Foreign affairs and diplomacy

What’s the Context? 4 April 1949: the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty

The signing of the North Atlantic Treaty

How the West was won 65 years ago today the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in the State Department auditorium in Washington. An organisation was born—NATO—that remains a cornerstone of Western defence up to the present day. In 1949 there …

What’s the context? 22 January 1924: Britain’s first Labour government takes office

Ramsay MacDonald

Ninety years ago today, the British political mould was shattered by the election of the first Labour government. After an inconclusive election on 6 December 1923 that the ruling Conservatives lost but nobody won, Ramsay MacDonald took office as both …

‘We shall fight on the beaches’: 3 things you never knew about Churchill’s most famous speech

Ask anyone to name Winston Churchill’s best-known speech and nine times out of ten they will answer: We shall fight them on the beaches. It’s not an exact quotation – Churchill did not include the word ‘them’ – but the …