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British Policy and the Weimar Republic 1918-1919 - Douglas Newton

British Policy and the Weimar Republic 1918-1919

Hardcover Published: 1st July 1997
ISBN: 9780198203148
Number Of Pages: 496

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This book explores the making of British policy toward Germany in the aftermath of its defeat in the Great War. Douglas Newton shows how British pressures on Germany during the formative months of the new republic were crucial in debilitating the German Revolution and the faltering Weimar democracy. Using a vast array of private papers, Dr Newton reveals the inner workings of British policy-making: the long-standing reluctance to make any commitment to German democratization; the overwhelmingly hostile response to the socialist-led German Revolution; the shunning and starvation of the new socialist government; the support for the resuscitation of a degree of militarism to deal with 'Bolshevism' inside Germany; and the battle to achieve the only real concession made to Germany - the minor relaxation of the economic blockade, in March 1919, to allow emergency food relief. British policy towards the `new Germany' was forged in an atmosphere of great tension. The `moderates', especially strong in the intelligence services, who recommended policies of reconciliation, faced powerful ultra-patriotic and economic pressure groups, supported by the popular press who had long insisted upon a policy of aggrandizement in order to smother anticipated unrest in post-war Britain. Britain's decision-makers vacillated for months. With many misgivings, they eventually opted for a `harsh' treaty, in spite of an emerging consensus among the intelligence `experts' in favour of a moderate peace to consolidate Germany's transition to democracy. Douglas Newton shows how domestic political priorities triumphed over expert opinion, with ominous consequences for the fate of German democracy and for the rest of Europe.

Industry Reviews

`a fresh and challenging interpretation.' Jonathan Wright, Twentieth Century British History, Vol.11, No.2, 2000. `Can be profitably read both by students of British policy during this critical period and by those German historians who are so intent upon demonstrating the continuities in that nation's history that they underestimate the degree to which Germany's fate was determined by the ignorance and errors of others.' Kenneth Calkins `Newton has a very clear sense of what motivated policymakers... his periodization is deft... an excellent study of policymaking.' John Turner, Albion

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Politics and Politicians of the 'Knock-Out Blow' Coalitio, 1914-1918p. 15
The Democratization of Germany as a British War Aim, 1914-1918p. 80
Towards a Democratic Germany and a Conditional Armistice, October--November 1918p. 132
Revolution, Armistice, and 'surrender' November 1918p. 192
Electioneering and the Shunning of Socialist Germany, November-December 1918p. 257
In Fear of a Second German Revolution December 1918--March 1919p. 318
Towards Peace by Coercion March-June 1919p. 374
Conclusionp. 415
Select Bibliographyp. 428
Indexp. 447
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198203148
ISBN-10: 0198203144
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 1st July 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.72