BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY
The success of German foreign policy during the generation that followed the creation of united Germany depended largely upon two conditions. It was essential that the Franco-Russian combination should be kept innocuous: French policy must remain passive and the attention of Russia must be distracted from the European situation to the Far East. It was also of vital importance to Germany that her control of continental diplomacy should not be disturbed by the opposition of Great Britain. Towards the close of the century, therefore, when Germany began to conceive her schemes of world policy, the attitude of Great Britain was of the greatest concern to German diplomats.
British foreign policy, since the time of Elizabeth, has been determined mainly by colonial and maritime interests; underneath all the apparently contradictory manifestations of Great Britain's policy, this single motive is to be found. At times, as for example during the reign of Louis XIV and the eras of Frederick the Great and Napoleon, a concern for the maintenance of the continental equilibrium has been the chief characteristic of Great Britain's attitude. At other times, she has rigidly excluded herself from continental complications, and taken up a position of isolation. The superficial contradiction in her policy
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Diplomatic Background of the War, 1870-1914. Contributors: Charles Seymour - Author. Publisher: Yale University Press. Place of publication: New Haven, CT. Publication year: 1916. Page number: 115.