I had intended to blog this while I was actually reading Dreadnought, but I never got around to it. Still, I found it interesting enough that I’m going to put it up now.
In reaching out to Germany, [Joseph] Chamberlain ignored a centuries-old precept of English history: to survive and prosper, England must always ally herself with the weaker power or powers in Europe. Otherwise, allied to the strongest power, England finds herself in a subordinate role, her interests and independence subject to the dictates of the strongest power. Only by rallying the weaker states into a coalition to oppose the strongest power can England prevent Continental hegemony and preserve her own security. This was the lesson taught when England created alliances against Philip II of Spain, Louis XIV of France, and Napoleon Bonaparte.