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Living the Great IllusionSir Norman Angell, 1872-1967$
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Martin Ceadel

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571161

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571161.001.0001

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Leading the LNU, Caballing with Churchill: January 1932–September 1939

Leading the LNU, Caballing with Churchill: January 1932–September 1939

(p.301) 8 Leading the LNU, Caballing with Churchill: January 1932–September 1939
Living the Great Illusion

Martin Ceadel (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces Angell's development into a largely orthodox liberal internationalist, as he belatedly realized that his ‘illusion’ thesis had assumed that aggressors could be reasoned into self-restraint, whereas he now understood that at least in the short term they had either to be appeased or to be deterred. Rejecting the former option, he opted decisively for the latter, campaigning vigorously for collective security and becoming both a leader alongside Viscount Cecil and Gilbert Murray of the League of Nations Union and a member of Winston Churchill's private support group. Admittedly, during 1932–5 Angell somewhat pulled his punches, implying that economic sanctions alone could prevent or punish aggression. After 1936, when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland, Mussolini conquered Abyssinia, and Franco rebelled in Spain, he accepted that collective security required rearmament and military alliances, though idiosyncratically he claimed to support such measures only because the public would not accept his first-choice policy of pacifism. The strain caused by this unresolved contradiction in his thinking caused his health, never good, to deteriorate as war approached.

Keywords:   League of Nations Union, LNU, collective security, pacifism, Winston Churchill, Cecil, Murray

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