In the years after the First World War, the British Foreign Office included a position of Historical Adviser. In the 1920s the incumbent was one Sir James Headlam-Morley, a man with the only proper training for an expert in almost any field of human endeavor, but especially for the conduct of foreign policy and diplomacy: I mean, of course, Classical Studies. In the early 1920s he wrote some papers advising his masters on current policy, guided by his historical studies. Their shrewdness and wisdom, and the accuracy of their analysis are astonishing.

In January 1922 he wrote a paper entitled “The Guarantee Treaties, 1814/15–1919,” comparing the situation in 1919 to that after the Napoleonic wars. The comparison seemed to him apt. Concern for France’s “revolutionary doctrines” in 1815 existed, as did concern about “German...


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