The key features included in this book:
This timely book will be essential reading for anyone interested in British politics, foreign policy analysis and British history.
The Labour Party came into existence at the beginning of the twentieth century to deal with the domestic problems of the working class, and it showed relatively little interest in foreign policy issues. In the aftermath of World War I, however, small groups of moderates made the case against the bitter rejection of the Versailles Treaty by many in the Labour Party and the trade union movement. Most of these argued that the League of Nations could be used to remedy some of the deficiencies of the settlement and that such a League must have the sanction of force if it was to be effective.
During the 1930s, the failures of the League--in the Far East, Abyssinia, Spain, and Central Europe--compelled some of its advocates to conclude that, League or no League, the threat from Nazi Germany mandated support for a program of preparedness and rearmament even under the aegis of a hated National Government. The result, by 1937, was the final formal abandonment of many of the radical illusions of the twenties and thirties, as Labour reluctantly but formally assumed a posture that enabled it to share in the governance of wartime Britain and to take a key role in dealing with the international issues that emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War.
This volume contains valuable lessons on the responsibilities of political parties as well as the pros and cons of specific policies. It is essential reading for understanding Britain's later stands as its leaders tried to adjust to Britain's diminished power in the post-World War II world.
In 1963, General de Gaulle dashed Prime Minister Macmillan’s hopes of taking Britain into the European Community (the Common Market). When Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson tried again, de Gaulle again said ‘no’. Six years later, Prime Minister Edward Heath took Britain into the EEC. But by then the country was split and Harold Wilson, to keep the Labour Party from voting to leave, undertook to renegotiate Britain’s membership. When Labour won the 1974 election that renegotiation culminated in the first nationwide referendum ever held in the United Kingdom.
The British people voted by two to one to stay in the European Community, but British membership has been controversial ever since. This is the story of why three very different Prime Ministers all concluded that, in the British national interest, there was no viable alternative to joining the Common Market. In the words and documents of the time (those of politicians, diplomats and journalists from Britain, France and Germany) it relives the frustrations, successes and humiliations of British politicians as they wrestled with the most important issue of their generation. It shows, with the authority of the Government papers of the day, where and why today’s European controversy started and why yesterday’s challenges, and the way they were confronted, hold valid lessons for our time.
This book will be of much interest to students of British political history, European Union politics, Diplomatic History and International Relations in general.
The emotional nexus of the Irish Question was the religious issue, but McCaffrey believes that nationalism emerged from the attempt of the Irish Protestant minority, supported by Britain, to maintain religious, political, economic, and social ascendancy over a deprived and resentful majority. Although British concessions to Irish agitation removed many grievances -- granting to Ireland virtual religious equality, along with substantial social, economic, and political reforms -- nationalism, often frustrated in its attempts to secure reform and freedom, assumed an increasingly rigid position. Nationalists were not willing to settle for less than self-government, and as constitutional methods failed to achieve this goal, violence seemed the only other alternative.
The bitter dissensions created by the Irish Question left permanent marks upon British politics and institutions. The efforts of two Prime Ministers, Peel and Gladstone, to resolve the conflict split their parties, thus contributing to political confusion and instability. But the Irish nationalist−British Liberal alliance achieved improvement in the condition of Ireland and speeded advancement of democracy in Britain. And the attempt of British politicians to deal with the economic and social aspects of the Irish Question undermined laissez faire and encouraged the progress of the welfare state in both islands. On the other hand, the challenge of Irish nationalism sustained and stimulated the no-Popery roots of British nativism, making it an influential factor in politics until early in the twentieth century.
The Irish Question, McCaffrey believes, has particular relevance in our contemporary world of emerging nations, wars of liberation, and tensions between majorities and minorities. Ireland offers an early example of the dreams of cultural nationalists becoming realities and of the sobering fact that ideological revolutionaries often make poor practical politicians.
Unlike other books on the subject, the author considers 'Europe' in its broadest sense and examines a wider history than just Britain's relations with the European Union (EU). This includes pre-war history and the role of key political institutions outside the EU such as the Council of Europe and the Western European Union.
Subjects covered include:
Exploring the political, diplomatic and military relationship between Britain and Europe, this accessible and wide-ranging textbook is essential core reading for students of British and European history and politics.
The Labour Party, War and International Relations, 1945-2006 opens by identifying and examining the factors that have influenced the party’s thinking about war, before considering the post-1945 Cold War context and analyzing a range of cases:
This is a timely book that both illuminates approaches to past wars and helps us understand the basis of current military commitments. As such it will be of great interest to students across courses in politics, history, and war studies.