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

By Steven James Lambakis | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
Conclusion

I only remain in politics because I think it my duty to try to prevent the great position we won in the war being cast away by folly, and worse than folly, on the morrow of our victory.

-- Winston Churchill

December 6, 1945

House of Commons

Churchill attempted to use the magnificent victory fashioned by the Grand Alliance to fix upon the world a lasting peace, or perhaps more accurate yet, a peace that rested upon a solid foundation, one that could not be easily overturned by folly or design. He did not place his greatest faith, we have seen, in the protection offered by the balancing power of the bomb. Rock-solid peace could come only when the major military and economic powers had "a workaday understanding" with one another. Churchill took up this task with relish, for it meant that he could play a great role in the salvation of his own country and perhaps even the world. "We ought to rejoice at the responsibilities with which destiny has honored us," he said in April 1953, "and be proud that we are the guardians of our country in an age when her life is at stake."1

War, as Churchill understood it, was one of the few constants in international politics. International conflicts are natural to the world, a manifestation of intense national disagreement caused by opposing ambitions and ideological competition. These facts do not mean, however, that wars are inevitable. There are many factors that figure into the causes of war, including that of statesmanship. Churchill, as he consistently demonstrated throughout his career, possessed seemingly limitless faith in his own abilities to shape the world around him. It was the duty of statesmen, he believed, to educate themselves in the ways of the world, to recognize the actions that may lead to international hostilities and to make a tolerable peace their aim. The responsibilities of the statesman are great, for his decisions affect the lives of many millions. He also must

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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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