Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War

By Steven James Lambakis | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
The Grand Alliance:
Grand Forces, Great Men,
and a Grave New World

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the genesis of Winston Churchill's postwar Soviet policy. A more thorough understanding of the Grand Alliance will allow us to better comprehend the postwar period and the antagonisms inherent in the East-West relationship. In this stage of Churchill's career, he seriously entertained the idea of a thoroughgoing reconciliation with the Kremlin, and this despite what we have learned of Churchill's hostility towards communism in chapter two.

That chapter underscored the fact that the 1917 Russian Revolution brought to the world stage a radically different alternative to the existing international order. Churchill violently opposed formal recognition of the Soviet state several years after its inception. He thought this new regime represented the antithesis of the just political order. He threatened to resign from Lloyd George's Liberal cabinet in 1921 if the government recognized, formally or otherwise, the legitimacy of Bolshevik rule by negotiating with them at the Genoa Conference. Churchill wrote to the prime minister that the basis for nonrecognition rested upon the fact that there was no improvement in Bolshevik character or behavior. He stood firmly in his belief that the Soviet leaders could never reform themselves. 1 Only in 1924, on an initiative by the first-ever Labour government, did Great Britain grant de jure recognition to the Soviet government.

By the late 1930s and early 1940s, significant improvement in Anglo- Soviet relations had not been realized. In fact, one could say that diplomatic relations had worsened under Stalin's harsh rule over the people of Russia and the other Soviet republics. Soviet interference in British politics, the subsidizing of subversive activities, for example, culminated in a breach in diplomatic relations

-33-

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Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Note xii
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 Some Elements of Churchill's Political Understanding 7
  • Notes 26
  • Chapter 3 the Grand Alliance: Grand Forces, Great Men, and a Grave New World 33
  • Notes 75
  • Chapter 4 Churchill at Fulton: the Precarious Peace 85
  • Notes 104
  • Chapter 5 Churchill's Postwar Statesmanship Part I: Force and International Politics 109
  • Notes 125
  • Chapter 6 Churchill's Postwar Statesmanship Part Ii: Negotiation and Persuasion 131
  • Chapter 7 Conclusion 163
  • Notes 172
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 181
  • About the Author 187
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