|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|In a speech at Lewes on 26 February 1896, Viscount Goschen said:
“We are said to be isolated, but I say that which I know when I say that we have but to hold out our hands and our isolation will terminate, and we shall receive welcome into several groups of other Powers. . . .
In the modern system of European politics we could at any moment, I believe, make such alliances as we chose. . . . Our isolation is not an isolation of weakness, or of contempt for ourselves: it is deliberately chosen; the freedom to act as we choose in any circumstances that may arise.”
As late as 1905 Great Britain stood practically alone in the world. British isolation was rather enforced than voluntary, and as powerful hostile coalitions directed against this country were always possible, and sometimes actually threatening, there was nothing splendid about this isolation, notwithstanding Lord Goschen’s celebrated phrase.
Foreign relations were no longer limited to the European continent. After 1885, foreign ministers were interested, not only in questions concerning dynasties and treaties, but in colonial boundaries, spheres of influence, rights of possession, trade routes and markets, tariffs and tariff treaties.
In the great scheme of things and majority of cases; negotiation, agreement, arbitration, and compromise were substituted for wars.
In many important crises the powers acted together in common accord, in order to promote peace and to avoid war.