The History of Twelve Days, July 24th to August 4th, 1914: Being an Account of the Negotiations Preceding the Outbreak of War Based on the Official Publications

By J. W. Morley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
GREAT BRITAIN AND THE ENTENTE CORDIALE

UP to this time Great Britain had acted a secondary part. The quarrel was not one of hers, and not one in which she was directly interested; her only function had been to try and arrange an agreement between the opposing parties. We have now to explain how it was that she came to hold the part of a principal.

Ever since the death of Lord Palmerston, it had been an accepted principle of English politics that she should not take a prominent part in the affairs of the Continent of Europe. The settlement of the Italian and the German questions had indeed removed many of the causes which might have implicated her in Continental affairs; her eyes were directed to the remoter parts of the earth. For forty years it had seemed as though this attitude of self-abnegation would be preserved. Nothing but the strongest motives could have induced the nation to change what seemed to have become a settled and permanent principle of British policy, and to take again a leading and active part in a Continental war.

This is not the place for an examination of the great change which took place between the years 1900 to 1905; it is, however, necessary to point out what exactly was the position of Great Britain in the spring of 1914.

It can be considered under two headings, the relation to France and the relation to Germany.

The cordial and close understanding with France which had existed for about ten years had originated in a series of agreements, the immediate result of which was simply to remove by an amicable settlement a large number of differences, some of local, and some of more general importance, which had for long existed between the two countries. So far the result was a

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The History of Twelve Days, July 24th to August 4th, 1914: Being an Account of the Negotiations Preceding the Outbreak of War Based on the Official Publications
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xxiii
  • Part I 1
  • Chapter I - Serbia and Austria 3
  • Chapter II - Germany 40
  • Chapter III - Russia and Austria 62
  • Chapter IV - The Serbian Reply 84
  • Chapter V - Mediation 99
  • Chapter VI - German Efforts for Peace 144
  • Chapter VII - Declaration of War on Serbia 164
  • Chapter VIII - The Intervention of the Emperor 177
  • Chapter IX - Russian Mobilisation 202
  • Chapter X - Mediation Renewed 226
  • Chapter XI - The German Ultimatum 240
  • Chapter XII - Declaration of War on Russia 259
  • Chapter XIII - Declaration of War on France 267
  • Part II 287
  • Chapter XIV - Great Britain and the Entente Cordiale 289
  • Chapter XV - British Intervention 303
  • Chapter XVI - The Neutrality of Belgium 346
  • Chapter XVII - The Violation of Belgian Neutrality 370
  • Appendix A 391
  • Appendix B 393
  • Appendix C 399
  • Appendix D 402
  • Index 405
  • Documents Quoted 409
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