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Richard Toye

This chapter places Churchill’s description of the Munich Agreement as ‘a total and unmitigated defeat’ within the context of his evolving attitudes to diplomacy over the course of the 1930s. In particular, it investigates his understanding of what he referred to as ‘the European system’. As a young man, he had adhered to a brutally realist view of Great Power politics, but in the interwar years this was somewhat tempered by his promotion of ideas of collective security. Such rhetoric had an opportunistic aspect, as he sought to court progressive opinion in Britain; and it was well said of him that he only became enthusiastic about the League of Nations when he thought it might lead to a war. Nevertheless, his views did undergo a genuine evolution. Notably, his approach to the USSR changed, as can be demonstrated by reference to newspaper articles that he published that have up to now escaped notice by scholars. He was never less than strongly anti-communist, but he was perhaps above all anti-Trotskyist; thus, whereas at the start of the decade he highlighted the threat of Soviet rearmament, by the mid-1930s he had become convinced that Stalin’s policy of ‘socialism in one country’ meant that Russia could potentially be trusted to act as a Great Power within the system on traditional tsarist lines. Churchill’s belief that the Soviet Union would behave selfishly but rationally and predictably therefore constituted a key element of his approach to the Munich Crisis.

in The Munich Crisis, politics and the people
The rhetorical consequences of a colonial massacre
Richard Toye

The 'Hola Camp massacre', which took place in Kenya's Coast Province, was one of the most notorious scandals in British colonial history. Understanding the rhetoric of Hola requires an appreciation of developments in Africa during Lennox-Boyd's 1954-1959 term of office. Lennox-Boyd may not have been a liberal, but he was definitely a paternalist, and he was certainly attempting to negotiate the shoals of decolonization. If he did not fully share this interpretation of the myth, then, his rhetoric was certainly shaped with at least one eye on appealing to it. He argued that it had been morally incumbent upon the authorities to launch the process of mass psychological cleansing of the detainees. The chapter outlines the story of events at Hola, as it had emerged by the time of the final major Commons debate on the scandal in July 1959.

in Rhetorics of empire
Richard Toye

This chapter considers the period after 1924, when Winston Churchill returned to the Conservative fold after twenty years in the Liberal Party. It reviews Churchill's early attitudes and actions with respect to female Suffrage. The chapter analyses Churchill's attitude to the extension of the franchise in the 1920s and his record on social and taxation policy as Chancellor of the Exchequer. It also analyses his attitude to women's issues as both Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the 1940s and 1950s. The chapter examines how far Churchill constructed his public appeals in gendered terms. It addresses to what extent did he specifically attempt to appeal to women voters and to women as wartime citizens, and how did his efforts fit into the context of the Conservative Party's parallel efforts.

in Rethinking right-wing women
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Languages of colonial conflict after 1900

Stirring language and appeals to collective action were integral to the battles fought to defend empires and to destroy them. These wars of words used rhetoric to make their case. This book explores the arguments fought over empire in a wide variety of geographic, political, social and cultural contexts. Essays range from imperialism in the early 1900s, to the rhetorical battles surrounding European decolonization in the late twentieth century. Rhetoric is one of the weapons of war. Conquest was humiliating for Afrikaners but they regained a degree of sovereignty, with the granting of responsible government to the new colonies in 1907 and independence with the Act of Union of 1910. Liberal rhetoric on the Transvaal Crisis was thus neither an isolated debate nor simply the projection of existing political concerns onto an episode of imperial emergency. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's principles of intervention in response to crimes against civilization, constituted a second corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The rhetorical use of anti-imperial demonology was useful in building support for New Deal legislation. The book argues that rhetoric set out to portray the events at Mers el-Kebir within a culturally motivated framework, drawing on socially accepted 'truths' such as historic greatness and broad themes of hope. Now, over 175 years of monarchical presence in New Zealand the loyalty may be in question, devotion scoffed, the sycophantic language more demure and colloquialized, the medium of expression revolutionized and deformalized, but still the rhetoric of the realm remains in New Zealand.

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Rhetorics of empire
Martin Thomas and Richard Toye

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores the rhetorical devices used by political and military leaders, administrators, investors and lobbyists to justify colonial domination before domestic and foreign audiences. It investigates the ways in which notorious instances of colonial violence and counter-violence were depicted in the international public sphere. The book also explores discourses of imperialist modernization and the language of 'civilizing', and examines the means by which opponents of colonialism mobilized alternative rhetorics of rights and freedoms to challenge imperialist claims. The languages of humanitarianism, development and 'international community' that shape the understandings of world affairs today are to a great extent the product of the symbiotic relationship between pro- and anti-empire rhetorics that dominated much of the twentieth century.

in Rhetorics of empire
International, transnational and comparative perspectives

The turbulent diplomatic events of September 1938 aroused substantial public excitement, yet the ‘public’, the ‘people’, the ‘material’ and the ‘popular’ have hitherto been marginalised within a vast historiography dominated by traditional perspectives. Indeed, the most neglected aspects of this ‘model’ crisis – despite the abundance of sources – are the social, cultural, material and emotional, as well as public opinion, an oversight addressed in this collection. The book will also internationalise the original ‘Munich moment’, as existing studies are overwhelmingly Anglo- and Western-centric. It provides a corrective to the long-standing proclivity to consider the Munich Crisis almost exclusively from the viewpoint of politicians and diplomats. The original ‘moment’ will thus be analysed from a variety of relatively unchartered perspectives. Popular responses to the crisis will be prominent, comparing collective responses to individual ones, teasing out its psychological and emotional dimensions, allowing a more holistic and ‘emotional’ history to emerge. The variety of contributions provides an international breadth that is unprecedented in the existing literature, with chapters focusing not only on Britain but also Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the United States, Italy, Germany, France and the Soviet Union. It also furnishes a broader reflection on the status of our discipline, accentuating the benefits of exploring many of the hitherto under-scrutinised issues exposed by the ‘cultural’ and ‘emotional’ turns. The Munich Crisis will thus receive a thorough re-examination that moves beyond those formulaic and Anglo-centric analyses that fixate on positioning the (overwhelmingly male) practitioners of ‘high’ politics as either ‘appeasers’ or ‘anti-appeasers’.