Al-Ghailany, Yusuf A.M. (1992) Parliament and the control of British foreign policy 1900-1914: with special reference to the European alliance systems. Masters thesis, Durham University.
In 1900, when the other European great powers were already involved in two antagonistic alliance systems, Britain remained uncommitted and isolated; in 1914, she entered the continental war on the side of one of those alliances and against the other. This thesis studies this evolution from isolation to commitment from the perspective of Parliamentary opinion, discusses what the opinion of Members of Parliament was on this momentous transition, and seeks to elucidate the question of the extent to which Parliament was informed of the objectives and methods of British policy, and the extent to which it was able to influence or control them. The main primary source used is therefore Hansard, The Parliamentary Debates (4th and 5th Series). A full discussion is offered of all of the main debates in the House of Commons between 1900 and 1914 on foreign policy, and particular attention is paid to Parliamentary opinion on the 'balance of power' in Europe and on Britain's evolving relations with the two European alliance systems. The important question is raised of the extent to which Parliament was adequately informed of important developments such as the developing military commitment to France, the growth of the Anglo-Russian connection, and the failure to reach an understanding with Germany; and the extent to which it was therefore able to influence the vital developments which led to Britain's entry into the war of 1914. An argument is offered to show that, although there was from 1909 onwards a spirited Radical campaign in Parliament against the government’s policy, the majority on all sides in Parliament supported that policy and was in favour of the balance-of-power policies which led Britain into war in 1914.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||18 Dec 2012 12:04|