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Topic 12 - Post Bismarckian period & Welpolitik

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

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Topic Twelve
Post Bismarckian period & Welpolitik
Bismarcks dismissal
-- 1887 Germany terminated loans; German economic downturn; but Russia needed the capital for
-- France approached Russia and offered loan (half a billion) 1888;
-- Jan 1889 France offered another half a million rifles (latest military technology);
-- F successfully established a financial dependency;
-- By 1890 F-R reopened negotiations;
-- Germany was sure that Russian would eventually come back, because Russia had no other choice;
-- Russian did come back, but nothing came out;
-- Wilhelm I died, succeeded by his son, who died after 3 months, succeeded by Wilhelm II;
-- Clash between Wilhelm II and Bismarck resulted in the dismissal of Bismarck.
Franco-Russian alliance
-- 1890 Neue Kurs emphasized on Austria & Britain instead of Russia; terminated the reassurance Treaty;
-- 1890 B and G signed agreement; Britain cede an island, in return some colonial territory in Eastern Africa
-- Russia is truly alarmed: G/I/A alliance and needed to secure her own security;
-- France is a republic, but F captured 14 Russian revolutionaries; clear sign that Paris is willing to establish
-- 1891 F-R agreed to work with each other; keep the future open;
-- F agreed R to seek influence in the Balkans;
-- Willingness to take this political alliance into a full-scale military alliance;
-- Franco-Russian alliance signed in 1894.
European states situation:
-- Germany: -- All other powers were in conflicts with each other;
-- No threats as long as Germany commits no strategic error;
-- Britain:
1. Trouble in South Africa;
-- Russia sought influence in the eastern Mediterranean; turbulence in the Suez Canal;
-- Britain wanted to open another seaway to communicate with India;
-- Cape town; South Africa; Boar War; fought alone; negative world opinions;
2. Central Asia:
-- Russia and Britain had been fighting with each other;
3. Colonial clash in Africa between France and Britain
-- Suez canal was engineered and built by F;
-- However it was completely taken by B; F humiliated;
-- F wanted to take Sudan (source of the Nile);
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