The Mammon of Unrighteousness: Lord Curzon's Perception of Russia

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (Masters)
Final version published as: 

Smith, Brenda Lynn. "The Mammon of Unrighteousness: Lord Curzon's Perception of Russia." M.A. thesis, Simon Fraser University, Department of History, 1998.

Date created: 
1998-11-01
Abstract: 

George Nathaniel Curzon, Marquess Cunon of Kedleston ( 1859-Ig25) was not the virulent Russophobe that he is often reputed to have been. He was ardent imperialist whose ultimate objective was to protect India from any and all threats. Russia, due to its geographic proximity, posed the greatest threat to India. Yet Curzon's attitude towards Russia was not static; it evolved to respond to changes in the Anglo-Russian relationship.

Based on Curzon's published articles and monographs, and on British diplomatic papers, this thesis studies the development of Curzon's views on Tsarist Russia from his education at Eton and Oxford through to his Asian travels and his early political and diplomatic posts as Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office (1895- 1898) and Viceroy of India (1898-1905). It also considers the influence of events such as the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907, the Great War, and the Bolshevik Revolution on his beliefs.

This thesis also examines how Curzon influenced British policy towards Russia as a member of David Lloyd George's War Cabinet (1916-919) and as Foreign Secretary (1919-1924). After the demise of Tsarist Russia, Curzon became a staunch anti-Bolshevik when he realised how the Soviets' revolutionary policies could threaten his beloved Eastern Empire. Consequently, Curzon endeavoured to implement policies that would minimise the Soviet danger to the East Although Lloyd George was largely responsible for the direction of policy towards Soviet Russia during his premiership, Curzon still played an important, albeit subordinate, role. Curzon's influence was felt directly through his undisputed control over Asian policy and indirectly through his ability to compel the Prime Minister to incorporate various issues into his policy objectives. Under Lloyd George's successors, Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin, however, Curzon was the undisputed architect of British foreign policy. Thus from the 1870s to the 1920s, Lord Curzon's feelings about Tsarist and Soviet Russia were principally based upon his view of Britain’s imperial role in India.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Rights remain with the author.
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Senior supervisor: 
Richard K. Debo
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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