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Lecture 1

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University of Toronto St. George
Vasilis Dimitriadis

thLecture 1September 20 2011 An Overview of International Relations y Modern international relations began in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia following the 30 Years War y Treaty of Westphalia was meant to ensure that no such calamity would ever befall Europe again o It was meant to guarantee every single member state security and wellbeing in the European continent o Tried to maintain a balance of power but it was not conscientious y The purpose of the statesurvival the interests of its citizens are secondary y How does a state ensure its survival It adheres to a number of basic principles o Balance of power y Treaty of Utrecht 1713 o A conscious attempt to guarantee the balance of power y How is the balance of power maintained o Britain and France decided to cooperate with each other following the Treaty of Utrecht o By agreeing to cooperate they ensured the stability of their own states but also the stability of the continent o Austria and Spain did not return to war because of this cooperative relationship thy This balance of power remained intact until the end of the 18 century if a state wanted to change the balance of power in Europe they would be forced to face an entire coalition y The change in the balance of power occurred due to the switch from empires to nation states beginning in France with the French Revolution y French Revolutionaries undermined the social fabric of Europe they brought about two very important agents of change o Liberalismchanged political landscape o Nationalismwanted to create states based on a nation y Napoleon usurped these principles and used them for his own benefit in order to create an empire of his own this was the greatest challenge to the international system y Napoleon managed to take control of the entire continent by 1807 built a dynasty and for almost 6 years he had full control over the European continent y At the same time he adhered to the principles of liberalism he gave the continent the Napoleonic Code and modernized the bureaucratic structure of the continent y However it was a dictatorship and the continent was run by Napoleon himself there was no more balance of power y Napoleons hold over Europe failed with his invasion of Russia in 1812 his last opposition to complete domination of the continent
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