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Topic 12 Realpolitik & Bismarck Topic 12 Realpolitik & Bismarck

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University of Toronto St. George
Vasilis Dimitriadis

Topic Eleven The Bismarckian Period -- Bismarck’s MAIN OBJECTIVE: -- Keep Germany in a majority; majority = security -- isolate France; France could not find an ally nor revenge;  Bismarck’s Alliances 1871-1882 -- 1873 The Three Emperors’ League (G,R,A): -- War In Sight Crisis: G & F -- Eastern Crisis of 1875 -- Series of revolt against the Ottoman Empire: Herzegovina, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Serbia; -- Reform in the Ottoman Empire fails; Russo-Turkish war; -- Treaty of San Stefano: Big Bulgaria; -- Congress of Berlin: revise the Treaty of San Stefano (B,A feared the Big Bulgaria); R felt cheated; -- The Three Emperors’ League collapsed; -- 1879 Dual Alliance (G,A) -- A & R opposing interest in Balkans: -- The Balkans is the only place Austrian can revive her power; -- However all affiliations there were with Russia (religion, ethnicity) -- A wished to ally with B – proposed another “Crimean Alliance”; -- However 1880 British election – Gladstone: ideological foreign relations, bringing moral and ethnic issue with foreign policy -- Gladstone thought, if there was a war to be, it needed to be with Ottoman Empire. -- Austria’s plan failed; -- At this time Bismarck approached A and offered the Dual Alliance -- Dual Alliance’s objective: -- Ostensibly to keep the Habsburg Empire independent; -- Hidden: -- dig a ditch between Austria & Britain; Austria & France; -- If A goes to B; AB & F would wedge a war; if A goes to F, the same would happen -- 1881 Three Emperors Alliance (G,A,R) -- On Austria side: -- the new Dual Monarchy (Austro-Hungarian Empire) needs stability; -- turned down by Br; -- It’s easier to control R with R in the alliance than without (what G says); -- no other choices; -- On Russia side: -- humiliated in the Berlin Conference; -- vulnerable, no navy (although they broke the Black Sea Clause); -- It’s easier to control A with A in the alliance than without (what G says); -- no other choices; -- Bismarck has achieved again: -- keeping Germany in the majority (this is the peak of Bismarck’s political career); -- keeping France isolated; as well as Britain & France separate
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