The Foreign Office is a department of the British Government. Its official name has changed from time to time, and at present it is the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Its head is known as the Foreign Secretary, and this is one of the four top posts in the British Cabinet.
The Foreign Office is responsible for protecting and promoting British interests worldwide. It was formed in 1782. In its present form it was created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office (to FCO). Later on it merged with the Department for International Development.
The Foreign Office provides staff for embassies and other diplomatic stations throughout the world. It trains staff in foreign languages. At one time (a century ago) its staff ruled over a third of the world. The overseas British Empire recovered after the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in 1776, and reached its peak about 1920. Foreign policy made sure it was never seriously threatened.
References[change | change source]
- Cotterell, Arthur. 2009. Western power in Asia: its slow rise and swift fall, 1415–1999.
- Mulligan, William, and Brendan Simms, eds 2011. The primacy of foreign policy in British history, 1660–2000. Palgrave Macmillan; 2011.
- Dilks, David 1981. Retreat from Power: 1906–39. (two vols).
- Strang, Lord William. 1961. Britain in world affairs: a survey of the fluctuations in British power and influence from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II. Online free Popular history by a diplomat.