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Anglo-American Relations in the 1920s: The Struggle for by B. J. C. McKercher

By B. J. C. McKercher

This assortment examines the advanced fight for supremacy performed among the U.S. and Britain within the decade following global struggle I. the purpose is to throw gentle on an important interval within the historical past of British and American international coverage and on 20th-century foreign affairs.

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Clearly Lloyd George's optimism about working with Wilson reflected the elan and good intentions attending the successful ending of the war. The initial encounter with Wilson had been brief; the differences in the Wilsonian and British peace conference agenda glossed over. The possibility that the American President might prove 'obstinate' had been mentioned, but no one suspected how obstinate Wilson could be. George W Egerton 33 Indeed, British leaders remained largely in the dark on the details of the American peace programme, not least on the question of international organisation.

When British leaders of the league of nations movement were unsuccessful in petitioning for the formation of an Anglo-American committee of officials and experts to study the league idea, Cecil in late 1917 persuaded his cousin, Arthur Balfour, Foreign Secretary in the Lloyd George government, to form a commission of British officials and specialists under the chairmanship of the prominent Law Lord, Walter Phillimore, to analyse and report on the idea of a peace league. Although Cecil never developed a personal friendship with Wilson, he fully shared the President's ideological and religious passion for the league and the collective security ideal.

American and British negotiators both favoured the sanctioning of procedures for considering international disputes as suggested by the Phillimore committee and the Foreign Office. Cecil attempted to inform George W Egerton 35 Lloyd George on the substance of Anglo-American discussions as they proceeded, but had only minor success in attracting the Prime Minister's attention. When preliminary negotiations with American officials were nearing conclusion, on 29 J anuary, with the Council of Ten at each other's throats over the destiny of the German colonies, Cecil submitted the so-called Cecil-Miller draft to Lloyd George with the request for government authorisation to continue the negotiations on the basis of its provisions.

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