began focusing on the Panama Canal. The Democrats decided by 1934 to make the Philippines independent, which was done in 1946. Hawaii became integrated into the United States, and no one could decide—to this day—on the long-term status of Puerto Rico. [179]

However, during the Cold War, and especially after 9/11, critics have charged that the United States has become a worldwide empire on its own. In 1945 the United States was planning to withdraw all its forces from Europe as soon as possible, but the Soviet actions in Poland and Czechoslovakia And especially in Greece forced a rethinking. Heavily influenced by George Kennan, Washington policymakers decided that the Soviet Union was an expansionary dictatorship that threatened American interests. Moscow's weakness was that it had to keep expanding to survive, and that by containing or stopping its growth stability could be achieved in Europe. The result was the Truman Doctrine (1947) regarding Greece and Turkey. A second equally important consideration was the need to restore the world economy, which required rebuilding and reorganizing Europe for growth. This issue, more than the Soviet threat, was the main impetus behind the Marshall Plan of 1948. A third factor was the realization, especially by Britain and the three Benelux nations, that American military involvement was needed. Historians have commented on the importance of "the eagerness with which America's friendship with sought and its leadership welcomed. . In Western Europe, America built an empire 'by invitation'-– in the striking phrase coined by Geir Lundestad." [180] [181]

A leading spokesman for America-as-Empire is British historian A. G. Hopkins. [182] He argues that by the 21st century traditional economic imperialism was no longer in play, noting that the oil companies opposed the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Instead, anxieties about The negative impact of globalization on rural and rust-belt America were at work says Hopkins:

These anxieties prepared the way for a conservative revival based on family, faith and flag that enabled the neo-conservatives to transform conservative patriotism into assertive nationalism after 9/11. In the short term, the invasion of Iraq was a manifestation of national unity. Placed in a longer perspective, it reveals a growing divergence between new globalised interests, which rely on cross-border negotiation, and insular nationalist interests, which seek to rebuild fortress America. [183]

In 2001–2010 numerous scholars debated the "America as Empire" issue. [184] Conservative Harvard professor Niall Ferguson concludes that Worldwide military and economic power have combined to make the U.S. the most powerful empire in history. It is a good idea he thinks, because like the successful British Empire in the 19th century it works to globalize free markets, enhanced the rule of law and promote representative government. He fears, however, that Americans lack the long-term commitment in manpower and money to keep the Empire operating. [185]

Many – perhaps most – scholars have decided that the United States lacks the key essentials of an empire. For example, while there are American military bases all over, the American soldiers do not rule over the local people, and the United States government does not send out governors or permanent settlers like all the historic empires did. [186] Harvard historian Charles S. Maier has examined the America-as-Empire issue at length. He says the traditional understanding of the word "empire" does not apply because the United States does not exert formal control over other nations nor engage in systematic conquest. The best term is that the United States is a "hegemon." Its enormous influence through high technology, economic power, and impact on popular culture gives it an international outreach that stands in sharp contrast to the inward direction of historic empires. [187] [188]

World historian Anthony Pagden asks is the United States really an empire?

I think if we look at the history of the European empires, the answer must be no. It is often assumed that because America possesses the military capability to become an empire, any overseas interest it does have must necessarily be imperial. . In a number of crucial respects, the United States is, indeed, very un-imperial. . America bears not the slightest resemblance to ancient Rome. Unlike all previous European empires, it has no significant overseas settler populations in any of its formal dependencies and no obvious desire to acquire any. . It exercises no direct rule anywhere outside these areas, and it has always attempted to extricate itself as swiftly as possible from anything that looks as if it were about to develop into even in direct rule. [189]

The Foreign relations of the United States has long had a great deal of soft power. [190] Examples of the impact include Franklin D. Roosevelt's four freedoms in Europe to motivate the Allies in World War II people behind the Iron Curtain listening to the government's foreign propaganda arm Radio Free Europe newly liberated Afghans in 2001 asking for a copy of the Bill of Rights and young Iranians today surreptitiously watching banned American videos and satellite television broadcasts in the privacy of their homes. [191] America's early commitment to religious toleration, for example, was a powerful element of its overall appeal to potential immigrants and American aid in the reconstruction of Europe after World War II was a propaganda victory to show off the prosperity and the generosity of the people of the United States.

Studies of American broadcasting into the Soviet bloc, and testimonials from Czech President Václav Havel, Polish President Lech Wałęsa, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin support that soft power efforts of the United States and its allies during the Cold War were ultimately successful in creating the favorable conditions that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. [192]

"Satellite TV is actively promoting American soft power in the Arab world in ways that the United States has been incapable of doing. The launch of the Arabic-language Alhurra satellite channel in early 2004 to provide news and entertainment in ways more beneficial to the U.S., marked an important turning point in U.S. public diplomacy development. Though it calls itself the largest Arabic-language news organization in the world, the Virginia-based Alhurra lacks the cachet and brand recognition of Al Jazeera, but its balanced presentation of news has earned it a small but significant viewership. Controversial innovations in radio broadcasting that target young mass audiences through a mix of light news and mild American popular music – Radio Sawa in Arabic and Radio Farda in Persian – have captured a substantial market share in their target regions." [193]

Diplomacy was man's business historically until the late 20th century. However, a diplomat needed a wife, as senior officials gauged the competence of a budding diplomat in terms of his wife's 'Commanding Beauty' and 'Gentle Charm'. It was essential for her to project the proper image of American society by maintaining a proper upper-class household full of servants, entertaining guests and dignitaries, and even taking part in informal information intelligence gathering. [194] The wife had to relate well to the high society lifestyle of European diplomacy. Family money helped a great deal, given the modest pay scales of the American diplomatic service, and the limited entertainment budgets. Extremely rich diplomats had an advantage, such as Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. as Ambassador to the Court of St. James, 1938–40. His numerous children were considered suitable spouses for British aristocrats. In 1944, his daughter Kathleen married Billy Cavendish, the Marquess of Hartington and elder son of the Duke of Devonshire, the head of one of England's most aristocratic families.

Frances E. Willis (1899–1983) was a famous pioneer. She joined the foreign service after earning a PhD in political science from Stanford. She was the third woman in the foreign service, and practically all her postings were "firsts"—the first woman chargé d'affaires, the first woman appointed deputy chief of mission, the first female Foreign Service officer (FSO) appointed ambassador, the first woman to serve as ambassador to three posts, the first woman appointed Career Minister in 1955 and the first woman appointed Career Ambassador in 1962. She was posted to Chile, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Britain, and Finland as well as the State Department. In 1953, she became the first woman American ambassador (to Switzerland) and later served as ambassador to Norway and Ceylon. Her biographer credits her competence, language skills, research abilities, hard work, and self-confidence, as well as mentoring from the undersecretary of state, Joseph Grew, and Ambassador Hugh Gibson. [195]


India's Independence

Indian residents celebrate India's independence by raising it's new flag at Klang, in Malaya, on 15 August 1947.

In 1947 India, having contributed enormously to Britain's war effort, became independent. Less than a year later, communist guerrillas launched a violent campaign aimed at forcing Britain from Malaya. Thousands were killed, but an effective political and military response prevented a Communist take-over. Malaya became an independent democracy on 31 August 1957. In the Middle East, Britain hurriedly abandoned Palestine in 1948. Ghana became Britain's first African colony to reach independence in 1957. By 1967 more than 20 British territories were independent.

Decolonisation was a complex process. Each colony's unique societies presented different political pressures which could sometimes lead to violence ranging from riots to massacres.

The Cold War added further complexities, as Britain attempted to insulate former colonies from the influence of the Soviet Union.

In 1997 Hong Kong returned to Chinese administration. Though Britain still maintains overseas territories, the handover marked the final end of Britain's empire.


27. The Peculiar Institution


Slaves being put up for auction were kept in pens like this one in Alexandria, Virginia &mdash just a few miles from Washington, D.C.

"The Peculiar Institution " is slavery. Its history in America begins with the earliest European settlements and ends with the Civil War. Yet its echo continues to reverberate loudly. Slavery existed both in the north and in the South, at times in equal measure. The industrialization of the north and the expansion of demand for cotton in the south shifted the balance so that it became a regional issue, as the southern economy grew increasingly reliant on cheap labor. As is always true in history, cultures grow and thrive in all conditions. Two interdependent cultures emerged in the American south before the Civil War &mdash the world the slaveholders created for themselves and the world of their slaves. Even though slaves were not permitted to express themselves freely, they were able to fight back even though enchained.


Slaves worked long hours in the hot sun picking cotton for their owners. Overseers watched the slaves progress and disciplined those that were deemed to be working too slow.

Although African-Americans had been brought to British America since the time of Jamestown colony, American slavery adopted many of its defining characteristics in the 19th century. The cotton gin had not been invented until the last decade of the 1700s. This new invention led the American south to emerge as the world's leading producer of cotton. As the south prospered, southerners became more and more nervous about their future. Plantation life became the goal of all the south, as poor yeoman farmers aspired to one day become planters themselves. Rebellions and abolitionists led southerners to establish an even tighter grip on the enslaved.


Southern gentlemen like Colonel John Mosby, CSA, were glorified for their adherence to a code of honor most closely paralleled by medieval chivalry.

Even amidst the bondage in the south, there was a significant population of free African-Americans who were creating and inventing and being productive.

The Peculiar Institution refused to die. Great Britain had outlawed the slave trade long before its former American colonies.

New nations in the Western Hemisphere, such as Mexico, often banned slavery upon achieving independence.

But in America, political, religious, economic and social arguments in favor of the continuation of slavery emerged. Slavery became a completely sectional issue, as few states above the Mason-Dixon Line still permitted human bondage. These arguments also revealed the growing separation in the needs and priorities of the northern industrial interests versus the southern planting society, all of which culminated in the Civil War.


The 14th century

The 14th century, despite some gains, was a bleak age. At its beginning and close were kings whose reigns ended in failure. In between, however, came the 50-year reign of the popular and successful Edward III. During the century the importance of the Commons in Parliament continued to grow. But dominant factors of the age were war and plague. The increased scale, cost, and frequency of wars from the 1290s onward imposed heavy burdens on state and society. Conflicts between England and France continued intermittently throughout the century, those from 1337 onward being called the Hundred Years’ War. The Black Death struck in 1348–49 it became endemic, recurring several times in the second half of the century, and brought with it profound economic and social change.


What British People in 1776 Really Thought of American Independence

I n the United States, the Fourth of July is time to launch some fireworks and eat some hot dogs in celebration of American independence. But in 1776, when news reached Britain of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the atmosphere was anything but celebratory.

A look through letters from the period, now held in the archives of the U.K.’s Nottingham University, shows that British people were divided about the outbreak of war with what was then their colony&mdashover how bad it was, whose fault it was and what to do about it.

Before the Americans officially declared independence, the British were worried about what King George’s response to the unrest there would be. After all, the Declaration of Independence was not the beginning of the American Revolution the riot-provoking Stamp Act was passed in 1765, the Boston Tea Party took place in 1773 and the famous “shot heard ’round the world” that is seen as the start of the war was fired in 1775.

One 1775 letter from a group of merchants and traders in the southwestern port city of Bristol sheds light on the economic concerns provoked by the burgeoning revolution. They wrote to the king to express their concern about the &ldquounhappily distracted empires&rdquo and urged him to give the American colonists the freedoms they wanted rather than risk a precious trading relationship.

“It is with an affliction not to be expressed and with the most anxious apprehensions for ourselves and our Posterity that we behold the growing distractions in America threaten, unless prevented by the timely interposition of your Majesty&rsquos Wisdom and Goodness, nothing less than a lasting and ruinous Civil War,” they wrote. “We are apprehensive that if the present measures are adhered to, a total alienation of the affections of our fellow subjects in the colonies will ensue, to which affection much more than to a dread of any power, we have been hitherto indebted for the inestimable benefits which we have derived from those establishments. We can foresee no good effects to the commerce or revenues of this kingdom at a future period from any victories which may be obtained by your majesty&rsquos army over desolated provinces and [&hellip] people.&rdquo

The traders warned the King that “the subsistence of a great part of your kingdom has depended very much on the Honourable and in this instance amicable behaviour of your American subjects. We have in this single city received no less than one million bushels of wheat […].”

While they were confident that “none can profit by the continuance of this war,” the traders remained optimistic that the Americans would stay friendly if the British adopt a more conciliatory approach, despite things having been “carried to unfortunate lengths of hostility on both sides.”

“[Our] fellow subjects in that part of the world are very far from having lost their affection and regard to their mother country or departed from the principles of commercial honour,” they wrote.

Though their optimism might seem misplaced today, at the time it wasn’t completely ridiculous. After all, this was the same year that Americans’ Second Continental Congress sent the crown the Olive Branch Petition, a last-ditch attempt to convince the King to back off so that the British subjects in the colonies could continue to live happily under his rule alongside their counterparts in England.

Other letters, however, give indications that some people had given up hope that the King would give in to the colonists’ requests.

For example, in March of 1775, Chevalier Renaud Boccolari&mdashwhose own homeland of France would see a massive anti-monarchical uprising just over a decade later&mdashwrote to peers from Modena, Italy, warning of the &ldquoawful despotism [of the English king]” and the “crowd of blind and ugly [people] with whom he has shared his unjust power for some time.

&ldquoWe still find among us souls who are sensitive to freedom, souls that have not been swallowed by the insulting dominion of priests, the barbarous constriction of the inquisition and the blind, despotic monarchy,” he wrote. But, he felt &ldquoevery free country should be alarmed&rdquo that &ldquoin this century everything is tending towards the most illegitimate despotism.&rdquo


Royal Navy and the First World War

In 1914 the Royal Navy was by far the most powerful navy in the world. The Royal Navy's basic responsibilities included policing colonies and trade routes, defending coastlines and imposing blockades on hostile powers. The British government took the view that to do all this, the Royal Navy had to possess a battlefleet that was larger than the world's two next largest navies put together.

By early 1914 the Royal Navy had 18 modern dreadnoughts (6 more under construction), 10 battlecruisers, 20 town cruisers, 15 scout cruisers, 200 destroyers, 29 battleships (pre-dreadnought design) and 150 cruisers built before 1907.

After the outbreak of the First World War, most of the Royal Navy's large ships were stationed at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys or Rosyth in Scotland in readiness to stop any large-scale breakout attempt by the Germans. Britain's cruisers, destroyers, submarines and light forces were clustered around the British coast.

The Mediterranean fleet, of two battlecruisers and eight cruisers were based in Gibraltar, Malta and Alexandria. These were used during the operations to protect Suez and the landings at Gallipoli. There were also naval forces in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In August 1914 Admiral Sir David Beatty devised a plan to draw the German Navy into a major sea battle. Beatty used two light cruisers, the Fearless and Arethusa and 25 destroyers to raid German ships close to the German naval base at Heligoland. When the German Navy responded to the attack, Beatty brought forward the battleships, New Zealand and Invincible and three battlecruisers. In the battle that followed, the Germans lost three German cruisers and a destroyer. The British ship, the Arethusa was badly damaged but was towed home to safety.

The British Navy suffered three early shocks. On 22nd September, 1914, German U-boats destroyed the Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue with the loss of 1,400 sailors. This was followed by Audacious, a dreadnought completed in late 1913, sinking after hitting a mine off the northern coast of Ireland. After this, the Royal Navy became very cautious and restricted itself to unadventurous sweeps of the North Sea.

In December 1914 Admiral Franz von Hipper and the First High Seas Fleet bombarded the costal towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby. The attack killed 18 civilians and created a great deal of anger against Germany and the Royal Navy for failing to protect the British coast.

Admiral Hipper planned to make another raid on 23rd January, 1915, but this time his fleet was intercepted by Admiral David Beatty and six fast cruisers and a flotilla of destroyers. The British shells damaged the ships, Sydlitz and Bloucher but the German's retaliated and damaged Beatty's flag ship, the Lion. Afterwards, both sides afterwards claimed Dogger Bank as a victory.

The only major wartime confrontation between the Royal Navy and the German High Seas Fleet took place at Jutland on 31st May 1916. The British lost three battlecruisers, three cruisers, eight destroyers and suffered 6,100 casualties the Germans lost one battleship, one battlecruiser. four cruisers and five destroyers, with 2,550 casualties. The Royal Navy was shocked by the outcome considering that it clearly outnumbered outnumbered German forces (151 to 99). However, Jutland was seen as a victory by the British commanders because it reinforced the idea that the Britain had command over the North Sea.

After Jutland the Royal Navy's main preoccupation was the battle against the German U-Boats. The war against submarines in the Mediterranean and home waters was vital to the British war effort and it was not until the autumn of 1917 that the transportation of troops and supplies from the British Empire to Europe could be made with confidence.

During the First World War the Royal Navy lost 2 dreadnoughts, 3 battlecruisers, 11 battleships, 25 cruisers, 54 submarines, 64 destroyers and 10 torpedo boats. Total naval casualties were 34,642 dead and 4,510 wounded.