GREAT BRITAIN: The Natural Alliance

Though Frenchmen may not intend it that way, whenever they flout world opinion, German stock tends to go up. This truism was evident in London last week. The 20th century reflex is to think of Britons and Germans as mortal enemies, and Britons and French as fond allies. But before the two World Wars, the opposite was more often the case. As late as the end of the 19th century, Britain's obvious partner in trade, diplomacy and royal bedrooms was Germany. "The natural alliance," said Salisbury's Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain on Nov. 30, 1899, "is between ourselves and the...

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