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What brought about the new approach to foreign policy?

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What brought about the new approach to foreign policy? The new approach to foreign policy between 1902 & 1907 could be viewed, on the face of it, as a direct result of the resignation of lord Salisbury as foreign secretary in 1900 and by the appointment of his successor, Lord Lansdowne, a point which is widely recognised by many historians. Although Lord Lansdowne brought a new perspective to international affairs, I believe that a number of other factors were more important in moving Britain away from However, I believe that the Boer war was a main reason as to why Britain shifted its position of isolation, though not significant without the following, which I have identified as factors. Relative economic decline, the extent to which Britain was overstretched, what 'a new mood in Britain' had to do with foreign policy, and developments in Germany are the more important topics which I shall mention. ...read more.


Very much alike to the Roman Empire, the British expanded their empire fairly rapidly. Many years of peace followed, and then suddenly everything had started to go wrong. It is widely regarded that due to the size of the empire, Britain was overstretched. Although large, the navy was simply not big enough to cope with and effectively withstand the pressure. For example, battleships had to travel vast distances just to sort out minor issues. A factor which was definitely important to foreign policy, but not generally recognised, were the developments in Germany at the time. It is one that although still important, not many people would necessarily come across. It was basically about Britain's relations with Germany at the time and what Germany was doing to affect that relationship. At the beginning of the 20th century, Germany was keen to establish a relationship with Britain, but the possibilities were on a number of occasions pushed aside by Britain. ...read more.


On the other hand, such alliances can drag you into wars which involve issues that do not matter to you. A perfect example which demonstrates the problem is the outbreak of WW1, which was fought over the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire whose death acted as the main trigger. With all of the alliances in place, a war became inevitable. From the events that followed, Germany ended up declaring war on Russia, who were part of the triple Entente with Britain and France. This resulted in Britain going to war because of affairs that didn't have any concern to Britain. In conclusion, I would definitely argue that the main reason for Britain changing its approach to foreign policy was the need to protect the empire. Britain went to great lengths to preserve the empire they had created, but at the same time unintentionally contributed to the diplomatic tensions that were made as a result. ...read more.

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