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Lewis Harcourt's Journal of the 1914 War Crisis

Young, John W.


John W. Young


Lewis Harcourt, who was Colonial Secretary in Britain's Liberal government, from 1908 to 1915, kept a political journal for many years, some earlier parts of which have already been published. Reproduced below is the whole neat version of the journal from 26 July 1914, when Harcourt first mentions the events of the ‘July Crisis’, until 4 August, when Britain declared war on Germany. Originals of the entries are kept at the Bodleian Library, Oxford in file Ms. Eng. c. 8269 of the ‘Further Papers of Lewis Harcourt’, which only came to light in 2008. Historians can be grateful that Harcourt kept such a record of ministerial discussions during the July Crisis, because no official records were taken of Cabinet meetings before 1916, apart from short reports by the Prime Minister to the King. There are some diary entries, letters and memoranda from those involved, but the only source with comparative detail to Harcourt's is the diary kept by the education minister, Jack Pease, which has already been published.


Young, J. W. (2018). Lewis Harcourt's Journal of the 1914 War Crisis. International History Review, 40(2), 436-455. doi:10.1080/07075332.2017.1387164

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 10, 2017
Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2017
Publication Date Mar 15, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 12, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 4, 2019
Journal The International History Review
Print ISSN 0707-5332
Electronic ISSN 1949-6540
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 2
Pages 436-455
Keywords United Kingdom, First World War, Lewis Harcourt, July Crisis
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International History Review on 3 Nov 2017, available online:


HarcourtJournalSubmitted.pdf (259 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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