Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor R. A. Rempel
In recent years a new interest has developed in the social and political influence of the Edwardian press. This interest has been expressed in two ways. The direct approach examines a single newspaper and concentrates on that paper's editor. The newspapers which are chosen for this type of examination are most often Radical papers. The second, but more indirect interest in the press, considered the influence of newspapers on the domestic origins of foreign policy. The newspapers employed here are Conservative papers and such studies reflect the fact that the Conservative press and such studies reflect the fact that the Conservative press was the primary disseinator of Germanophobia. Historians examining such domestic Conservative forces make only simplistic judgements concerning the Conservative press as there are no precise studies of leading Germanophobe journals. The diplomatic historians cannot draw on the modern studies being done of Radical newspapers for this press was traditionally Germanophile. The thesis bridges the interests in the Edwardian press by providing a detailed examination of three prominent Germanophobe editors. It illustrates that the Germanophobia of J. L. Garvin, Leo Maxse and St. Loe Strachey in the period between 1899 and 1914 was not directed primarily against Germany but was used as an editorial method of enhancing their own political interests. This Germanophobia was entirely domestic in its orientation and reflected the editors' Conservative philosophies. Through a detailed examination of the journals and private papers of Garvin, Maxse and Strachey this thesis traces the development of their Germanophobia in the fifteen years prior to the outbreak of the Great War. The historical development of Germanophobia prior to 1906 is explored to identify the elements which typically constituted Germanophobia. The editors took these elements and forged them into a unique political weapon. By 1908, the editors had established a fully developed form of editorial Germanophobia with which they constantly assailed all aspects of the Liberal administration. The editors had all but abandoned their editorial Germanophobia by 1912. This was not a decision which reflected any major change in the international situation, but coincided with crucial domestic developments. The passage of the Parliament Act in 1911 allowed the Liberals to introduce their Home Rule Bill which nearly precipitated a civil war. Garvin, Maxse and Strachey responded to this crises as Unionist partisans. They directly attacked the Liberals over this one issue while ignoring the many other areas where they previously has employed their Germnaophobia. The approach and first months of the Great War places the editors' prewar Germanophobic into sharp relief. The wartime Germanophobia which permeated all of the British press was typified by a virulent anti-German sentiment. This element had never been present in the earlier editorials of Garvin, Maxse and Strachey. Indeed, prior to the war the editors' papers had reflected a grudging admiration for the Germans. The failure to distinguish between these two forms of Germanophobia has led to a major misconception of the role of the Conservative press in Edwardian politics.
Swallow, Douglas Muir, "Transitions in British Editorial Germanophobia 1899-1914: A Case Study of J.L. Garvin, Leo Maxse and St. Loe Strachey" (1980). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 619.
McMaster University Library