The USA in the Making of the USSR: The Washington Conference, 1921-1922, and "Uninvited Russia"

The USA in the Making of the USSR: The Washington Conference, 1921-1922, and "Uninvited Russia"

The USA in the Making of the USSR: The Washington Conference, 1921-1922, and "Uninvited Russia"

The USA in the Making of the USSR: The Washington Conference, 1921-1922, and "Uninvited Russia"

Synopsis

The Washington Conference of 1921-22 addressed a number of issues, including the rules of war, limits on naval armaments & the territorial integrity of China. This text also examines the role of the conference in bringing stability to north-eastern Asia, where the Soviet Union was emerging as a major player.

Excerpt

More than thirty years ago, two books presented a re-interpretation of the Peace Conference following the First World War. A. J. Mayer, Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking: Containment and Counter-Revolution at Versailles, 1918-1919, New York, 1967, and J. M. Thompson, Russia, Bolshevism and the Versailles Peace, Princeton, 1966 argued the case for considering the problem of Soviet Russia as one of the major influences on Woodrow Wilson and the other statesmen in Paris, even though it was not represented there.

The present project aims at a comparable approach to the Washington Conference on the Limitation of Armaments of 1921-2, hosted by Woodrow Wilson's successor, Warren G. Harding, advocate of a return to 'normalcy'. In the authoritative assessment of Walter LaFeber, this was 'one of the most significant, and overlooked, diplomatic meetings in American history'. (Walter LaFeber, The Clash: US-Japanese Relations throughout History, New York, 1997, p. xix.) Much the same could be said of the Conference as far as the history of Soviet Russia is concerned. Although one official aim was to establish limits on the size of the naval and other armaments of the USA, the UK, France, Italy and Japan, as well as of other countries, there was another such aim, too, to bring stability to the Pacific and the Far East, where Soviet Russia was attempting to establish its hold on the lands of the former Tsarist empire through the stratagem of the Far Eastern Republic (FER). The book will seek to show the importance of the Russian question at the Washington Conference, even though Soviet Russia was not invited to it and has been neglected in the historiography on the subject since.

Through an emphasis on the relations between the USA and Soviet Russia, both formal and informal, in the context of the realignment of great power relations in general, it will come to the conclusion that, through its policy of the Open Door and belief that Soviet Russia could not survive, the USA strove to keep the former empire intact for a non-communist successor

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