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War, Trade & Diplomacy: Re-assessing Britain’s Entry Into Relations With Soviet Russia

Stickland, Patrick Ford (2023) War, Trade & Diplomacy: Re-assessing Britain’s Entry Into Relations With Soviet Russia. Doctoral thesis, York St John University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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This thesis presents a new analysis of Britain’s entry into diplomatic relations with the government of Soviet Russia, covering a period from the beginning of foreign intervention in Russia to the signing of the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement (1918-1921). It challenges previous interpretations of the British government’s shift in policy regarding the Bolsheviks and instead offers a consolidated explanation of political and economic factors in prompting the 1921 agreement. It argues that Britain’s intervention in the Russian Civil War was not in essence a policy of anti-Bolshevism, and the policy that replaced it – that being to enter into a commercial pact with Moscow – was the product of a miscellany of interests and pressures in British politics and society.

This thesis divides British intervention into two policies: military and commercial. It examines both through military and political perspectives, which often demonstrate contradictory priorities. Commercial intervention is also examined in the contexts of Britain’s geopolitical interests and economic thought and strategy in the aftermath of the First World War.

Due to historiographical factors, the commercial facets and processes are of particular importance to this thesis, which examines cases of British companies with interests in the former Russian Empire, or which attempted to conduct business with Soviet Russia before a trade deal existed. Archival research within this thesis therefore builds upon understanding of early Anglo-Soviet commercial relations with greater detail in how companies themselves operated and made decisions in conducting business in Soviet Russia. Its final chapter examines the course of diplomacy between Britain and the Bolsheviks in the context of commercial and economic proclivities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Status: Published
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA566 20th century
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/8529

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