Soviet foreign policy, 1930-1933: The new alignment, with special reference to the non-aggression pact as an instrument of Soviet diplomacy

Large, J. Andrew (1973) Soviet foreign policy, 1930-1933: The new alignment, with special reference to the non-aggression pact as an instrument of Soviet diplomacy. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The central theme of this thesis is the role which the non-aggression pact played as an instrument of Soviet diplomacy in the period 1930-1933 and the consequences for Soviet foreign policy of the successful conclusions of five such pacts. It also seeks to cast light on the actual foreign policy techniques as utilised by the USSR in a detailed consideration of specific diplomatic situations. In the opening chapter the factors which compelled the Soviet leadership to adopt a foreign policy and the diplomatic instruments by which it was to be implemented ate analysed. The non-aggression pact was chosen by the Bolsheviks as a novel way of achieving the primary Soviet external goal security. The early history of the pact is traced; its successes and failures in the twenties briefly analysed. It is argued that Soviet foreign policy by the 1930's can be examined largely in isolation from Comintern history. The extent to which the outcast Bolshevik State of 1917 had been absorbed into the international community is examined and brief reference made to Soviet foreign policy decision-making. The second chapter surveys the Soviet diplomatic position at the beginning of the thirties, the deterioration of Soviet-German relations and the attempts by France and the USSR to overcome the obstacles which had hitherto kept them inveterate enemies. Such a cautious diplomatic re-shuffling took place against the background of the massive internal Soviet economic-political transformations and the world economic crisis. which together with the growth of extremism in Germany, created a new international environment. The cautious Franco-Soviet rapprochement is pursued in the third chapter as far as the initialling of a non-aggression pact and the growing Soviet-German estrangement despite the prolongation of the Berlin treaty related. It is emphasized, however that Soviet diplomacy did not alinply abandon the Rapallo partnership but endeavored to maintain its links with Berlin whilst pursuing a now course with France. The fourth chapter departs from this chronological sequence somewhat to examine Soviet relations with Poland, Rumania and the Baltic States in 1930-31 before relating them to the Franco-Soviet developments of Chapter 3. The negotiations between the USSR and its western neighbours for non-aggression pacts are examined and the former successes analysed. Reference is made to the Soviet's apprehension at Japanese activity in Manchuria and the former's attempts to secure a pact with the Nippon Empire but a more detailed survey lay outside the scope of this thesis. Chapter 5 examines the reasons for the delay in the ratification of the negotiated pacts, the Rumanian obstacle and the eventual Soviet diplomatic successes. Germany's reaction is noted. The last chapter seeks to emphasise the extent to which Hitler's advent to power in Germany was only the last stage, important as it was, in the destruction of the Rapallo partnership, and the emergence of a new balance of power on the European continent, for the Soviet Union epitomized by the Paris ratification of its non-aggression pact with the USSR and the latter's new orientation at Geneva. It is argued that the collective security era of the mid-thirties can only be understood in terms of the gradual destruction of Soviet-German ties in the early thirties and the readiness of hitherto inveterate enemies of Soviet Russia to begin a cautious rapprochement with Moscow even before Hitler had been appointed Chancellor. The period under review is seen as a bridge between the near-isolationist period for the Soviet Union of the twenties with Germany as its major international friend and the middle thirties when the USSR had entered into the ranks of the statue quo powers, a member of the League and a signatory of a mutual assistance pact with the French republic.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: D R Gillard
Keywords: Russian history, International relations
Date of Award: 1973
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1973-73222
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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