The Washington System in Retrospect



The Washington System of naval limitation has been relegated almost to the status of a footnote to twentieth-century history, overshadowed by the momentous and dramatic events that occurred before and after its fifteen-year span, events whose significance in shaping the contemporary world are rightly recognised. The inter-war attempts at arms control were, however, seen by the participating powers as central to their foreign and defence policies, and to the strategic balance between those powers. The failure in this instance of arms control as a means of preventing military rivalry and political conflict must be admitted; but to give a balanced judgement upon the inter-war naval limitation it is necessary closely to examine exactly what the Washington System did and did not accomplish.


Domestic Politics Interwar Period Naval Force Naval Officer Strategic Balance 
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© Christopher G. L. Hall 1987

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