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tv   The Presidency 200 Years of British Irish White House Relations  CSPAN  June 16, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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announcer: >> our cities tour staff recently traveled to new orleans to learn more about its rich history. learn more at you are watching american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span3. announcer: next on "the presidency," the opening session of a daylong symposium focused on the history of british and irish connections with the white house. we hear first from the british and irish ambassadors to the united states, and then from kathleen burke from university college london. the white house historical association hosted this hour-long event. >> thank you, everyone, for joining us this morning. delighted to welcome you to the united kingdom and ireland in the white house. the white house historical association, as many of you
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may know, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that was established to enhance the understanding, appreciation , and enjoyment of the executive mansion. it was founded in 1961 by first lady jacqueline kennedy and since then has pursued an educational mission reflected in public programs, exhibitions, publishing and research. introducing a wide audience to the rich history of the white house requires looking well beyond our nations capital, in fact, well beyond the borders of the united states itself. that's why we have cultivated partnerships to make white house history more accessible to many around the world. in 2016, we held at the first of our internationally themed symposia, and that explored italy's ties to the executive mansion. in 2017, our event focused on france's influence. today, we look at the enduring legacy of ireland and great britain. the white house itself bears witness to the deep connection
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between our countries. in fact, consider that the record for the most state visits for any country, 24, is a distinction that is held by the united kingdom. this is an impressive statistic and reflects our special relationship, but you cannot ignore the amazing diplomatic feat of ireland, not that there is any rivalry here. [laughter] i will note that the irish have cleverly found a way to have an official white house visit every year with every president. the tea shock is welcome to not only at the white house would also a celebratory luncheon on capitol hill every st. patrick's day. it turns out the key to access in washington is to arrive with a crystal bowl of fresh shamrocks. these ties of friendship make it particularly exciting to have today's symposium. it will highlight britain and ireland's contributions to the white house's art and architecture. we will explore the fascinating diplomatic histories between our
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countries, and feature a sampling of food, music, and in the afternoon, spirits will be served. i have not been told whether that means afternoon irish time or washington time, but we will work it out. [laughter] there's also an interactive component. charles jones, a master stonemason from edinburgh, is at work carving a double irish rose in the courtyard. this rose will eventually be sent to the white house visitors center, where it can be seen by millions of visitors from across the united states and around the world. i looked at it already, but i would urge you throughout the day to check the progress on this, and i just hope he finishes before we start serving spirits. [laughter] this is done in tribute of the scottish donations who built not only -- scottish donations -- stonemasons who built not only
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the white house but much of the nation's capital. i was asked to tell you, i was particularly intrigued in reading a story of a master stonemason from edinburgh, scotland, to oversee the stonework for the capital and the white house, but it turns out for some reason he and the irish architect overseeing construction of the building did not get along. in july, 1795, the architect wrote a letter to george washington, complaining, "i have been favored with a site of a letter from coleman williamson to the secretary of state in which many things are said foreign to the truth with respect to the work done at the president's house and the capitol." i was pretty intrigued with this because it may be an early example of a leaked document, and perhaps the first time someone has called fake news. but they did it so well -- foreign to the truth. williamson, the stonemason, for his part wrote to george washington to complain about hoban, saying "i would not have
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taken the trouble of writing you is not to show how far ignorance has gotten the better of knowledge and experience." williams was ultimately fired, but he managed to get himself paid for several months after his dismissal. there you have it, bureaucratic infighting, jockeying for favor, inefficient government spending, it's good to see things haven't really changed in washington. [laughter] but these stories, the cap dividing real-life details of the men and women over the past centuries who left their mark on the white house and our country is what we will celebrate today. to join the celebration, we are honored to have with us the ambassadors of our symposium's respective countries. thedarroch, ambassador of united kingdom, is an accomplished ambassador who has served for the last two years. following him, we will hear from , thesador daniel mulhall
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ambassador of ireland, who has served his country in a variety of roles and ambassadorships, including ambassador to the united kingdom. please join me in welcoming the ambassador to the united rroch,m, kim da followed by the ambassador to ireland, daniel mulhall. [applause] >> thank you very much for that introduction. good morning, everyone. i'm going to start by thanking the white house historical association for their work in putting together this wonderful symposium that explores the centuries of links between the white house, the u.k., and ireland. , my fellow say diplomats are not in the least bit envious of the extraordinary diplomatic coup of st. patrick's day every year. [laughter] darr not at all. och: -- amb. darroch: not at all. we are thrilled at your success.
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i should also say at the outset, i have to acknowledge the history of the u.k. and the white house is not exactly perfect. there were certain unfortunate events in 1814 which i think were largely down to overenthusiasm. [laughter] is. darroch: so i think it extraordinarily generous of you to be holding an event which effectively celebrates u.k. links with that iconic building. [laughter] extraordinarily generous. we have all of the appropriate gratitude for the generosity of spirit. moving swiftly on from the events of 1814, i thought i might say a couple of words about british visitors to the white house. there have been hundreds of them, from her majesty the queen to the beatles, and every british prime minister looks forward to his or her first white house visit. the first time i myself went to the white house was when i worked as an advisor for david cameron.
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for golfers, i guess it is winning an open championship, for actors, it is appearing on the west end or broadway, but for diplomats, it is walking across the threshold into the white house and even more into the oval office. you feel as you do that, you can die happy. anyway, the british prime minister, who i suspect -- although i cannot prove this -- who spent the most time in the white house was i think winston churchill, because in 1941, he paid a 24 day visit to the white house. it is just impossible in modern diplomacy to imagine a 24 day visit anywhere. a 24 hour visit is hard enough. indeed, churchill thought of the white house as a second home. he said, "we live here as a big family in the greatest intimacy and informality, and i have formed the very highest regard
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and admiration for the president." looking carefully at the record, i am not sure every element of that was entirely reciprocated. [laughter] amb. dalloch: because i imagine you all have heard this story of churchill on the 1942 visit, being discovered by president roosevelts life as -- wife as churchill was wandering toward the roosevelt private quarters in the white house with a cigar in hand at 3:00 in the morning. it was apparently at this time the president became convinced the white house needed a guesthouse just a little separate from the main building. [laughter] amb. dalloch: hence, blair house. so we have contributed in many ways to the evolution here. [laughter] amb. dalloch: anyway, some of our prime minister's felt part of the white house, but we also felt part of the design team. buildinganding in a
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designed by a british architect, who not only worked on the capital, the washington canal, but st. john's episcopal church and the white house. i am sure you will hear more about that later today, and there is british history everywhere you look. from the scottish stonemasons who carved double roses into the iconic columns, to the resolute desk, a gift from queen victoria which has been used by pretty much every president in the last century. we are very proud of the role the u.k. has had in building and rebuilding the white house, but we are most proud of the relationships we have built within the walls. from the foundations to the furniture, this collaboration of british and american design has symbolized the special relationship, bringing us closer on every level, from global
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security, trade investment, education, research and culture. we are grateful to this wonderful country for allowing us to play a part in the history of this iconic building, arguably the most famous building in the world. we look forward to many more years of history and friendship between the united states and united kingdom, and thank you again to the white house historical association for this event. now over to my colleague, my friend, and my tennis partner, daniel mulhall. thank you very much. [applause] amb. mulhall: thank you, kim, and thank you, fred, and thank you all for being here and the interest you have shown in this topic of the u.k. and ireland connections with the wonderful white house. i just want to say this building here reminds me of the fact that
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the man who had it built was a pupil of commodore john barry, who was the irishman from my neighboring county who was the founding father of the american navy. there is a connection there with ireland as well in this wonderful house. it's my first time being here, i hope i can come back again, i hope you invite me again. i want to talk a little bit -- it pleasure to be here, of course, i want to thank the white house historical association for organizing this event. it is an organization founded during the presidency of the quintessential irish-american president, john f. kennedy, whose family also came from county wexford, like john barry. there appears to be kind of a connection there. i am going to talk a little bit about james hoban, not that i am an expert on james hoban, but he is also from the southeast of ireland, in this case county can kenny.
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he was born about 25 miles from where i grew up in waterford. if you think about john barry and the kennedys and james hoban and myself, we come from the same corner of ireland. where actually not that many immigrants into the united states came from. most of our immigrants came from the west of ireland from the counties on the atlantic seaboard, which tends to be the who generated the greatest push ones toward immigration. i find hoban's story -- he was the man who built and help to rebuild -- i was not going to mention the thing in between, i was going to ask you to speculate what it might have been. [laughter] amb. mulhall: kim revealed that secret, so i can mention that hoban helped to rebuild the white house. also of course he was involved in the building of the capitol , so he was a major figure in the creation of washington, d.c., this wonderful city that i now have had the privilege of living in for the past eight months.
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so i find james hoban's story to be emblematic of the story of irish america. because he was born in county kinken so i find james hoban's story t. the 18th century was not a good century for the majority of irish people, and many people at that time who had an irish identity or background felt they needed to find opportunities, to go abroad and further themselves. many of them went and joined the armies of the catholic powers of europe, where they were welcome and played significant roles. i was in new orleans recently and the first spanish governor of new orleans, when the spanish took over new orleans from the french in the 1760's, was a man called alejandro o'reilly. who was alexander o'reilly, born bama in -- born in dublin,
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joined the spanish service and begin the governor of new orleans and also cuba. many irish people at that time had felt the need to go abroad to better themselves. the same was true of james hoban. he came to america in the 1780's. he found opportunities in america that would not have been available to him in ireland at that time because of his background, because he did not have this sort of privileged background that was essential in 18th century ireland if you were going to rise to the top of the professional and social ladder. so he found opportunities in the united states and he became the architect of the white house. what about that? a man who started his life in an agricultural laborers' cottage became the architect of the world's most iconic building. that demonstrates the opportunities that irish people were able to avail of in the united states in the 18th
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century, 19th century, and 20th century. the united states became a haven for irish people. of course for the most part we were not involved in the high politics of the united states or the white house. but it is true that gradually, like james hoban, the irish who came here and perhaps entered america at the bottom of the social ladder, climbed the ladder steadily and successfully, and by the 1860's, there was a book published recently by an irish journalist some dowd, who runs newspapers in new york, called "lincoln and the irish," and he demonstrates just how many irish people lincoln had around him. the people who looked after
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security in the white house at that time were two irishman. his valet. he had people named o'leary and mcgee. in fact, some of this non-irish staff complained that the place had been taken over by these. [laughter] amb. mulhall: lincoln seemed to enjoy the company of irish. i suppose that is the story of irish america, of those who came in conditions of strife and deprivation and who found a way forward for themselves, found good lives and careers in the united states and also made a huge contribution to the life of this country and made it what it is today. we now have some 35 americans who identify themselves in the census as irish-americans, and this of course is a huge advantage to ireland. it explains -- it is that fact
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rather than excellence of irish diplomacy that explains our annual visit to the white house. i have had the privilege of accompanying our prime minister on his first visit to the white house for st. patrick's day this year, it was my first visit as well, so both of us were going through the experience for the first time together. it was really a marvelous occasion, one of the highlights of my career, to be in the white house and the accompanying our prime minister. but those visits take place on the shoulders of those 33 million irish-americans. and the tens of millions who went before them who gradually established a position for the irish community in united states. in belfast in the 1960's, a man of exclusively irish blood, john f. kennedy, became president of the united states. i can remember john f. kennedy's visit to ireland in 1963, and it really did give ireland a lift because we saw a man who was
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exclusively irish in his heritage -- his eight great-grandparents were all irish. he was someone who demonstrated to us that the irish could achieve anything, that if somebody could rise to the top of the political tree in united states, become the most powerful man in the world, there was no limit to what modern ireland could achieve. the modern irish links we have with the united states are extremely important. they come to the fore every year on st. patrick's day, but throughout the year, we have strong economic, political, and cultural links with the united states. it is something that i think is going to grow and develop in the future, because these days the relationship between ireland and the united states is a two-way relationship. it used to be a fact that we were relying on the united states for various things, investment, political support,
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and i have to say that over the years, successive presidents, starting with jimmy carter, ronald reagan, bill clinton, so forth, all played a significant role in encouraging the process of peace in northern ireland. that peace process, 20 years old this month, is something that has a strong american stamp on it, and a strong stamp of irish america as well. i think the future for our relations, i hope we continue to have our annual pilgrimage to the white house on st. patrick's day. st. patrick's day would not be the same really without the white house visit. what it means is that for the last 40 years, no irish prime minister has ever spent st. patrick's day in ireland. imagine that. [laughter] amb. mulhall: but thank you for the hospitality you have extended to my predecessors and prime ministers over decades. in fact, it was the first iris
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-- first irish ambassador to united states in 1950 who was the chief architect of the irish constitution. the first irish ambassador to the united states. he was the one who initiated this wonderfully brilliant practice of handing over a bowl of shamrocks to the american president in the early 1950's. that tradition has developed and it is now a mainstay of our diplomatic effort throughout the year. as a final point, i unveiled a monument to john last week, which is in my garden at the embassy residence in washington. the reason i did it is because he was the architect of the irish constitution, the first ambassador here, and also from the southeast of ireland, my home city. [laughter] amb. mulhall: thank you very much. [applause] sandberg: good morning to
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you all. i am dr. curtis sandberg, i direct the national center for white house history here at the association. all of us are delighted to welcome you to the united kingdom and ireland and the white house symposium. as we move through the day, just a quick map before we start, you will hear from several distinguished speakers, each of whom will share thoughts respectively on 200 years of the united kingdom and ireland and the white house, the central role of james hoban on the white house design. you have seen outside, the essential role, the impact of scottish stonemasons on the construction. this afternoon, influences of decorative arts from the u.k. and the u.s. perspective. toward the end of the program after lunch, we will get back together, all of the speakers, including our impressive luncheon toast speakers, and in a moderated panel, talk, share thoughts, identify common ground, and also engage with
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you. to plan the symposium, our group and the association for hiorians worked really closely with various experts that you will meet today. and you will meet them. we discussed their respective areas, we consider the flow of history, culture, shared experiences between ireland, scotland, and the white house from early times to the present. without further ado, our first speaker is dr. kathleen burk, who is now our friend, a professor of contemporary history at university college london, and she will lead us through the 200 years of u.k. and irish connections with the white house. what she is going to do in her talk is set the stage for all the symposium elements to follow. very briefly, she hails from california, which some of us are very happy about. she settled in the u.k. as a graduate student and liked it and stayed. she has had a distinguished career as a scholar, author, and has a specialization in
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anglo-american relations, which is perfect for today. she is also a wine expert and you are going to have some really special english sparkling wine from sussex. you will learn lots more in your program. please join me in welcoming dr. burk. [applause] dr. burk: i can either read my paper or i can see you, i cannot do both, so i have opted to take a look at my paper. it is a pleasure to be here in the decatur house, which i had never seen before this visit. decatur of course played his own part in anglo-american relations during the war of 1812, as did his father in the revolutionary war. may is a nice month to be in washington, unlike some of the summer months for those of us who are not keen on heat and humidity. it was so awful before the
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advent of air conditioning that the british foreign office deemed it a hardship post and paid slightly more for its officials to be here than in any european cital. but the weather in washington, whether rain, wind, snow, or threatening sunstroke, has not prevented official visitors from visiting washington and the white house. i'm going to see if i can work this now. no. [laughter] dr. burk: ok. not technologically superior, i fear. the first occasion of an official british visit was indeed -- took place on the 24th of august, 1814, when the british, under the command of major general robert ross, burned parts of official washington, including the capital building, naval yard, and president's mansion, known after its repainting as the white house. this occasion was also the first
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official visit i was aware of by an irishman, because general roth came from county down. now -- before emotions become too heated, i should point out americans had done precisely the same thing the year before, when on the 27th of april, 1813, they invaded, looted and burned the capital of canada, york, now toronto. during the week the americans were there, they burn both the parliament building and the governor's house, the equivalent of the capitol and the white house, which would of course not have contributed to british restraint the following year. relations could only get better, although not only to the extent that a full-blown war between great britain and the u.s. did not break out. americans invaded canada a dozen times during the 19th century, and conflict repeatedly broke out over the border.
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american filibusters went over the border to join rebels in the canadian rebellion of 1837 and 1838, and who can forget the lumberjack or pork and beans war -- choose your title -- of 1838 and 1839? between maine and new brunswick? for the great take war between the u.s., great britain, and puget sound between 1859 and 1872? conflict came close over the oregon territory. remember the cry of 54, 40, or fight, from senator william foghorn alan, which would have essentially grabbed british columbia for the u.s. and over claims and counterclaims arising from the u.s. civil war. on the whole, except among the elite, a grenz -- americans were much more anglo phobic during the 19th century than the british were anti-american.
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it was a habit, and habits don't change unless there is a reason. it is within this context that the first royal visit to the u.s. took place in 1860. james buchanan, president from 1857 until 1861, had spent the years from 1853 until 1856 as the american minister to great britain. or to the court of st. james, to give it its actual title. whilst in london, he and his niece were often entertained by queen victoria and her family, and the relationship was reportedly a friendly one. therefore, when president buchanan learned the queen was sending the prince of wales, later king edward vii, to tour canada, he wrote to her, inviting the prince to come to the u.s. the queen was happy to accept, and on the afternoon of the third of october 1860, he arrived in washington for a three-day visit, accompanied by
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an entourage of older, sensible men. whose duty, among other things, was to keep the rebellious, independent prince under some control. by the time the prince of wales reached washington, he had already visited seven american cities where he had been received with curiosity and goodwill. the prince himself and five members of his entourage stayed in the white house while the remainder stayed in the british embassy. the prince stayed in the north room over the small dining room. which was later named the prince of wales bedroom. five years later, president lincoln's body was laid out there. during the kennedy administration, it was transformed into the president's dining room. on the second day of the visit, a large public reception was held in the east room at 12:00. according to the correspondent of a new york newspaper, "into
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that room, heard tell mail -- hurried pelmell, children, rowdies and drivers. no telegraphic statement can do justice to the inexcusable lack of prearrangement for the preservation of indecency. the real party see has seen democracy unshackled for once." all bowed to the prince, and he returned their salutations. the president shall can't with -- shook hands with everybody and hurried them along as quickly as possible. another newspaper took a different view of the event, saying the prince was able to form a good idea of the character of our presidential reception. their freedom from stilted etiquette and the perfect equality, which ignores social distinctions. this does seem to show enthusiasm, or at least curiosity.
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during the afternoon, the president's niece took the prince to a girls school, not an event that was repeated by political visitors. this was followed by a state dinner illustrating the combined symbols of great britain and the u.s. as far as i am aware, the english party was allowed to retire and fall into their beds. the final event took place on the following day. this was replicated more than once by succeeding royal and political visitors. this was a trip down the potomac to visit mount vernon, during which, the press is to be suppressed on the president's order. the english men were taken on a tour of the house, which the press did not find impressive. as they rode to the queen, whilst the visit was interesting, the house is in very bad repair and falling into decay.
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there is the east room. this does not seem to be working. there we go. this is the prince at the grave. they then visited washington grave and at the request of the president, the prince planted a horse chestnut tree near it. it is clear he is not the one who got his hands dirty. then he was off the philadelphia, boston, and new york, where during a magnificent ball, a section of the dance floor collapsed. on his procession through the streets, cheering crowds pushed and shoved to catch a glimpse. the duke of newcastle compared the crowd's enthusiasm to madness. a popular american humorist wrote he may consider himself a lucky lad if he avoids a nomination for president before he reaches his suite.
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king edward the eighth reached in u.s. in mid november 1919. he, too, visited washington's grave. he laid a wreath rather than planting another tree. there is a nice story associated with his visit. the prince came to the white house in november 1919 to have tea with mrs. wilson and to have a chat with the president. since wilson was recovering from a stroke, the prince found him a propped up in the same bed the prince of wales his father had slept in in 1860, which delighted the prince. he asked about wilson's health. it was improving. the two discussed the prince's experience in the u.s. wilson's doctor stated that wilson's spirits had been
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improved as a result of the visit. before continuing with the visit, i would like to make some comments about these. firsofll, the visits of british royalty were undertaken imarily for a pe of propaganda and to mobilize american public opinion, public support for the united states. the royals do not negotiate. visits by british prime minister's almost entirely for policy reasons, including to establish a personal relationship with a new president. and are normally used to discuss issues with the president or relevant officials. the white house is seldom the host institution, but it is frequently the venue for negotiation. the irish free state and irish republic's by ministers, combined mobilization and public
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policy discussions. the negotiations leading to the good friday agreement on the 10th of april, 1998. the visit of prime minister ramsay macdonald, 1929, is a quintessential example of a policy visit. during the 1920's, anglo-american relations were at their most hostile of any period during the 20th century. the crux was the two navies. the british believed they needed a large navy to protect the sea lanes to the empire and their trade routes. the largest navy in the world, almost twice the size of the u.s. merchant marines, she was also the world's largest importer, needing to import all
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of her oil and most of her food. she was vulnerable to a blockade, as the germans had nearly succeeded in doing during the 1918 war. the u.s., self-sufficient in oil and food, was not dependent on imports. the u.s. navy was smaller, but the americans believed they could use their enormous potential and even threatening power to compel the british to recognize america's right to enable equality. the u.s. general board of the navy saw the 1927 arms limitation conference, called by president calvin coolidge, as an opportunity to reinvigorate the public's interest in building more ships. they and the navy interest group believed american power deserve
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the navy as large as great britain's. the american navy sought great britain and its empire as its most formidable foe. they wanted the size of the royal navy cut down. there was also a strong party in the u.s. believing in the limitation of our armaments. at this conference, the british hate in a manner first conceding parity and then withdrawing their agreement, which convinced many americans, including president coolidge, that the u.s. had to out build the royal navy. he called for congress to authorize 71 new battle cruisers. on armistice day, he publicly condemned the british and called for american naval superiority. the head of the american department of the foreign office warned the cabinet that great britain needed to spend a great
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deal of time and effort sorting out the causes of anglo-american antagonism, given their relative strength. great britain, quote, is faced with a phenomenon for which there is no parallel in modern history. a state 25 times as large, five times as wealthy, three times as populous, twice as ambitious, almost invulnerable, and at least our equal in prosperity, technical equipment, and industrial science. this was because, he pointed out, war was not unthinkable between the two countries. on the contrary, quote, there are present all the factors which have made for war between states. prime minister stanley bolden begin dropping hints that he would like to visit the u.s. but he lost the next general election in 1929.
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it was prime minister mcdonald who came to the u.s. and president herbert hoover who hosted the visit. hoover, as had coolidge, wanted to spend as little money as possible on the armed forces. the two side came to an agreement. the 1930 london naval treaty. the united guests included the minister of the irish free state. i wonder if they met. this was the first visit of a british prime minister to the white house. the first of nearly 100 since then. i have read that this meeting cemented an emerging anglo-american partnership. this is overstated. the u.s. increasingly turned inward. one reason was the americans had been disappointed from their experience -- by their
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experience from the first world war. at least as important was they were suffering a depression so deep and wide ranging it was capitalized. during the 1930's, the u.s. hardly had foreign policy. the british on the other hand could not withdraw from the world. they were alarmed by the rise of japan in the far east and try to convince the u.s. their interests were threatened. they were ignored. it was their warnings over the manchurian crisis of 1931 or the pin a crisis in 1937, when the japanese shot an american ship. after the 1931 crisis, it was universally assumed the americans would never use force. a member of the british cabinet wrote to a friend that, you will get nothing out of washington but words.
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as the world darkened and the british knew they would soon be at war, the urgency to awaken the americans increased. the british were not prepared for war. the imperial general staff had told the cabinet in 1936 that they urgently had to hold off war until september 1939, when the radar system would be in place. rearmament had not provided enough guns, airplanes, or ammunition. they needed to mobilize the american public. fortuitously, in 1938, the canadian prime minister mentioned to president roosevelt that king george the sixth was contemplating a visit to canada. roosevelt wanted to improve public opinion towards the british. many americans were isolationist and many had lapsed back into their default mode, which was anti-british. by this time, he anticipated
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war, and if the u.s. had to become belligerent, it would be in alliance with the british. an occasion was provided by the world's fair. king george the sixth and queen elizabeth paid the first visit to the united states i a reigning monarch. a visit which illustrates why propaganda and mobilization -- the king and queen were greeted by president roosevelt in union station on the ninth of june and then traveled to the white house, where they were to stay the night in the rose bedroom. now the queen's bedroom. now, which bedroom is that? ok. sorry, i had my reading glasses on.
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does that look like a nice bedroom? [laughter] they attended a reception at the does that look like a nice british embassy. yes, that is the british ambassador. and visited the capital, and then were the guests of honor in the state dining room. as it normally appeared. and as it was set for a state dinner in 1961. the best i could do. we have the menu. clam cocktail, river turtle, with cornbread, followed by cranberry sauce, peas, and buttered beets. these were followed by a simple salad and dessert courses, the nature of which history appears to be silent. the following day they sailed
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down the potomac on the presidential yacht sequoia to mount vernon. they did not visit washington's grave. rather, they went to arlington cemetery, where the king laid a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier. the royal couple traveled by train to new york, where they briefly visited the world's fair, the suppose it reason for their visit, and then were driven to hyde park. they had an informal dinner at the roosevelt house, after which the king and the president stayed up late discussing the crisis in europe. the president thought war was inevitable. the king thought it might be averted. sadly the president was the better forecaster. later, on the third of september, 1939, the united kingdom and empire were at war with germany and soon with italy and japan.
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the following day, the two couples, the president's mother, and guests enjoyed a hot dog picnic. which occasioned the 1939 equivalent of a media frenzy. [laughter] after which the president drove the two couples around hyde park. it was a memorable drive for the queen, who later claimed the president did not look at the rows while driving at high speeds, and this was more frightening than the blitz. [laughter] he drove them to the hyde park railway station, where they joined the royal train back north to canada and sailed across the atlantic to home. it is difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the importance of this visit. clearly it was a roaring success
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in establishing personal relationships. and stimulating favorable media coverage. but did influence votes or make it easier for americans to eskew neutrality? a few months ago, i was interviewing a former british ambassador to the united states and i asked what impact royal visits had on anglo-american relations. he fell silent. and then talked about how the american people like the royals, and the interest and affection can only help to support the alliance. it is certainly clear that without public support, any alliance is weakened. therefore, if royal visits increase american support, it is to the good. the royals seem to enjoy their visits. prince charles has visited the u.s. more than 20 times. the second british prime
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minister to visit the white house, winston churchill, did not bother to wait for an invitation. he invited himself. on the eighth of december, 1941, the day after pearl harbor, churchill decided he would dash across the atlantic in order that he and roosevelt could decide on the details of the alliance and set things in motion. a surprise given that the north atlantic was infested with u-boats. roosevelt agreed to the visit and churchill made the crossing on the battleship duke of york, talking at hampton roads virginia on the 22nd of december. the journey had been kept secret, for obvious reasons. there was some surprise what his arrival was announced. few were more unsurprised than eleanor roosevelt. she says her husband had told her to expect some guests over christmas, but not who they were
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or when they were arriving. according to her butler, this is probably a story that is too good to be entirely true, the president had known about the visit and had not bother toward his wife. the butler related that her reaction was, you should have told me. i can't find my housekeeper anywhere. if only i had known. roosevelt's response was to turn to the butler, standing in the doorway, and tell him, at 8:00 tonight, we have to have dinner ready for 20. mr. churchill and his party are coming to stay with us for a few days. they would be there for over three weeks. mrs. roosevelt put churchill in the rose suite, which was the rose bedroom plus a sitting room and bedroom. he made his personal arrangements clear to the
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butler. a tumbler of sherry before breakfast, a couple of scotches for lunch, french champagne at dinner, followed by 90-year-old brandy to enjoy after dinner. and indeed into the night. as the prime minister and the president talked, drink, and smoked until the small hours, which did bond them together. only his aide and his secretary stayed the white house with him. the other 84 members of the entourage state in the british embassy, or at least where the embassies response ability. unlike those responsible for running the white house, they had had advanced notice. for churchill's use, the munro room was converted into a map room to display the movements of ships and armies, while his secretaries worked in the lincoln room, filling it with tables and typewriters. messengers raced back and forth between the embassy and the white house, carrying the red
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boxes full of documents. churchill got out of bed before 11 a.m. he breakfasted their and worked there and took a nap after lunch. his hours were 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. white house staff often ran into him in his nightclothes, a gray romper suit and silk robe with a dragon on it. over the three weeks, much was accomplished. on the 26th of december, his book to a joint session of congress. we could not get a clear one of the 1941. on the 26th of december, which
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such fluency and inspiration there was a standing ovation. public opinion responded to his charm and authority. he was able to count on the support of american public opinion throughout the war. importantly, it was agreed that the military aspects of the war would be under the control of a combined chiefs of staff rather than has been the case since the world began, the national -- the soldiers of a particular nation would have separate national centers of command. it was agreed that germany, not japan, would be the initial focus in spite of pearl harbor. and a general military strategy was decided upon.
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people, both civilian and military, met each other, which facilitated working together. the close encounters bonded the extent that even one anglo-american relations were under stress, and it happened, were found to accommodate each other. churchill and roosevelt visited george washington's grave on new year's day, where churchill laid a wreath on washington's sarcophagus, returning to the earlier custom of official visitors visiting his tomb. as many did during the war. this is the president of liberia in 1943. churchill was wide ranging, witty, full of ideas and stories, but annoying in so many ways. he was always demanding, wherever he was, both the space and staff. in the white house he appears to have acted no differently. if you were the staff for mrs.
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roosevelt, you got the short end of the stick, since you were not the ones he was devoting himself to. she was a bit frightened of him. she became so fed up with churchill's wandering around the upstairs in his silk robe and boiler suit and running into staff, and in general, was feeling intensely annoyed she had lost control of the house. she later wrote she was an automaton during that period. the u.s. purchased a nearby warehouse as the official guesthouse. thereafter the white house with very few exceptions was a place for convening and meeting and official conversations. it was no longer a bed-and-breakfast. [laughter] prime minister's margaret thatcher, tony blair, and david cameron all stayed in blair house.
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during her visit in 1976, 1991, and 2000, the queen and her retinue stayed at blair house. these visits were all commemorative. in 1957, the focus was the anniversary of the first english-speaking settlement in jamestown. the 1976 royal visit was a good will to her during their bicentennial celebrations. you should tell me when this does not click. [laughter] yes, the queen. [laughter]
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this is a full-screen shot from c-span. she has just finished speaking. she looked her normal happy person while she was speaking. i can tell you that. the 1991 visit saw the queen giving a joint session of congress. she was the first monarch to do so. the 2007 visit, celebrated the 400th anniversary of the settlement of jamestown. irish presidents and prime ministers have made more than 50 official visits to the u.s. the first prime ministerial appearance was in 1956 when john costello was in the states over st. patrick's day and gave a silver -- filled with shamrocks to president eisenhower. presenting presidents with shamrocks became a tradition,
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although not necessarily by a visiting head of state or government. it was by the irish ambassador, here. that's a picture of the prime minister giving it to george w. bush. the irish head of state presented eisenhower with shamrocks. he spent the 19th of march in washington and according to the irish times, he was a big hit. he flirted with maybe eisenhower and made jokes, which were told around washington for weeks.
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he was to attend the traditional dinners in washington, and to everyone's amazement, eisenhower insisted on going with him. both presidents and prime ministers came frequently to washington, for which the shamrock ceremony was dinners in washington, and to responsible. in particular with reagan and clinton, but with other presidents, the ceremony often combined with a private meeting with the president, gave ireland opportunities unknown to other small states. visits to take part in st. patrick's day celebrations helped to keep the irish republic's wishes in full view of the irish diaspora, and how could the irish republic lose? the power and influence of the
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united states in relation to the u.k. and ireland was manifested by the good friday agreement of 1098. one thing that was notable was negotiations took place during two prime-ministerships and other the presidency of bill clinton, the ineffable mediating prowess of senator george mitchell was vital to their success. i find that really striking, because this was a problem that two sovereign nations, the u.k. and ireland, seemed unable to resolve. it took the political, diplomatic, and financial aid of a third nation to enable its resolution. i must be the only person here who hoped brexit does not cause the whole thing to unravel. it is difficult to see what the u.s. could do about it. the white house and its occupants sit in a position that is unusual in the political world. unlike the united kingdom, france, or italy, the president
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is the head of state and head of government. in the u.k., visitors go to ing stet to meet the head of government and buckingham palace to meet the head of state. in the u.s., they go to the white house for both. it is a beautiful building. it can be a welcoming building depending on the occupants. fundamentally it is a powerful building. it represents and reflects the american people. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] week series, 1960 eight, american turmoil is available as a podcast. you can find it on our website. this is american history tv, only on c-span 3.
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all persons born or naturalized in the united states are citizens of the united intes and of the state where , they reside. how the 14th amendment has applied to african-americans, chinese-americans, and native americans. over 90 minutes. takingame is paul, i am symposium director. ofm currently the president the college in


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