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2013-02-12 Contemporary Europe.docx

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Geography 2050A/B
Mireya Folch- Serra

Contemporary Europe: 20 Century February 12, 2013 - Read “Descent into Madness” in textbook -there are historical events that determine the geography of Europe -e.g. wars, invasions, retributionsreflected in spatial map of Europe -map of Europe constantly changing due to historical events -how wars have changed the size of the countries, borders of countries -importance of historical events for geography -we won’t understand the geography if we don’t look at the history th An unstable European system at the dawn of the 20 century -instability produced 2 world wars -WWI: 1914 -WWII: 1945 -these two wars originated from Europe and encompass the whole world -European rivalries took another turn with the rise of Germany -countries wanted a say in the whole continent – wanted to be hegemonic and powerful -Rise of German nationalism and increasing threat of conflict -“I’m German, therefore, I’m more important and superior” -nationalism: identity and superiority -mainly superiority -the size of main European armies grew by average 73% from 1880 to 1914 -the more power invested in armies = more possibility of wars -big armies with soldiers and generals – you have to utilize that -First World War (1914-1918) -ended with armistice World War 1914-1918 -“Great War”first time in history that Europe extended the war throughout the world Beginning of World War I -map shows the aggressor is Germany -offensive of Germany represented by the arrows -defensive: responding the arrows of offensive of Germans Canadians in the Great War -Canada was part of the Great Britain – they were fighting for Britain Monument to Canadians at Vimy Ridge -commemorate Canadian lives lost in WWI 20th Century First War (1914-1918) -Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo -that was what triggered the First World War -assassination done by anarchist -that event does not justify such a big war -Germany declares war on the Entente powers (France, UK and Russia) -Entente: French word meaning “team” -Russia became communist country in 1917 -Entry of USAinto the war (April 1917) -Withdrawal of Russia in 1917 -after that USAcame to reinforce Entente powers -Armistice declared on November 1918 (the Kaiser abdicated) -1919 Treaty of Versailles (end of conflict) -declared Germany the loser and in treaty, territory of Germany will shrink -map of Europe changed a lot Conditions of the Treaty of Versailles 1919 -Germany, the defeated power, was considerably reduced in size -Germany lost territory to Poland in east and to France in west -people living in territory will lose their German citizenship and were automatically given Polish or French citizenship -without losing their nationalistic identity – they still see themselves as German, but living under a different government and country -Buffer zone created along the Rhine from which German troops were prohibited -Europe lost power and influence after the War -Europe will never be a world power as it was -catalyst of Europe not becoming world power (it was for many centuries) Germany after Versailles -Administered by the League of Nations -Annexed by neighbouring countries -map shows the dark yellow area as German territory/owned -problem: Poland took territory from Germany that made Germany fractured (look at map) Attempts at cooperation and peace Two plans: 1. Concert of Europe (common enemy: France) 2. Coudenhove-Kalergi’s Pan-Europa plan 1923 -It recognized the declining role of European powers in the world -Pan-Europa: encompassing all European countries -take many decades for this plan to be made reality (7 decades) -Advocated the foundation of a customs union and development of single economic area (both plans pre-date the Second World War) -if Europe had had did this in practice, maybe WWII would never happen -this is just pure guess -but, they rejected it Coudenhove-Kalergi’s words: “The cause of Europe’s decline is political, not biological. Europe is not dying of old age, but because its inhabitants are killing and destroying one another with the instruments of modern science… The peoples of Europe are not senile –it is only their political system that is senile.” (cited in Hefferman 1999:125) Amulticulturalist -Coudenhove-Kalergi was a multiculturalist. Did not believe in racial purity and racial definitions of nationhood -he was a product of an Austrian father and Japanese mother -he’s like a citizenship of the world -in his Map a united Europe based on a USAfederal model would logically dominateAfrica to the south, creating thereby a single ‘Eurafrican zone’ -his plan was critical of Britain’s chaotic scattered empire -believed in something that’s inclusive and non-imperialist Pan-Europa 1923 -map -he saw Pan-Europa (Eurafrican): black area in map -integrated with parts ofAfrica -his way of conceptualizing the political map of the world Plan not accepted -Liberal appeals for European unity failed to convince those in Weimer Germany (Germans resented their treatment by the Treaty of Versailles) -Rise of school of German geopolitik during the 1920s (Frederic Ratzel) -he conceived all these maps of Germany -how Germany has been dispossessed in geographical terms, real terms, how people were separated -Ethnic maps and atlases produced “Natural” frontiers of Germany -there are no “natural frontiers” -Ratzel’s gave rise to a lot of resentment in the country after his ideas was taught at schools and was exposed throughout the country Demands for a reconstituted German Reich -The Reich should encompass as many Germans as possible – irredentism -irredentism: re-growing borders; redrawing borders to bring nationals in -incorporating territory -Renewed calls for reconstitution of Mitteleuropa beyond the imposed border of 1919 (Versailles) -The Reich would hold together whatAlfred Weber (industrial location theory) detected in the 1920s: balance -/- agricultural east and industrial west -tell Germans that we have dealt with a horrible from Europeans – we have to do something about it -Ratzel’s ideas and ______’s economic ideas....?? The German idea of Mitteleuropa -light blue areas: want to bring those areas back Mitteleuropa, the two difference trading blocks -German in the north -Danubian in the south Geopolitical theorizing about Europe -‘GERMAN SCHOOL FOUNDED BY KARL HAUSHOFER FROM 1920 TO 1945) -‘Geopolitics’a term coined in 1899 (R. Kjellen) to describe the scientific stu
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