Entente Cordiale – II

Lead: With their dominance of world affairs under challenge, long-term antagonists France and Britain in the 1850s gingerly began to explore the possibilities of alliance. This process was confirmed in 1904 in the Entente Cordiale.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

               

Content: Henry John Temple Palmerston was British Foreign Secretary for most of the period 1830-1851. He also served as Prime Minister in the 1850s. He was the first prominent politician to describe post-1830 Anglo-French relations as entente cordiale, as a warm understanding. In that year France had abandoned forever the old Bourbon monarchy and embarked on a stumbling course towards liberal democracy. Once that happened, Britain, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and not a little skepticism at times, moved toward a closer relationship France. This would not yield an official coalition until early in the next century but with the help of prominent leaders such as Palmerston and, ironically, French President and then Emperor Louis-Napoleon III, France and Britain moved slowly but surely in the direction of alliance.