Joseph Chamberlain and Foreign Policy, 1895-1903.

Bray, Dominic (2015) Joseph Chamberlain and Foreign Policy, 1895-1903. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis investigates Joseph Chamberlain’s conceptualisations of foreign policy while colonial secretary, 1895 to 1903. While Chamberlain’s influential position has been noted in the historiography it has not been central to any study. Therefore Chamberlain’s motivation and aims are not clearly understood. Most often his ideas are contrasted with Salisbury’s, who currently enjoys a very high reputation as a realpolitck Foreign Secretary, with a clear sense of perspective and direction. This study will therefore reconsider how Chamberlain’s opinions interacted with Salisbury’s. The current debate also under-represents Balfour’s own dissention from Salisbury and his own bid to control or influence British foreign policy. Therefore, this study sits firmly within the debate on British Isolation while acknowledging the Decline debate. Chamberlain was motivated to solve the problem of defending British interests, formal and informal, while Britain suffered from over-extension. His interest in a German alliance was heightened by events in China but was not limited to them; hence he was not content with the security afforded by the Anglo-Japanese alliance. An Anglo-German Alliance was to be the beginning of a new global Power bloc which would then order the world mainly for the benefit of its members. However, Chamberlain’s enthusiasm for an Anglo-German alliance began to decline much earlier than historians normally allow. Likewise, although tense, Chamberlain’s working relationship with Salisbury was stronger than has been previously allowed. Chamberlain’s Cabinet colleagues also made use of his assertive nature in order to ensure opposition to Salisbury’s policy was not dismissed without having to compromise their own relationships with the Prime Minister. Chamberlain was unsuccessful in negotiating an Anglo-German alliance and so turned to Imperial Preference in order to strengthen the Empire as a solution to Britain’s stretched resources.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 14:54
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 14:54


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