The Unfinished Peace after World War I: America, Britain and the Stabilisation of Europe, 1919–1932

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-02-11
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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This is a highly original and revisionist analysis of British and American efforts to forge a stable Euro-Atlantic peace order between 1919 and the rise of Hitler. Patrick Cohrs argues that this order was not founded at Versailles but rather through the first 'real' peace settlements after World War I - the London reparations settlement of 1924 and the Locarno security pact of 1925. Crucially, both fostered Germany's integration into a fledgling transatlantic peace system, thus laying the only realistic foundations for European stability. What proved decisive was that key decision-makers drew lessons from the 'Great War' and Versailles' shortcomings. Yet Cohrs also re-appraises why they could not sustain the new order, master its gravest crisis - the Great Depression - and prevent Nazism's onslaught. Despite this ultimate failure, he concludes that the 'unfinished peace' of the 1920s prefigured the terms on which a more durable peace could be founded after 1945.

Author Biography

Patrick O. Cohrs is Assistant Professor of History and International Relations at Yale University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. x
List of abbreviationsp. xii
A note on the footnotes and bibliographyp. xiv
Introductionp. 1
Prologue: The truncated peace of Versailles and its consequences, 1919-1923p. 20
The wider challenges The legacy of the Great War and the era of imperialismp. 25
Wilson, Lloyd George and the quest for a 'peace to end all wars'p. 30
The ill-founded peace of 1919p. 46
The escalation of Europe's post-Versailles crisis, 1920-1923p. 68
The Anglo-American stabilisation of Europe, 1923-1924
Towards a Progressive transformation of European politics The reorientation of American stabilisation policy, 1921-1923p. 79
Towards transatlantic co-operation and a new European order The reorientation of British stabilisation policy, 1922-1924p. 90
The turning-point The Anglo-American intervention in the Ruhr crisisp. 100
From antagonism to accommodation The reorientation of French and German postwar policies, 1923-1924p. 116
The two paths to the London conference The Dawes process and the recasting of European international politicsp. 129
The first 'real' peace settlement after World War I The London agreement of 1924 and the consequences of the 'economic peace'p. 154
Europe's nascent Pax Anglo-Americana, 1924-1925
The dawning of a Progressive Pax Americana in Europe?p. 187
Towards the Locarno pact Britain's quest for a new European concert, 1924-1925p. 201
Regression? US policy and the 'political insurance' of Europe's 'economic peace'p. 220
Beyond irreconcilable differences? New German and French approaches to European securityp. 227
The path to Locarno - and its transatlantic dimensionp. 237
The second 'real' peace settlement after World War I The Locarno conference and the emergence of a new European concertp. 259
The unfinished transatlantic peace order: the system of London and Locarno, 1926-1929
Sustaining stability, legitimating peaceful change The challenges of the latter 1920sp. 287
Progressive visions and limited commitments American stabilisation efforts in the era of London and Locarnop. 296
'Reciprocity'? Britain as 'honest broker' in the Locarno systemp. 325
The new European concert - and its limitsp. 345
Thoiry - the failed quest for a 'final postwar agreement'p. 378
Towards peaceful change in eastern Europe? The crux of transforming Polish-German relationsp. 409
Achievements and constraints The European security system of the latter 1920sp. 417
No 'new world order' The limits of the Kellogg-Briand pactp. 448
The initiation of the Young process The final bid to fortify the system of London and Locarnop. 477
The last 'grand bargain' after World War I The Hague settlement of 1929 and its aftermathp. 531
Epilogue: The disintegration of the unfinished transatlantic peace order, 1930-1932 - an inevitable demise?p. 572
Conclusion: The incipient transformation of international politics after World War I - learning processes and lessonsp. 603
Map: Post-World War I Europe after the peace settlement of Versaillesp. 621
Bibliographyp. 623
Indexp. 651
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