Lionel Curtis

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Lionel Curtis (1872–1955) British official and author who advocated British Empire Federalism and, late in life, a world state. His ideas concerning dyarchy were important in the development of the Government of India Act 1919 and more generally, his writings influenced the evolution of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Curtis was educated at Haileybury College and then at University of Oxford subsequently becoming a lawyer. After fighting in the Second Boer War and serving as secretary to Lord Milner, he dedicated himself to working for a united self-governing South Africa. This experience led him to conceptualize his version of a Federal World Government, which became his life work. In pursuit of this goal, he founded (1910) the quarterly Round Table. He was appointed (1912) Beit lecturer in colonial history at Oxford University, and a Fellow of All Souls College.

In 1919 Curtis led a delegation of British and American experts to organize the Royal Institute of International Affairs during the Peace Conference of Paris.

Curtis' most important books were:


  • From Empire to International Commonwealth: A Biography of Lionel Curtis by Deborah Lavin, Oxford University Press (1995), ISBN 0-19-812616-6
  • The Round Table movement and imperial union by John Edward Kendle, University of Toronto Press (1975), ISBN 0-8020-5292-4

External links