Meddling in Middle Europe

Britain and the 'Lands Between' 1919-1925
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Publication date: 
387 pages

This work addresses the much-ignored history of British policy towards Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland following the creation of nation states in Central Europe at the end of the First World War. Lojkó convincingly argues that the absence of trust in the new political settlement and the discrediting of the traditional channels of diplomacy resulted in British influence in the region, being exerted mainly in the form of commercial and financial undertakings. While not always successful, the emergence of this new policy affected the development of diplomatic ties with these new nations.Yet no lasting diplomatic leverage resulted from this British involvement, and the absence of such influence proved fatal in the late 1930's when the new system of nations was disintegrating under the pressure of escalating violence.


Part I Britain and Hungary: Partnership of Convenience 

Chapter 1 Politics and Diplomacy: Limited Commitments

Chapter 2 The British Role in the Financial Reconstruction of Hungary After the First World War

Part II Britain and Czechoslovakia: Friendship to Estrangement 

Chapter 3 Politics and Diplomacy: The 'Pivot' of Central Europe 

Chapter 4 Britain, Czechoslovakia and the Politics of Finance

Part III British Policy Towards Poland: Diplomats and Bankers Against Heavy Odds 

Chapter 5 Britain and the Birth Throes of an Old State 

Chapter 6 Britain and Poland: Financial Diplomacy with Barriers 




"It is well known that the victorious peacemakers of Paris left numerous issues unresolved in 1919. This substantive study by Miklós Lojkó offers a case in point. Lojkó mined British public and private archival collections to paint an elegant portrait of consummate British diplomacy in the first half of the 1920s. The chapters on financial diplomacy are diplomatic history at its best. Exceedingly well written, they make elaborate schemes of international and public finance understandable to the layman. This is a book that ought to be a prized possession of every research library."