San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The New Zealand-United Kingdom Link Foundation in association with
The Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London
Request the pleasure of your company at
The NZ-Uk Link Foundation Inaugural Annual Lecture
to take place at 5.00pm on Thursday 16th October 2014
in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House,
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Featuring the NZ-UK Link Foundation keynote speaker:
Professor Sir Hew Strachan, Chichele Professor of the History of War
All Souls College, University of Oxford
Democracy or empire?
Reflections on the British imperial experience
of the First World War'
When George V addressed the British empire shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, he spoke to his 'subjects'. Today the countries of the former empire have come to see themselves as having been forced into a war in whose onset they had little or no say. That is largely true, and the fact that the king did not address his people as citizens reinforces the point. However, the 'white' Dominions had more choice than this narrative suggests. Their contributions to the imperial war effort were freely made and democratically decided. And those without their privileges saw the war as an opportunity to earn them by rallying to the defence of the empire.
At the heart of the British rhetoric in 1914 was a paradox. Britain presented itself as a liberal
democracy fighting for the rights of small nations. Yet, at home its own franchise was the more limited
than that of any state in Europe other than Hungary's, while overseas it controlled an empire which
circumscribed the rights of many small nations. The lecture will show during the war Britain
successfully advanced both as a democracy and an empire. The peace settlement of 1919
simultaneously produced self-determination within Europe and widened the empire outside it.
Drinks Reception to follow.
When & Where
NZ-UK Link Foundation
The NZ-UK Link Foundation was set up originally as the Waitangi Foundation in 1990 after the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Under our Trust Deed, the Foundation exists to enhance links between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, through establishing and maintaining a series of business and educational exchanges to individuals to visit the other’s country.