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Topic 13 Welpolitik Topic 13 Welpolitik

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

Topic Twelve Post Bismarckian period & Welpolitik  Bismarck’s dismissal -- 1887 Germany terminated loans; German economic downturn; but Russia needed the capital for industrialization; -- 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 onAustria & Britain instead of Russia; terminated the reassurance Treaty; -- 1890 B and G signed agreement; Britain cede an island, in return some colonial territory in EasternAfrica -- Russia is truly alarmed: G/I/Aalliance 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 relations; -- 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 SouthAfrica; -- Russia sought influence in the eastern Mediterranean; turbulence in the Suez Canal; -- Britain wanted to open another seaway to communicate with India; -- Cape town; SouthAfrica; Boar War; fought alone; negative world opinions; 2. CentralAsia: -- 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); -- BUT…..Germany’s strategic error: challenging Britain: -- G offers B a binding military alliance: G will control the continent, B will c
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