Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 222–246 | Cite as

From empire to Atlantic ‘system’: the Round Table, Chatham House and the emergence of a new paradigm in Anglo-American relations

  • Andrea BoscoEmail author


The aim of the article is to investigate the ideological and material influence by the Round Table Movement on the origins of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London, and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, in the definition of a new paradigm in Anglo-American relations. The entrance of the United States into the forefront of world power politics had permanently changed the world’s balance of power, which now required a direct and perpetual association of the United States in the maintenance of the world’s economic and political stability. But in the United States there did not then exist the subjective conditions for their association to the direction of world politics. The interwar historical role played by the Round Table was to steer the transition from an Anglo-French to an Anglo-American dyarchy in the management of world power.


Anglo-American partnership Lionel Curtis the Round Table Movement Chatham House Council on Foreign Relations 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aware that the Great War had been an unnecessary carnage, in which he lost his brother David, Kerr — become in the meantime Lord Lothian — made of his desperate attempt to prevent the Second World War a personal matter, bringing into play all the extraordinary fire-power accumulated meanwhile by the movement. In the implementation of a policy diametrically opposed to that of Milner, appeasement, Lothian actually contributed to the establishment of Hitler’s supremacy in Central and Eastern Europe, exactly what Milner and the Liberal League had denied to the King’s cousin. It is interesting to note how the architects of these diametrically opposed policies towards Germany belonged to the same organization, and how those policies were in any case unable to prevent the outbreak of two world wars. Indeed, they accelerated the drift towards the catastrophe. At different historical moments, but in the same context, the Round Table had strong ideological reasons for adopting opposite policies, which were the major causes of two world wars. If Milner failed, Lothian at the end succeeded, using Germany for other purposes. For a discussion, see Andrea Bosco, The Round Table Movement and the Fall of the ‘Second’ British Empire, 1909–1919 (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016), 376–83.Google Scholar
  2. 1a.
    On Curtis, see: Deborah Lavin, ‘Lionel Curtis and Indian Dyarchy’, in The Federal Idea. The History of Federalism from the Enlightenment to 1945, ed. Andrea Bosco (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 1991)Google Scholar
  3. 1b.
    Deborah Lavin, From Empire to Commonwealth: A Biography of Lionel Curtis (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 1c.
    Deborah Lavin, ‘Lionel Curtis and the Founding of Chatham House’, in Chatham House and British Foreign Policy 1919–1945. The Royal Institute of International Affairs During the Inter-War Years, eds. Andrea Bosco and Cornelia Navari (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 1995)Google Scholar
  5. 1d.
    Andrea Bosco, ed., Two Musketeers for the Empire. The Lionel Curtis-Philip Kerr Correspondence, 1909–1940 (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  6. 1e.
    On Lothian, see: James Ramsay Butler, Lord Lothian (Philip Kerr), 1882–1940 (London, 1960)Google Scholar
  7. 1f.
    John Turner, Lloyd George’s Secretariat (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. g.
    David Reynolds, ‘Lord Lothian and Anglo-American Relations, 1939–1940’, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 73, Part 2, (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. h.
    John Turner, ed., The Larger Idea. Lord Lothian and the Problem of National Sovereignty (London: The Historians’ Press, 1988)Google Scholar
  10. 1i.
    Stefan Schieren, Von Weltreich zum Weltstaat. Philip Kerrs/Lord Lothian Weg vom Imperialisten zum Internationalisten, 1905–1925 (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 1995)Google Scholar
  11. 1j.
    Andrea Bosco, ed., Adviser to the Prince. The Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian) — David Lloyd George Correspondence 1917–1940 (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 1997)Google Scholar
  12. 1k.
    David Billington Jr., Lothian: Philip Kerr and the Quest for World Order (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006)Google Scholar
  13. 1l.
    Priscilla Roberts, Lord Lothian and Anglo-American Relations, 1900–1940 (Danvers, MA: Dordrecht, 2010)Google Scholar
  14. 1m.
    Andrea Bosco, Lord Lothian and the Creation of the Atlantic Policy (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 2012).Google Scholar
  15. 2.
    For a discussion, see Bosco, The Round Table, 384–432.Google Scholar
  16. 3.
    The Soviet Union undoubtedly played a major role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. However, when one considers the possession and possible use of the atomic bomb by the United States against Germany, it is plausible to hypothesize the self-sufficiency by the Anglo-Saxon powers in defeating Germany by late July or early August 1945. As reported by General Leslie Groves — responsible with J. Robert Oppenheimer for the Manhattan Project -just before the Yalta Conference President Roosevelt contemplated the possibility to drop the atomic bomb on Germany — if they had the bomb ready — before the European war was over, Leslie Groves, Now It Can Be Told (New York: Harper, 1962), 184.Google Scholar
  17. 4.
    Priscilla Roberts, ‘Willard D. Straight and the Diplomacy of International Finance During the First World War’, Business History 40, no. 3 (July 1998): 16–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 4a.
    Lippmann to Graham Wallas, 21 April 1916, quoted in John Martin Blum, ed., Public Philosopher: Selected Letters of Walter Lippmann (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1984), 46Google Scholar
  19. 4b.
    Ronald Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century (Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1980), 67–73.Google Scholar
  20. 5.
    Roberts, Lord Lothian and Anglo-American, 33–4. On the East Coast attitude in the United States towards immigrants, see Desmond King, Making Americans: Immigration, Race, and the Origins of the Diverse Democracy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  21. 5a.
    On Roosevelt’s entourage, see Richard H. Collin, Theodore Roosevelt, Culture, Diplomacy and Expansion: A New View of American Imperialism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985)Google Scholar
  22. 5b.
    Kenton J. Clymer, John Hay: The Gentleman as Diplomat (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1975)Google Scholar
  23. 5c.
    William C. Widenor, Henry Cabot Lodge and the Search for an American Foreign Policy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980)Google Scholar
  24. 5d.
    Richard W Leopold, Elihu Root and the Conservative Tradition (Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1954)Google Scholar
  25. 5e.
    Godfrey Hodgson, The Colonel: The Life and Wars of Henry Stimson, 1867–1950 (New York: Knopf, 1990)Google Scholar
  26. 5f.
    Willaim N. Tilchin, Theodore Roosevelt and the British Empire: A Study in Presidential Statecraft (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  27. 6.
    For a debate, see: Thomas J. Knock, To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992)Google Scholar
  28. 6a.
    Nicholas J. Cull, ‘Selling Peace: The Origins, Promotion and Fate of the Anglo-American New Order During World War II’, Diplomacy and Statecraft 7, no. 1 (March 1996): 1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 6b.
    Priscilla Roberts, ‘The Anglo-American Theme: American Visions of an Atlantic Alliance, 1914–1933’, Diplomatic History 21, no. 3 (1997): 333–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 6c.
    Ross A. Kennedy, The Will to Believe: Woodrow Wilson, World War I, and America Strategy for Peace and Security (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2009).Google Scholar
  31. 7.
    Lord Lothian, Pacifism is not enough, nor Patriotism either. Collected Lectures and Speeches by Lord Lothian (Philip Kerr), ed. Andrea Bosco and John Pinder (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 1990), 255–6.Google Scholar
  32. 8.
    Sir J. W Barrett to Curtis, 23 February 1920, Lothian Papers (hereafter LP), 495, National Archives, Edinburgh; H. F. von Haast to Curtis, 8 March 1920, Brand Papers (hereafter BP), 42, Bodleian Library, Oxford; Malcolm to Coupland, 22 February 1919, Round Table Papers (hereafter RTP), Bodleian Library, Oxford, c 814, 155–6; Coupland to Dove, 28 February 1923, RTP, c 804, 197.Google Scholar
  33. 9.
    John Kendle, The Round Table Movement and Imperial Union (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975), 261–2.Google Scholar
  34. 10.
    Curtis to Lothian, 6 December 1936, (quoted in Bosco, Two Musketeers for the Empire, 150–1). Circular to the Dominion groups, 22 December 1920, LP, 17, 16–29. The coverage given by the Round Table to international over Imperial questions increased from 17.8% to 31.5% from 1918 to 1939 (May, The Round Table, 218).Google Scholar
  35. 11.
    B. J. C. Kercher, ‘“The Deep and Latent Distrust”: The British Official Mind and the United States, 1919–1929’, in Anglo-American Relations in the 1920s: The Struggle for Supremacy, ed. B. J. C. Kercher (London, 1991), 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 12.
    Curtis to Hichens, Dawson, Brand and Lothian, 6 August 1930, LP, 252, 627–32. Lord Eustace Percy was British representative from the Foreign Office on the League of Nations Commission, 1919, Conservative MP, 1921–1937, Minister of Health, 1923–1924, President of the Board of Education, 1924–1929, Minister without Portfolio, 1935–1936, Author. Major Harold Temperley was Member of British Military Section, Paris, 1919, editor of A History of the Paris Peace Conference, vol. 6. (London, 1920–1924). James Headlam-Morley was Foreign Office adviser (Political Section) at Paris, 1919, and diplomatic historian. Philip Baker was Foreign Office adviser and Head (under Cecil) of the League of Nations Section at Paris in 1919, Labour MP 1929–1931, and 1936–1970, British delegate to the League Assembly, 1929–1931, Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, 1947, and Professor of International Relations at University of London, 1924–1929. Harold Nicolson was Foreign Office adviser at the Political Section, National Labour MP, 1935–1945, and historian. Major Charles Kingsley Webster was Secretary to the Military Section of the Foreign Office and diplomatic historian. Captain Clement Jones was Assistant Secretary to the War Cabinet, 1916–1920, and Secretary of the British Empire Delegation at Paris. Captain Frank Walters was Private Secretary to Lord Robert Cecil, 1919, senior officer of the League of Nations Secretariat, and author of A History of the League of Nations (London, 1952). Cecil Hurst was Foreign Office League Adviser, 1916–1929, Secretary of the Legal Section of the Foreign Office in Paris, and judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice, 1929–1946. Captain James R. M. Butler was a Member of the Military Section of the Foreign Office, fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Regius Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge, 1947–1954, chief historian for Official Military Histories, 1939–1945, and author of the ‘official’ Lothian biography. Colonel Frederick Kisch was a Member of the Military Section of the Foreign Office in Paris. Edward Frank Wise was an economist, and in Paris was Ministry of Food Adviser. Alexander W A. Leeper was Special Adviser to the Foreign Office Political Section, and Head of League of Nations and Western Department of the Foreign Office, 1933–1935. Captain Edgard Abraham was an Indian Civil Servant, and British Secretary to the Council of Ten at Paris. Charles Strachey was Colonial Office representative at Paris. Sir Robert Garran was Solicitor General of Australia and member of the British Delegation at Paris. Francis Bernard Bourdillon was a member of Admiralty Intelligence Department, 1916–1919, and Secretary of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1926–1929. Herbert James Paton was member of Admiralty Intelligence Department, 1918–1919, adviser to the Political Section of the Foreign Office on Polish affairs, and Professor of logic at Glasgow University and of moral philosophy at Oxford.Google Scholar
  37. 13.
    George Beer was a businessman and historian of the British colonial system in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries, a member of Wilson’s Inquiry 1917–1919, and of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in Paris. James T. Shotwell was a historian at Columbia University, a member of the Inquiry and of the American Delegation in Paris. Archibald Cary Coolidge was Professor of Eastern European History at Harvard University, a member of the Inquiry, and of the American Delegation. Captain Stanley K. Horn-beck was Professor of Political Science at Wisconsin University, a member of the United States Tariff Commission, 1917–1918, a member of the Inquiry and of the American Delegation, and head of the State Department’s Far Eastern Division. Ray S. Baker was Director of President Wilson’s Press Bureau at Paris, and editor of Wilson’s private papers. ‘George Louis Beer,’ The Round Table (September 1920), 935.Google Scholar
  38. 14.
    Charles Seymour, ed., The Intimate Papers of Colonel House, vol. 3 (London: Benn, 1926), 169Google Scholar
  39. 14a.
    Seth Tillman, Anglo-American Relations at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961), 17–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 14b.
    Neil Smith, American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 119, 127Google Scholar
  41. 14c.
    Andrew Williams, Failed Imagination? The Anglo-American New World Order from Wilson to Bush (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), 37Google Scholar
  42. 14d.
    Jonathan Nielson, ‘The Scholar as Diplomat: American Historians at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919’, The International History Review 14, no. 4 (1992), 232.Google Scholar
  43. 15.
    Inderjeet Parmar, Think Tanks and Power in Foreign Policy: A Comparative Study of the Role and Influence of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1939–1945 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 26; Smith, American Empire, 118–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 15a.
    Lawrence Gelfand, The Inquiry: American Preparations for Peace, 1917–1919 (Westport Connecticut: Greenwood, 1976), 16; Andrew Williams, Failed Imagination? 38–39.Google Scholar
  45. 16.
    Gelfand, The Inquiry, 168–69, 183; Nielson, ‘The Scholar as Diplomat’, 243. If among the officials of the American Delegation there was suspicion about the role that the Inquiry’s members would have at the Conference, the 23 members who travelled to Paris with the rest of the American Delegation felt frustrated and resented the poor accommodations offered to them aboard the USS Washington, which landed at Brest on 14 December 1918, (Smith, American Empire, 145); Parmar, Think Tanks and Power, 225; Gelfand, The Inquiry, 169-76; Smith, American Empire, 146–8. If the Black Book dealt with territorial and labour matters, the Red Book regarded colonial issues, (Nielson, ‘The Scholar as Diplomat’, 237–38, 250). According to Gelfand the Black and Red Book ‘will remain for the historian the central statement of the work of the Inquiry and its contribution to the Peace Treaty,’ Gelfand, The Inquiry, 182. For an assessment of the Inquiry, see Ibid., 235–38, 265–67, 322–25.Google Scholar
  46. 17.
    Nielson, ‘The Scholar as Diplomat’, 237, 240; James Headlam-Morley, Sir James Headlam-Morley: A Memoir of the Paris Peace Conference 1919, eds. Agnes Headlam-Morley et al. (London: Butler & Tanner, 1972), 8, 18Google Scholar
  47. 17a.
    John D. Fair, Harold Temperley: A Scholar and Romantic in the Public Realm (Lanham, MD: University of Delaware Press, 1992), 148; Tillman, Anglo-American Relations, 401. Headlam-Morley’s association with Kerr allowed him to put the case for the protection of minorities in front of the inner circle which drafted the Treaty, (Alan Sharp, ‘Sir James Headlam-Morely as Historical Advisor’ (paper presented to the International History Conference on Historians and Officials, London School of Economics, 28–30 June 1993.)Google Scholar
  48. 18.
    Headlam-Morley, Sir James Headlam-Morley, 38–39.Google Scholar
  49. 19.
    Adolf Berle, Navigating the Rapids, 1918–1971: From the Papers of Adolf A. Berle (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), 12–3.Google Scholar
  50. 20.
    According to Shotwell ‘it was chiefly Curtis himself and the American correspondent of The Round Table, the historian George Louis Beer, who conceived’ this idea. Even if Shotwell mentioned that this meeting included Germans, there is no evidence from other eyewitnesses of this, even if the Institut für Auswärtige Politik was in fact created in Hamburg in 1923 as a sister-institute to the British Institute of International Affairs. James T. Shot-well, ‘Address Before the International Conference of Institutes of World Affairs’, 20 October 1953, RTP, 853.152Google Scholar
  51. 20a.
    Harold Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919 (London: Methuen, 1964), 352–3; Headlam-Morley, Sir James Headlam-Morley, 132Google Scholar
  52. 20b.
    Arnold Toynbee, Experiences (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), 60–62; Parmar, Think Tanks and Power, 27–8; Fair, Harold Temperley, 148.Google Scholar
  53. 21.
    Chatham House Papers (hereafter CHP), Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, Report of the Provisional Committee appointed to prepare a Constitution, and select the original members of the British Branch of the Institute of International Affairs, n.d., 1; Kendle, The Round Table Movement, 260–63.Google Scholar
  54. 22.
    Michael L. Dockrill, ‘The Foreign Office and the “Proposed Institute of International Affairs” 1919’, International Affairs 61 (1980): 665–72. CHP, ‘Report of the Provisional Committee Appointed to Prepare a Constitution, and Select the Original Members of the British Branch of the Institute of International Affairs,’ CHP, HDLM Acc 727, 43.Google Scholar
  55. 23.
    James Shotwell, At the Paris Peace Conference (New York, 1937), 121–2.Google Scholar
  56. 24.
    Clement Jones, Diary, 17 June 1919 (quoted in Lavin, From Empire to, 167); Arnold Toynbee, ‘Early Days of Chatham House’, 10, CHP, 2/1/2A.Google Scholar
  57. 25.
    Clement Jones, ‘The Origins of Chatham House’, Chatham House 2/1/2, RTP, c. 869. Lord Robert Cecil, Minister of Blockade, 1916–1921, Head of Foreign Office League of Nations section, 1918–1919, and Leader of the British Delegation on the League of Nations Commission, Paris, 1919, Lord Privy Seal, 1923–1924, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (with special responsibility for League of Nations affairs), 1924–1927, President of the League of Nations Union, 1923–1945. Colonel Edward House, Special Adviser to President Wilson at Paris. Henry White, American diplomat and American plenipotentiary to the Peace Conference, 1918–1919. General Tasker H. Bliss, former United States Army Chief of Staff and United States plenipotentiary to the Peace Conference.Google Scholar
  58. 26.
    Minute by Curtis, 21 June 1919, Foreign Office Papers (hereafter FOP), National Archives, Kew, FO 608/152; ‘Peace Congress. Political, General’ 502/4/1; Minutes of Meeting at Hotel Majestic May 30, 1919, FOP, FO 608/152. General Tasker Bliss had read Curtis’s article ‘Window of Freedom’, and regarded him ‘the most intelligent man and evidently deeply informed on world affairs of great importance,’ (quoted in Lavin, From Empire to, 162). On 22 Dec. 1918 Beer introduced Curtis to Bliss, who was so involved in the conversation as to miss President Wilson’s honorary degree ceremony at the Sorbonne (Ibid.).Google Scholar
  59. 27.
    Ibid.; W R. Louis, ‘The United States and the African Peace Settlement of 1919: The Pilgrimage of George Louis Beer’, Journal of African History 4, no. 3 (1963): 71–2; ‘Minutes of Meeting at Hotel Majestic,’ 30 May 1919, FOP, FO 608/152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 27a.
    D. J. Markwell, “Sir Alfred Zimmern Revisited: Fifty Years On,” Review of International Studies, 12, (1986): 80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 28.
    CHP, 2/1/2; Lionel Curtis, ‘Record of interview with Sir Austen Chamberlain on 18 June 1929’, CHP, 4/BAIL; Report of the British Members of the Joint Committee on the selection of original members of the Institute of International Affairs, CHP, 2/1/2; Minutes of the Provisional Committee, 18 June, Ibid.; Curtis to R. H. Campbell, Foreign Office, 20 August 1919, FOP, FO 608/152. On the Foreign Office attitude, see Zara S. Steiner, The Foreign Office and Foreign Policy, 1891–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), 139–40; Minute of Meeting relative to proposed Institute, May 30, 1919, FOP, FO 608/ 152; Headlam-Morley, A Memoir, 132.Google Scholar
  62. 29.
    Michael Dockrill and Zara Steiner, ‘The Foreign Office at the Paris Peace Conference’, International History Review 2, no. 1 (January 1980): 54–82; LP, 1183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 29a.
    For Crowe’s role at the Peace Conference, see Edward Corp, ‘Sir Eyre Crowe and Georges Clemenceau at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919-20’, Diplomacy & Statecraft 8, no. 1 (March 1977): 10–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 30.
    Toynbee, Experiences, 63–5.Google Scholar
  65. 31.
    Lionel Curtis, ‘Report of the British members of the Joint Committee appointed May 30’, FOP, FO 608/152; ‘Report of the Committee Appointed by an Informal Meeting of Persons Attached to the British and American Peace Delegations at the Hotel Majestic, on May 30, 1919’, Ibid.Google Scholar
  66. 32.
    Kerr to E. Lascelles, 24 December 1920, LP, 214, 124–26; Kerr to Curtis, 26 May 1927, LP, 227, 155–8. On the Rhodes Trust, see Frank Aydelotte, The Vision of Cecil Rhodes (London: Oxford University Press, 1946)Google Scholar
  67. 32a.
    Thomas J. Schaeper and Kathleen Schaeper, Rhodes Scholars, Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite (New York: Berghahn Books, 1998).Google Scholar
  68. 33.
  69. 34.
    Lionel Curtis, ‘Report of the Provisional Committee appointed to prepare a Constitution, and select the original members of the British Branch of the Institute of International Affairs’, CHP, Chatham House 2/1/2. F. Whyte, ‘The British Institute of International Affairs’, The New Europe (July 1920): 308–9; Lavin, ‘Lionel Curtis and the Founding of Chatham House’, 62.Google Scholar
  70. 35.
    Kerr to Robert Cecil, 23 November 1919, LP, 207; Philip Kerr, ‘The British Empire, the League of Nations, and the United States’, The Round Table (March 1920): 248.Google Scholar
  71. 36.
    Arthur Ponsonby, Democracy and Diplomacy. A Plea for Popular Control of Foreign Policy (London, 1915), 6. Educated at Eton and Oxford, the 1st Baron Arthur Ponsonby was Private Secretary of Campbell-Bannerman (1905–1908), Liberal MP for Stirling (1908–1918), and Labour MP for Brightside (1922–1930). From 1929 to 1931, he was a junior minister, and in 1931 became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Michael Bentley, The Liberal Mind 1914–1929 (Cambridge, 1977), 167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 36a.
    Phillip Darby, Three Faces of Imperialism. British and American Approaches to Asia and Africa (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987), 102Google Scholar
  73. 36b.
    Bernard Porter, Critics of Empire. British Radical Attitudes to Colonialism in Africa 1895–1914 (London, 1968), 221.Google Scholar
  74. 36c.
    In The Political Conditions of Allied Success: A Plea for a Protective Union of the Democracies, Norman Angell advocated in 1918 the continuation after the war of co-operation among the democracies in creating common institutions for the strengthening of the Atlantic community, through a process of democratization which would associate public opinion in the foreign policy decisionmaking process, Norman Angell, The Political Conditions of Allied Success: A Plea for a Protective Union of the Democracies (New York, 1918).Google Scholar
  75. 36d.
    For a discussion on Angell and Liberal internationalists, see Lucian M. Ashworth, Creating International Studies: Angell, Mitrany and the Liberal Tradition (Farnham: Ashgate, 1999).Google Scholar
  76. 37.
    Memorandum by Lionel Curtis and Whitney H. Shepardson, CHP, Chatham House 2/1/2; Lavin, ‘Lionel Curtis and the Founding of Chatham House’, 62–3.Google Scholar
  77. 38.
    Stephen King-Hall, Chatham House: A Brief Account of the Origins, Purposes and Methods of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (London: Oxford University Press, 1937), 67.Google Scholar
  78. 39.
    Curtis to Major Webster and 19 others, June 20, 1919, FOP, FO 608/152; Michael Palairet to Campbell, 16 August 1919, FO 608/152; Wilfred Knapp, ‘Fifty Years of Chatham House Books’, International Affairs (Nov. 1970): 139–40; Clement Jones, Diary, 17 June 1919 (quoted in Lavin, From Empire to, 167); Harold W V. Temperely, A History of the Peace Conference of Paris, vol. 6 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1920–1924). Robert Vansittart, was Adviser to the Political Section at Paris, Permanent Under-secretary for Foreign Affairs, 1930–1938, and Chief Diplomatic Adviser, 1938–1941. FO 608/152. Colonel J. M. H. Cornwall was in Paris as a member of the Directorate of Military Intelligence of the War Office. Edwyn Bevan was a member of the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office, 1918–1921, and lecturer in Hellenistic history and literature at King’s College, London, 1922–1933. Dudley Ward was Treasury Officer, and member of the Financial Section of the British Delegation at Paris.Google Scholar
  79. 40.
    Quoted in Paul Williams, ‘A Commonwealth of Knowledge: Empire, Intellectuals and the Chatham House Project, 1919–1939’, International Relations 17 (2003): 41.Google Scholar
  80. 41.
    Quoted in Survey of International Affairs, Research Committee, 7 June 1955, Appendix B/1, CHP, section 2/1/1e.Google Scholar
  81. 42.
    The British Institute of International Affairs (London, 1920), 12–4.Google Scholar
  82. 43.
    Observer (4 July 1920), 12; The Times (5 July 1920), 15.Google Scholar
  83. 44.
    The Times (6 July 1920), 16. Clynes was an MP 1906–1931, and 1935–1945; Home Secretary, 1929–1931; and one time President of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers.Google Scholar
  84. 45.
    Saturday Review, 10 July 1920.Google Scholar
  85. 46.
    Memorandum by Lionel Curtis and Whitney Shepardson, CHA 2/1/2, 2, 11, 13.Google Scholar
  86. 47.
    Parmar, Think Tanks and Power, 166; Donald C. Watt, Foreword to Chatham House, Bosco and Navari; Parmar, Think Tanks and Power, 167.Google Scholar
  87. 48.
    Lionel Curtis, ‘America and the Institute of International Affairs’, CHP, 4/CURT; ‘The American Institute’, BP, 39; Whitney Shepardson, Early History of the Council on Foreign Relations (Stamford, CT: Overbrook Press, 1960); Foster, High Hopes, 56–7Google Scholar
  88. 48a.
    R. H. Rovere, The American Establishment and other Reports, Opinions and Speculations (London, 1963), 238.Google Scholar
  89. 48b.
    On the role of Armstrong in the creation of the Council on Foreign Relations, see Priscilla Roberts, ‘“The Council Has Been Your Creation,” Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Paradigm of the American Foreign Policy Establishment’, Journal of American Studies 35, no. 1 (April 2001): 65–94.Google Scholar
  90. 49.
    Lavin, From Empire to, 168.Google Scholar
  91. 50.
    Watt, ‘The Foundations of’, 431; Lavin, From Empire to, 168.Google Scholar
  92. 51.
    Curtis to Leonard, 21 June 1923, CHP, 4/LEON; Curtis to Leonard 19 July, 26 July, 13 August, 15 August 1923, Ibid.; Curtis to Shepardson, 3 January 1924, RTP, c. 872; Kenneth Younger, ‘The Study and Understanding of International Affairs’, International Affairs (November 1970): 150–64.Google Scholar
  93. 52.
    Donald Cameron Watt, Personalities and Policies. Studies in the Formulation of British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century (London, 1965), 1. For a discussion on the legacy of European imperialism, see: Saul Dubow, The Rise and Fall of Modern Empires: Colonial Knowledges (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013). According to Curtis it was problematic to discern ‘qualities inherent in the English which distinguish them above their neighbours on the Continent,’ and ‘it is impossible to establish any theory of racial superiority.’ Therefore, ‘English success in planting North America... must, in fact, be traced to the respective merits not of breed but of institutions,’ CP, 156/9, 207.Google Scholar
  94. 53.
    Donald Cameron Watt, Succeeding John Bull: America in Britain’s Place 1900–1975 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. 53a.
    Donald Cameron Watt, Personalities and Policies. Studies in the Formulation of British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century (London, 1965), 30.Google Scholar
  96. 54.
    Lavin, ‘Lionel Curtis and the Founding’, 62; Toynbee, Experiences, 61; Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, 353.Google Scholar
  97. 55.
    First Annual Report, British Institute of International Affairs (London, 1920); Lavin, ‘Lionel Curtis and the Founding’, 62.Google Scholar
  98. 56.
    Zimmern was the first chairholder (1919–21). Sir Charles Kingsley Webster (1886–1961), Professor of Modern History at Liverpool University, 1914–1922; General Staff of the War Office, 1917–1918; Secretary, Military Section, British Delegation to the Conference of Paris, 1918–1919; Wilson Professor of International Politics, University of Wales, 1922–1932; Professor of History, Harvard University, 1928–1932; Stevenson Professor of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science, 1932–1953; Foreign Research and Press Service, 1939–1941; Director, British School of Information (New York), 1941–1942; Member of British Delegation, Dumbarton Oaks and San Francisco Conferences, 1944–1945; Member, Preparatory Commission and General Assembly, United Nations, 1945–1946; President of the British Academy, 1950–1954 and Foreign Secretary, 1955–1958. While Professor of International Relations at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth he wrote his two major books on the foreign policy of Lord Castlereagh. Jerome Davis Greene (1874–1959) was an American banker and was involved in several organizations and trusts including Lee, Higginson and Co.; Secretary of the Corporation of Harvard University, 1905–1910, and 1934–1943; Joint Secretary of the Reparations Committee at the Paris Peace Conference; Secretary and Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, 1913–17, and in 1928–1939; Chairman of the Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations, 1929–32; Trustee of the Brookings Institution of Washington, DC, 1928–1945. He was one of the early figures in the establishment of the Council on Foreign Relations, and obtained the professorship at Aberystwyth, 1932–1934, through Curtis’s intervention. Edward Hallett Carr (1892–1982) was educated at the Merchant Taylors’ School, London and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Carr began his career as a diplomat in 1916, and participated in the Paris Peace Conference as a member of the British Delegation. He resigned from the Foreign Office in 1936 to begin an academic career. From 1941 to 1946, Carr worked as an assistant editor at The Times. In 1936, Carr became the Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales, using his position to criticize the League of Nations, which caused much tension with Lord Davies, who had established the Wilson Chair in 1919 with the intention of increasing public support for the League. This was a position which he kept until 1947, when he was forced to resign. On Davies, see Brian Porter, ‘David Davies and the Enforcement of Peace’, Thinkers of the Twenty Years’ Crisis: Inter-war Idealism Reassessed, eds. David Long and Peter Wilson (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995), 58–78.Google Scholar
  99. 57.
    Carrol Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment (San Pedro, CA: GSG, 1981), 197.Google Scholar
  100. 58.
    On the creation of an Anglo-American Establishment, see Priscilla Roberts, ‘The American “Eastern Establishment” and World War I: The Emergence of a Foreign Policy tradition’, vol. 2. (PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 1981)Google Scholar
  101. 58a.
    Donald C. Watt, ‘America and British Foreign Policy-making Elite, 1895-1956’, Personalities and Policies (London, 1965), 19–52Google Scholar
  102. 58b.
    H. C. Allen, Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American relations, 1783–1952 (London: St. Martin’s Press, 1954). An example of the ideological and strategic continuity between the British Empire and the ‘Atlantic system’ is offered by the fact that the Americans played, towards the process of European unification, exactly the same role as played by the British towards the process of Canadian unification, being aware that Canada would become, once united, their crux. The United States promoted European unification because that was the only way to prevent West Germany — and after her, Italy andGoogle Scholar
  103. 58c.
    France — from falling under the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. Great Britain acted in the same way in order to prevent Canadian provinces from falling under the United States’ sphere of influence. Not by chance the Canadian Federation was established two years after the conclusion of the American War of Secession. Another example, on the economic and financial spheres, is offered by Kennedy’s attempt — renewed by the present American Administration, and the object of current negotiations — to establish with the European partners a ‘more perfect union’, with the creation of a transatlantic commercial community. In this attempt to establish the largest ‘single’ market in the world could be seen — depending on the final conditions — a renewal of the fateful protectionist Ottawa agreements of 1932, which represented not only the posthumous and ephemeral victory of Milner over Lothian, but also a tremendous boost to the rise of Hitler to power. The fundamental difference compared with 1932 is that the European Union today has a single currency, which is not the dollar, and quasi-federal institutions, while in 1932 the Dominions were marching in random order. In the same way as Canada — unified under British leadership — represented an insurmountable obstacle to the transformation of the British Empire into a federation, so the European Union — established under American leadership — could represent an insurmountable obstacle to the realization of the Kennedian project — the young Kennedy had been an admirer of Lothian, and met him in Washington — of a ‘more perfect union’ between the two shores of the North Atlantic. Already there exists a common — not yet single — army under American leadership, just as for instance the leadership of the army and the navy in the British Empire had always strictly been under British control. Once the parity between the two currencies was fixed, it would be possible to create a single currency as well. The fact that these goals are reachable in the near future is demonstrated by the present activism of Russia’s foreign policy, since she would be fatally excluded from the Atlantic block, isolated, and further weakened by the inevitable loss of pieces of her former Empire (Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, so forth), which would inexorably be attracted within the Euro-American orbit.Google Scholar
  104. 59.
    Erich Marcks predicted in the early 1920s that the outcome of WWI would bring about ‘Anglo-Saxon world domination’, since counterweights were ‘hardly discernible’. An Anglo-American convergence of interests would have also produced appeasement towards Germany, Erich Marcks, Englands Machtpolitik. Vorträge und Studien (Berlin, 1940), 182.Google Scholar
  105. 60.
    Moving from a completely different perspective, Walter Russell Mead discusses in God and God. Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) the process of transition from a British to an American Empire. The study of the Round Table brings, on the contrary, evidence of a ‘resurrection’, in the present ‘Atlantic system’, of the ‘First’ British Empire, or the Empire as such before the ‘Intolerable Acts’ of 1774.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Lothian FoundationStradellaItaly

Personalised recommendations