United Kingdom During World War I and II

United Kingdom During World War I

HISTORY: THE FIRST WORLD WAR

In the second half of the century. XIX, liberalism and liberalism were replaced by conservatism, protectionism and imperialism. Major exponents were B. Disraeli, Lord Salisbury, J. Chamberlain and CJ Rhodes. In the last thirty years of Queen Victoria’s reign, Great Britain, which, by ceding the Ionian Islands to Greece (1863), had weakened its position in the eastern Mediterranean, regained strength by becoming the de facto master of the Suez Canal, through the purchase a large share of the company’s shares (1875) and subsequently occupying Cyprus (1878) and Egypt (1882); he submitted to his control a large part of Black Africa and destroyed (1902) the independence of the Boer republics; entered into diplomatic conflicts which risked becoming military conflicts with France (Fascioda incident, 1898) and with Russia, which was forced to abandon the positions occupied in the Balkan Peninsula (1878) and in the Far East (1905); it had to undergo the commercial and naval challenge of the new German empire and this threat pushed it, at the beginning of the century. XX, to change course. Unable to sustain the “splendid isolation” of the previous century, Great Britain, after having allied itself with Japan in 1902 in an anti-Russian function, rejoined France (1904) and Russia (1907) in an anti-German function and in 1914 it was in their side when these two powers were attacked by Germany.

According to usprivateschoolsfinder, the First World War saw Britain engaged in a remarkable effort which was crowned with success: the peace treaties of 1919-20 increased its colonial rule and eliminated the Germanic danger; but at the same time the power of the United States and Japan was affirmed in the world and the Bolshevik propaganda aimed at shaking the dominance of Great Britain and France in the Asian countries began. Great Britain, which had granted self-government to Canada since 1867 and had gradually extended it to Australia (1901), New Zealand (1907) and South Africa (1909), was forced to grant it to all ‘Ireland (1921) solving, at least temporarily, that problem whose solution it had tried in vain to achieve, precisely with self-government (home rule), another great political figure of the second half of the century. XIX, WE Gladstone. With the Statute of Westminster (1931) the already vast autonomies of the Dominions were enlarged so as to make them real independent states having in common the person of the sovereign; independence was granted, albeit with military limitations, to Egypt (1922) and Iraq (1932); the policy of disarmament and collective security sponsored by the League of Nations was favored; but this conduct, inspired by noble but utopian ideals and pursued for budgetary reasons, ended up being harmful because it enabled the militarist powers to violate the peace without having to fear the British reaction.

HISTORY: WORLD WAR II

The Japanese aggression on China (1931) and the Italian one on Ethiopia (1935) and the repeated violations of the treaties committed by Hitler Germany starting from 1935 and culminating in the destruction of Czechoslovakia (1939) constituted the painful stages of the British awakening to reality and it was the premier himself, Chamberlain, who until the end had tried to save the world from the catastrophe of a conflict, who in September 1939 declared war on Germany, when it attacked Poland. It was World War II. The collapse of the allied France (1940), which occurred simultaneously with the Italian intervention on the side of Germany, first put Great Britain in serious difficulty, which the English people, under the guidance of that great animator who was W. Churchill, he knew how to endure with firmness. Thanks to the help of the Dominions and the United States and the political errors of Germany which pushed the USSR, hitherto its supporter, into the ranks of its enemies, and of Japan which provoked the American military intervention, Great Britain was thus able to arrive, albeit exhausted of forces, to victory (1945). The second post-war period was dedicated not only to material reconstruction, but to a downsizing of the British Empire and a restructuring of Great Britain. The colonies deemed no longer tenable were immediately abandoned: in 1947 independence was granted to India, in 1948 to Palestine, Burma, Ceylon (today’s Sri Lanka); in 1956, when the coup against Egypt that had nationalized the Suez Canal failed, the decolonization process became even more rapid and Ghana and Malaysia (1957), Cyprus and Nigeria (1960), Sierra Leone and Tanganyika (1961), Uganda (1962), Kenya (1963), Zambia and Malawi (1964), Malta (1965), not to mention that the most important countries obtained independence remaining in the British Commonwealth (from which however Ireland and Burma emerged in 1949 and South Africa, today’s Republic of South Africa, in 1961), but with increasingly tenuous ties because by now the motherland was no longer able to defend them. Thus it was that, contrary to its traditions, Great Britain entered into permanent alliances against Germany (Dunkirk Pact, 1947), in the independence while remaining in the British Commonwealth (from which, however, Ireland and Burma emerged in 1949 and South Africa, today’s Republic of South Africa, in 1961), but with increasingly tenuous ties because by now the motherland was no longer able to defend them. Thus it was that, contrary to its traditions, Great Britain entered into permanent alliances against Germany (Dunkirk Pact, 1947), in the independence while remaining in the British Commonwealth (from which, however, Ireland and Burma emerged in 1949 and South Africa, today’s Republic of South Africa, in 1961), but with increasingly tenuous ties because by now the motherland was no longer able to defend them. Thus it was that, contrary to its traditions, Great Britain entered into permanent alliances against Germany (Dunkirk Pact, 1947), in the NATO (1949), in the SEATO (1954) and in the CENTO (1955).

United Kingdom During World War I