A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 by Andrew Roberts

By Andrew Roberts

A magisterial historical past encouraged by way of Winston Churchill's recognized opus, A historical past of the English-Speaking Peoples for the reason that 1900 is an engrossing account of the 20th century, with a special standpoint on our turbulent occasions. In 1900, the place Churchill ended the fourth quantity of his background of the English-Speaking Peoples , the us had now not but emerged onto the area scene as a superb energy. but the arriving century was once to belong to the English-speaking peoples, who successively and effectively fought the Kaiser's Germany, Axis aggression and Soviet Communism, and who're now suffering opposed to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. Andrew Roberts's historical past proves in particular useful because the usa this present day seems to different components of the English-speaking global as its most sensible, closest and so much liable allies.

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In a speech on Monday, 13 May 1901, at the Hotel Métropole in London, Lord Salisbury used the opportunity of a banquet of the Nonconformist Unionist Association to warn foreign powers off even considering intervening in South Africa. After toasts to King Edward vu and the Royal Family, Salisbury was received with loud cheers as he rose to speak. What he told the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Devonshire, a large group of peers and MPs, and the Association's members was uncompromising: When I was at the Foreign Office - 1 was there a long time - 1 used not infrequently to hear suggestions that our time had passed by, that our star was set, that we were living upon the benefit of the valour of those who had gone before us and upon successes in which we had no active share, and that if we meant to keep our place in the world new exertions were necessary.

Quite apart from the reassuring composition of stable buckets, Great Britain boasted a Royal Navy of 330 ships, a City of London that was the world's financial hub and an admired Queen-Empress who had been on the throne for an unprecedented sixty-three years. Her empire comprised a quarter of the global population, covering one-fifth of the world's land surface. To most Britons their future prospects looked bright, the advance of Civilisation seemed natural and assured, and there seemed no reason why Mankind should not be on an uninterrupted path towards what a young, newly elected British MP of the day named Winston Churchill was later to call 'the sunlit uplands'.

Under the terms of the Paris peace treaty that ended the Spanish-American War on 10 December 1898, the United States obtained Spain's colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam and the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. Cuba obtained her nominal independence, but was effectively a US protectorate. Although in 1897 President McKinley had stated that 'forcible annexation' of the Philippines 'cannot be thought of, by our code' and would amount to 'criminal aggression', twelve months later he was willing to pay Spain $20 million for their cession to the United States.

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