The Admission of Germany to the League of Nations, 1922–26
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The attitude of the British and German governments towards the work of the League of Nations, an organisation that was the very embodiment of the commitment of many of the world’s nations to the pursuit of peace at the end of the First World War, illustrates many of the differences between the two countries towards international diplomacy. To the British government, the League was a worthwhile cause but one which, potentially, threatened to embroil Britain in diplomatic conflicts where her interests were not at stake. This was the price of a permanent seat on the League’s governing body, the Council, but one that was thought to be worth paying in the same way that the burdensome task of administering the empire offered Britain enormous influence in international diplomacy. At the same time, a balance needed to be struck between the work of the League and the requirements of British foreign policy, particularly regarding European security. It was this debate that the British government was engaged in throughout D’Abernon’s embassy and for much of the remainder of the interwar period. In contrast, the German governments that held office between 1920 and 1926 viewed membership of the League as a means to an end as an opportunity to deal with the Allies on equal terms to secure concessions relating to the security of Germany’s frontiers and potential revisions of the Treaty of Versailles.
KeywordsBritish Government German Government Permanent Member European Security German Policy
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