The Anglo-German Alliance Talks and the Failure of Amateur Diplomacy

Adam Lajeunesse


In 1914 Great Britain and the German Empire were implacable enemies, embroiled in the greatest war the world had ever known. However, little more than a decade previously relations between these two great powers were far different. From 1898-1903 the two states were engaged in extensive negotiations meant to cement their friendship with an Anglo-German alliance. The ultimate failure of these talks was largely the result of amateur diplomacy. It was the failure of men like Joseph Chamberlain and Hermann von Eckardstein who, through their impetuous and occasionally
dishonest dealings, prevented the honest and constructive discourse which could have led the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

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