Political Science 2231E Lecture Notes - Otto Von Bismarck, Archduke Franz Ferdinand Of Austria, Unification Of Germany

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Wednesday, 16 January, 2013
Review from last Week
- Pax Britannia: British Naval Domination, Global Colonial Empire, Long period of peace before
WWI
- Congress of Vienna: Intended to maintain the status quo, negotiated political boundaries of
Europe at the time
- German Unification: Involved capturing territories held by other nations, contributed to balance
of power in Europe, relied on Otto Von Bismark which collapsed with his absence
The World Wars
The 19th Century Global Economy
- The Industrial Revolution spreads in Europe and North America
- Freedom of global trade is underpinned by the Gold Standard
- Nationalism encourages the promotion of domestic industries
- By the end of the 1880s, free trade began to collapse
Potential Causes of World War I
-Systemic: Creation of system of nation-states generates competition
- The rise of Germany changes the balance of power
- the development of a rigid alliance system
- Economic change and competition
- Cult of offensive
-Domestic: Nationalism; Imperialism
-Individual: Kaiser Wilhem’s foreign policy
Industrialization and Economic Competition
- Industrialization in Britain & France; then Germany, Japan & USA
- Prompts population growth, which contributes to political pressures
- Emergence of a relationship between economic strength and military might
- Technological advances spark arms races, make countries better able to wage
devastating wars
- Overseas power projection is necessary to maintain empires
The Rise of Germany
- 1888, Kaiser Wilhelm II comes to power
- 1897, Kaiser announces policy of weltpolitik
- Goal of establishing an empire and “a place in the sun”
- Naval competition with Britain begins in 1890s
- Already the most powerful army in the world
- 1898 begins a rapid fleet expansion leading to arms race
- Series of foreign policy failures (Morocco, Balkans) lead to belief that war may be necessary to
prevail
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The Alliance System
- Rigid alliance system develops based on several ententes in the early 1900s, rather than flexible
Bismarckian system
- US believes itself to be unaffected by threats in Europe
-Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy
- Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria later join
-Triple Entente (Allies): France, Russia, Britain, (Serbia)
- Franco- Russian alliance of 1894
- Romania, Greece, Portugal, Japan later join
- Not that Italy changes side in 1915
Cult of the Offensive
- Offense seen to have the advantage
- Operationalized in Germany’s Schlieffen Plan
- Attack France while remaining on defensive in East
- Predicated on slow Russian mobilization and quick French defeat
- France has plan to attack Germany
- Russia has powerful incentive to mobilize
- Sagan reading critiques this explanation
Nationalism (Domestic)
- Shared idea about legitimate political order, perceived commonality among people, exclusive
right to a territorial homeland
- Eg: Unification of Germany (1871); Minority persecution in the Balkans and agitation in multi-
national states
- As a cause of war:
- Increases cost of war, makes conquest more difficult
- Contributed to collapse of empires, wars caused by multinational states breaking apart
(WWI, 1990s)
- Contributed to wars of unification - caused by a desire to bring all members of one
nation under the same state (WWII)
Imperialism
- Originates in search for trade routes to Asia, goal of controlling trade, and European
technological superiority
- May be based on cosmopolitan views of a “civilizing mission” or pure conquest
- Competition over colonies leads to confrontation between great powers abroad
- Britain suffers from imperial overstretch
- Settler colonies in North America, Caribbean, and South Pacific; Colonial territories in
Asia and Africa
- American Revolution 1776, costly Boer Wars in late 1800s
- Ottoman Empire “sick man of Europe” - Provides opportunity for new territorial gains in near
abroad
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