I am pleased to report that last Sunday, April 8, 2018, marked the 114th anniversary of a historic occasion. The occasion is the signing of a treaty of friendship between Britain and France. This treaty is informally known as the Entente Cordiale. This event was not mentioned to me at any point in my formal education. All I was told was, “Well, Britain, France and Russia were allies in 1914.”
Is there a hope for friendship between nations?
I take great encouragement in the existence and longevity of the Entente Cordiale. Let me tell you why.
Britain and France had a long, unhappy history of many wars between each other. Between 1202 and 1904, England (later Britain) and France engaged in 23 different wars. The longest time they were able to go without a war during this period was 89 years, between 1815 and 1904. And don’t forget the Norman Conquest of 1066. Someone might despair of two nations ever getting along because of their long, unhappy history. I can say “Oh, they are like Britain and France in 1904.”
Both Britain and France were global powers at the time with interests around the world. The Entente Cordiale granted freedom of action to Great Britain in Egypt and to France in Morocco. At the same time, Great Britain conceded territory in Guinea, Nigeria, and the upper Gambia valley. France renounced its exclusive right to certain fisheries off Newfoundland. Furthermore, French and British zones of influence in Siam (Thailand) were outlined. Arrangements were also made to allay the rivalry between British and French colonists in the New Hebrides (now known as Vanuatu). Someone might despair of two global powers ever getting along because of multiple conflicts of interest. I can say “Oh, they are like France and Britain in 1904.”
Is there a hope for friendship between nations? Sometimes, the best that can be done is the sowing of a seed for the future. Queen Victoria of Britain did that very thing in 1843 when she visited France. The last time a British ruler had visited France was Henry VIII in 1532. Queen Victoria used the phrase “a cordial good understanding.” King Louis-Phillipe used the phrase “une sincère amitié.”
Is there a hope for friendship between nations? Perhaps there were some nobler motivations and some less noble motivations for the Entente Cordiale. Suppose a nation does the right thing for the right reasons. Its motives will be questioned by other individuals and other nations. All I know is that if a nation makes an alliance with another nation, that alliance will be tested. The First Moroccan Crisis of 1905-6 was a test of the Entente Cordiale, in my opinion.
The New Message from God teaches that human unity is a necessity for human survival and human freedom. These two paragraphs are from the revelation “What Will Save Humanity.” This is a chapter in the forthcoming book “The New World.”
“Humanity is imperiled from within and from without. From within, it is facing a world in decline. Its growing populations will have to contend with a slowly shrinking well of resources and with environmental disruption. It will have to pay attention now to the laws of nature, which hold little mercy for the unprepared. It will have to face a fundamental decision over whether nations will compete and contend and fight over the remaining resources or whether they will unite to preserve them, to extend them and to make sure the human family as a whole has what it needs.
It is not about national security now. It is about world security. Your nation will not remain unaffected if other nations fail. If millions of people stream over your borders because they cannot sustain themselves in your neighboring countries, that will have a great impact upon you. If humanity cannot feed itself, great war and tribulation will follow. Think not that these challenges are not upon you, for the world is telling you otherwise, and Knowledge within you is urging you to respond.”
Is there a hope for friendship between nations? I know there are people reading these words who are persuaded that a unified humanity is impossible. But there were people living in Britain and France in 1816 who believed that the next thousand years would be as full of war as the last thousand years. So far, they have been mistaken. Will humanity unite? All I know is that I must do what I can to help that happen.
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