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In what ways and with what success did successive British Governments seek to promote disarmament and international harmony during the 1920's?

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Introduction

In what ways and with what success did successive British Governments seek to promote disarmament and international harmony during the 1920's? During the 1920's the British Governments actively sought to promote disarmament and international harmony through their policies and relations with various countries. The different Prime ministers and parties had different approaches but all wanted to reach the same target. They all wished to resolve any problems that had occurred as a result of the First World War and wished to avoid another one and the best way to do this was to promote disarmament and international harmony and relationships. From 1919-1921 David Lloyd George pursued an active foreign policy establishing relations with the USSR and wishing to appease Germany. Lloyd's successor's conduct of foreign policy during the 1920's was far less dynamic and aggressive. The primary aims of Prime ministers Bonar Law (1922-1923), Stanley Baldwin (1923-1924 and 1924-1929) and Ramsey MacDonald (1924-1924 and 1929-1931) were to establish tranquillity. They reflected the British public opinion of being more concerned with financial and economic problems at home and reflecting adventurism abroad. All three hoped for a passive and cheap foreign policy. The main tactics taken to establish international harmony and disarmament were with a variety of diplomatic pacts, agreements and financial plans. The aim of creating international harmony had to be tackled in several ways and with different countries. During the 1920's the British Government made several agreements and pacts with both the USSR and Germany in an attempt to establish better relationships and therefore creating international harmony. ...read more.

Middle

Lloyd George, Bonar Law and Baldwin wanted to adopt policies that would appease Germany and also reduce the reparation payments as they believed that this would help British trade. The steps they took to do this involved several pacts between countries and financial plans. Many of the steps that the British government took to create international harmony were also aimed at helping British trade. The Locarno pact was a step taken that many thought was as 'the real dividing line between the years of war and years of peace.' It was a series of agreements among which it was decided that Germany should be welcomed into the League of Nations in1926. This was a major step on welcoming Germany to once again negotiate in European matters and hopefully creating harmony between the European nations. Germany's western frontiers with France and Belgium were accepted as final and were guaranteed by Britain and Italy. Stresseman the German foreign minister, despite French and British pressure, would not agree to the same recognition of Germany's eastern boundaries. The most he would do was state that the frontiers should not be altered by force but refused to put his signature to this promise. However he was prepared to recognise the new treaties of mutual military assistance signed between France, Poland and Czechoslovakia. At the time the Locarno Pact was seen as a diplomatic triumph. It seemed that Germany had been readmitted to the community of nations and that France and Germany had been reconciled. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although there was no naval race on capital ships the USA, Britain and Japan constructed ships such as cruisers in the aim top out do each other. The agreement was also to provide problems when the second world war. In theory disarmament was the best way to secure international harmony and remove the threat of war, but would not work unless all countries were committed. All countries had different ideas of what was "the lowest point consistent with national safety" was. France in particular were unwilling to reduce land armaments, due to the threat of Germany especially as the Government had not complied to the Treaty of Versailles. It is arguable how successful the British governments were in creating International harmony and disarmament in the 1920's. Relations between France and Germany appeared to be the most difficult to resolve but both were eager to enter into negotiations rather than use force. Britain tried to remain neutral in diplomatic negotiations throughout the decade resolving issues where possible. Although Britain were involved in a variety of issues throughout the world they were primarily concerned with protecting their own security and improving trade. Most issues that threatened international harmony that Britain resolved also benefited Britain in one way or another. The success of disarmament is also difficult to judge as countries were still very distrustful of each other and were not completely honest. Disarmament would have been the key factor in creating international harmony but was not as successful as the British Government hoped. Throughout the 1920's there was little threat of war or military action throughout the world so to some extent the British Government must have been successful in creating international harmony. ...read more.

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