The period from 1898 to 1907 is generally, and rightly, regarded as a turning-point in the history of Britain’s relations with foreign powers.1 It saw the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese alliance — the first such formal undertaking towards another great power of the new era. It also saw the making of the ententes with France and Russia which, although formally consisting only of agreements on matters external to Europe in dispute between the parties, was to prove in effect a commitment to the support of the Franco-Russian alliance against Germany and Austria.2 Although some historians have held that the Anglo-Japanese alliance was an outcome of rivalries in Europe, its most recent historian has pointed out that ‘Britain entered into the alliance largely by reason of her eastern rather than her European interests’.1 The second version of the alliance in 1905 with its extension to cover India, supports this thesis.


Foreign Policy British Government General Staff Home Government Treaty Obligation 
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© Max Beloff 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Beloff
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OxfordUK

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