Europe’s Most Influential Love-Hate Relationship
Robert and Isabelle Tombs tell the story of the love-hate relationship between the only 9 per cent of the French expressed 'great trust' in the British. was a desperate alliance inspired by the threat of German aggression. Britain's love/hate relationship with 'foreigners' during the Second World War Webster from the University of Huddersfield reveals in her new book, it was more The majority of Germans arriving from were Jewish, and. As Britain starts to extricate itself from Europe's embrace, it is timely to examine the intricacies of this love-hate relationship at another point of crisis. vulnerable island that did not appear well placed to resist the probable German invasion. Lynne Olson, an American historian, has written many books about.
Love and hate, envy, mistrust and admiration have swirled in strange currents. Voltaire loved and plagiarised Shakespeare. English mi'lords played cricket in revolutionary Paris Marie Antoinette got to keep the bat as a souvenir. Michael Faraday received research assistance from Napoleon. Great chefs such as Escoffier transformed English eating habits with an international version of haute cuisine.
The English may not love the French, but how they love France. Insome 12 million Britons were spending, on average, one week a year in France. It is officially estimated that Britons now own somehomes there. According to M and Mme Tombs, it became a French joke that while in Charente there was one Englishman per village, in Dordogne there was just one Frenchman per village.
Peter Mayle, whose A Year in Provence, a huge bestseller in the Eighties, is partly illustrative of that, has called this a tipping point, the shedding of an old identity and the slow merger of two hostile societies.
Observer review: That Sweet Enemy by Robert and Isabelle Tombs | Books | The Guardian
In Germany, left-wing parties, especially the SPD or Socialist Partyin the German electionwon a third of the vote and the most seats for the first time. German historian Fritz Fischer famously argued that the Junkerswho dominated Germany, wanted an external war to distract the population and to whip up patriotic support for the government. Kennedy downplayed the disputes over economic trade and imperialism. There had long been disputes over the Baghdad Railway which Germany proposed to build through the Ottoman Empire.
An amicable compromise on the railway was reached in early so it played no role in starting the July Crisis. Germany relied time and again on sheer military power, but Britain began to appeal to moral sensibilities. Germany saw its invasion of Belgium as a necessary military tactic, and Britain saw it as a profound moral crime, a major cause of British entry into the war. Kennedy argues that by far the main reason for the war was London's fear that a repeat ofwhen Prussia led other German states to smash France, would mean Germany, with a powerful army and navy, would control the English Channel and northwestern France.
British policymakers thought that would be a catastrophe for British security. Germany violated that treaty inwith its chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg ridiculing the treaty a " scrap of paper ". That ensured that Liberals would join Conservatives in calling for war. Historian Zara Steiner says that in response to the German invasion of Belgium: The public mood did change.
Belgium proved to be a catalyst which unleashed the many emotions, rationalizations, and glorifications of war which had long been part of the British climate of opinion. Having a moral cause, all the latent anti-German feelings, that by years of naval rivalry and assumed enmity, rose to the surface. The 'scrap of paper' proved decisive both in maintaining the unity of the government and then in providing a focal point for public feeling.
The Germans broke through into open country but outran their supplies and artillery support.
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By summerAmerican soldiers were arriving on the front at 10, a day, but Germany was unable to replace its casualties and its army shrank every day. A series of huge battles in September and October produced sweeping Allied victories, and the German High Command, under Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburgsaw it had lost and told Wilhelm to abdicate and go into exile. Instead the terms amounted almost to a surrender: Allied forces occupied Germany up the River Rhine, and Germany was required to disarm, losing its war gains, colonies and navy.
By keeping the food blockade in place, the Allies were determined to starve Germany until it agreed to peace terms. At the Paris Peace Conference in earlyhowever, Lloyd George was much more moderate than France and Italy, but he still agreed to force Germany to admit starting the war and to commit to paying the entire cost of the Allies in the war, including veterans' benefits and interest.
At the Genoa ConferenceBritain clashed openly with France over the amount of reparations to be collected from Germany. InFrance occupied the Ruhr industrial area of Germany after Germany defaulted in its reparations. InBritain forced France to make major reductions on the amount of reparations Germany had to pay.
The Dawes Plan and the Young Plansponsored by the US, provided financing for the sums that Germany owed the Allies in reparations. Much of the money returned to Britain, which then paid off its American loans. FromGerman payments to Britain were suspended. Ina secret report by the British Defence Requirements Committee called Germany the "ultimate potential enemy" and called for an expeditionary force of five mechanised divisions and fourteen infantry divisions. However, budget restraints prevented the formation of a large force.
Appeasement has been the subject of intense debate for 70 years by academics, politicians and diplomats. Historians' assessments have ranged from condemnation for allowing Hitler's Germany to grow too strong to the judgement that it was in Britain's best interests and that there was no alternative.
At the time, the concessions were very popular, especially the Munich Agreement in of Germany, Britain, France and Italy. Nazi propaganda and the United Kingdom Germany and Britain fought each other from the British declaration of war, in Septemberto the German surrender, in May In springGermany astonished the world by quickly invading the Low Countries and France, driving the British army off the Continent and seizing most of its weapons, vehicles and supplies.
The enlargement of the European Union and the defeat of the Constitutional referendum in France in spelled the end, at least for now, of a certain idea of Europe which France supported and Britain opposed. At the heart of both debates are long-standing Franco-British differences about the relationship with the US and the future shape of Europe. But the bitterness and animosity of these debates are hard to explain without reference to the past.
The history of that rivalry and of the many strands — political, cultural, sociological — that go to make it up are the subject of That Sweet Enemy, a splendid book by two historians, one French, one British, married to each other and mostly, though not always, in agreement. Their rich and enthralling narrative takes us from — the year the Glorious Revolution established England once and for all as a Protestant nation governed by a parliamentary monarchy — up to the present.
Based on superb scholarship, their text is informative, entertaining and immensely readable for all its pages. Throughout this century, the two countries were almost continuously at war. Money, trade and command of the seas proved decisive.
Germany–United Kingdom relations - Wikipedia
The story is naturally of interest to Americans since North America was at once prize and locus of the struggle. In Act II, the French had their revenge by subsidizing American independence in the revolutionary war — a revenge that proved short-lived, for the cost of bankrolling the Americans proved the last straw for the already bankrupt French state and contributed not a little to the onset of the French revolution.
Americans will not be flattered by the picture painted by our French allies of the ragged uncouth irregulars of the Continental Army nor by the obvious preference of British and French officers for dealing with each other rather than with George Washington and his field commanders. Act III shifts back to Europe, to the French Revolution and Napoleon, a turning point that ends with the decisive defeat of French ambitions and ushers in a century of global dominance by England. This historical narrative unfolds in a unified and carefully balanced manner, but when it comes to final judgments, the two authors fall into a crackling debate along national lines.
France, even under Louis XIV, was essentially on the defensive If the French, until recently, found less pleasure in visiting London French refugees — from aristocrats fleeing the guillotine to de Gaulle — usually departed more anglophobic than they arrivedonce there they found much to admire and envy.German Dating Guide
This constant ebb and flow of mutual influence created strong ties between the two countries but also a number of stubborn, recurrent stereotypes, some of which still recognizably reverberate in the British or French press. Even today the British media — the London tabloids in particular — never tire of taking shots at the frivolous, superficial, pretentious, unreliable French. Amusingly, they like to think of each other as opposites.