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56 James Monroe, the fifth president, warned the European powers in December 1823 against attempting to reverse the trend towards independence in Latin America and went further by indicating that the United States now regarded the Americas as its exclusive sphere of influence. He did not suggest, however, that the United States should cut its commercial or cultural ties with Europe; it would not have occurred to him to do so. In fact, he specifically affirmed that these ties were desirable and should be developed: Of events in [Europe], with which we have so much intercourse and from which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators.

The ascendancy of extreme doctrines of Left and Right was largely the consequence of the crisis. While originating years before, they did little more than expand to occupy the space left by the failure of liberalism. The role of liberalism in shaping the interwar period was thus far greater and far more problematical than is generally appreciated. It deserves to be retrieved from the margins of interwar history to which constant emphasis upon other, ostensibly more extreme, destructive and ‘interesting’ doctrines has consigned it.

G. 28 Sir Nevile Henderson, later to be British ambassador to Germany, elaborated on the racial explanation of the war. ‘[I]t was the Prussians rather than the Germans whom we regarded as our real enemies and ... ’ The trouble arose from the Prussians, whose character was corrupted by a ‘considerable admixture of Slav blood’, and who dominated the country through the Kaiser and military high command. ’29 It followed that once the Prussians were removed from power, there would be no basis for further Anglo-German enmity.

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