‘Give Pause to the Hardiest Aggressor’

Peter J. Yearwood

in Guarantee of Peace

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199226733
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191710308 | DOI:
 ‘Give Pause to the Hardiest Aggressor’

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Soon after the outbreak of the First World War British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey began to insist that the United States would have to guarantee any peace to which it might be a party. Although this was mainly intended to block any inopportune mediation attempt by Woodrow Wilson, Grey did believe that the European settlement would be more stable if Washington were committed to its maintenance. London's failure to respond to Wilson's feelers led to a sharp deterioration in Anglo‐American relations as Lloyd George became prime minister in December 1916. However, the new Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, and his deputy Lord Robert Cecil, who had already worked out a plan intended to be more palatable to the United States by emphasizing economic rather than military sanctions, continued Grey's broadly pro‐American policy. The need for a guarantee was reaffirmed. American entry into the war would make this a practical possibility.

Keywords: First World War; guarantee of peace; Anglo‐American relations; American mediation attempts; Woodrow Wilson; Edward Grey; Robert Cecil; David Lloyd George; Arthur Balfour; military sanctions; economic sanctions

Chapter.  17934 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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