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The Washington Conference regulated the inter-war naval race between the world powers. In the era when it was still believed that battleships were the epitome of naval power and a sign of a country's strength, this conference led to limitations on the building of such weapons by the naval powers of Britain, the USA and Japan. This collection of essays deals with many aspects of the conference; the factors that caused it, the interests of the participating nations both present and future, and the results.
The USA's contribution to the making of the USSR was accidental. In the belief that the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic could not survive, American statesmen strove to keep the former Tsarist empire intact for a non-communist successor regime in the face of attempts by other powers to carve out spheres of influence in both European and Asiatic Russia. In this manner, they unwittingly facilitated the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This book shows the importance of the 'Russian question' at the Washington Conference and throws light on the emergence of the 'Versailles-Washington' system of international relations.
'Of all branches of human endeavour, diplomacy is the most protean.' That is how Harold Nicolson begins this book. It is an apt opening. The Paris Conference of 1919, attended by thirty-two nations, had the supremely challenging task of attempting to bring about a lasting peace after the global catastrophe of the Great War. Harold Nicolson was a member of the British delegation. His book is in two parts. In the first he provides an account of the conference, in the second his diary covering his six month stint. There is a piquant counterpoise between the two. Of his diary he writes, 'I should wish it to be read as people read the reminiscences of a subaltern in the trenches. There is the same distrust of headquarters; the same irritation against the staff-officer who interrupts; the same belief that one's own sector is the centre of the battle-front; the same conviction that one is, with great nobility of soul, winning the war quite single-handed.' The diary ends with prophetic disillusionment, 'To bed, sick of life.' As a first-hand account of one of the most important events shaping the modern world this book remains a classic.
This work, by Carole Fink, winner of the George Louis Beer Prize, traces the origin and outcome of the Genoa Conference in 1921/22, one of the most important events in European diplomacy following World War I.
Arms control remains a major international issue as the twentieth century closes, but it is hardly a new concern. The effort to limit military power has enjoyed recurring support since shortly after World War I, when the United States, Britain, and Japan sought naval arms control as a means to insure stability in the Far East, contain naval expenditure, and prevent another world cataclysm. Richard Fanning examines the efforts of American, British, and Japanese leaders -- political, military, and social -- to reach agreement on naval limitation between 1922 and the mid-1930s, with focus on the years 1927-30, when political leaders, statesmen, naval officers, and various civilian pressure groups were especially active in considering naval limits. The civilian and even some military actors believed the Great War had been an aberration and that international stability would reign in the near future. But the coming of the Great Depression brought a dramatic drop in concern for disarmament. This study, based on a wide variety of unpublished sources, compares the cultural underpinnings of the disarmament movement in the three countries, especially the effects of public opinion, through examination of the many peace groups that played an important role in the disarmament process. The decision to strive for arms control, he finds, usually resulted from peace group pressure and political expediency. For anyone interested in naval history, this book illuminates the beginnings of the arms limitation effort and the growth of the peace movement.
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