• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was splendid isolation(TM) the most important factor of British foreign policy between 1902 and 1939?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was 'splendid isolation' the most important factor of British foreign policy between 1902 and 1939? During the period of 1902 - 1939 the British foreign policy was described as that of 'splendid isolationism' by a speaker of the Canadian parliament; this policy was a major part of British foreign policy, and essentially involved Britain keeping out of European affairs, in an effort to not only maintain the balance of power but also in an effort to protect the British economy and empire. However Britain was willing to interfere in these affairs when one country became too powerful, and threatened the balance of power, as she showed throughout this period, and firstly by signing a series of ententes during the start of the 1900's. The first of these was signed in 1902 with Japan. In this Britain agreed to go to war and defend Japan, as long as she was under attack from more than one company. ...read more.

Middle

Germany became more and more aggressive, not only manipulating the two Moroccan crises in 1905 and 1911 in an effort to force Britain and France apart, but also by building a navy under the Kaiser Wilhelm. During the First World War Britain went on to play a leading role, pushing Germany back and eventually defeating her, as well as playing a decisive role in the treaty of Versailles in 1919, which led to Germany being harshly punished for her attempts at European dominance. This quickly restored the balance of power, meaning Britain could attempt to return to her policy of 'splendid isolation'. After the First World War Britain desperately wanted to go back to 'splendid isolationism' and concentrating solely on her economy and empire. This caused an argument with France, who wanted to strengthen ties with Britain. However, Britain perceived France to be a bigger threat to the balance of power than Germany, and refused to build a channel tunnel linking the two countries. ...read more.

Conclusion

All of these things were against the terms of the Versailles treaty, but Britain did not want to be drawn into a second world war. This was, however unavoidable, with Britain being forced to fight Germany following her attack on Poland. Winston Churchill warned that the policy of appeasement towards Germany would not work, stating that Germany would keep pushing on, and that Britain needed to stand up to her before she got too strong. He was ignored however, and the consequences were the Second World War and the death of millions of troops. So, in conclusion, although 'splendid isolation' was a small part of Britain's foreign policy, it is possible to say that it never actually existed, as it was never an official policy, and more of a collection of policies that would have appeared to be 'splendid isolation' to the rest of the world. However Britain never stuck strictly to this, always interfering in order to preserve both the balance of power and the state of her own economy and empire, even when this mean going to war with Germany. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    However, the British troops learned a lot and the bombardment did wear the Germans and their resources down. In addition, there were German casualties after the bombardment. In 1917, the 'battle of Cambrai' began.

  2. Do you think that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in ...

    They were later banned from running for the US. In 1966, a survey showed that less than 5% of black people supported Black Nationalism- this highlights King's success. We can clearly see that the importance of King was, and is, unquestionable; however, there were many other factors that influenced the Civil Rights Movement.

  1. Failures of the League

    nation that had used aggression to enforce its will on a weaker nation. Many people saw the League as weak, trying to do anything to keep good relationships with powerful countries and not bothering about the people in poor countries such as Abyssinia.

  2. To what extent was appeasement justified?

    The policy of appeasement was a system of yields, compromise and sacrificial offerings to Hitler's Germany that allowed him time to rebuild the Germany military into an amazing, strong, fully ready army, and to become even more powerful than it already was.

  1. To what extent was the assassination of the archduke of Austria the most important ...

    The Second World War began in September 1939, when Britain declared war on Hitler's Germany, when she invaded Poland, as with Belgium in the First World War, this was a short term cause of the war. Also, the Versailles treaty was a long term cause of the Second World War.

  2. Explain why Abraham Yacobovitsc was living at 116, Redbank in 1902

    There were many restrictions in the law that were aimed towards the Jews, first of which was that the Jews were not allowed to be engaged in agriculture, except by leasing, this meant the Jews were no allowed to grow crops without the prescription of a lease.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work