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The World Wars .pdf

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2231E
Jessica Trisko

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 NorthAmerica - 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 TheAlliance 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 - TripleAlliance: 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 toAsia, 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 NorthAmerica, Caribbean, and South Pacific; Colonial territories in Asia andAfrica - American Revolution 1776, costly Boer Wars in late 1800s - Ottoman Empire “sick man of Europe” - Provides opportunity for new territorial gains in near abroad The July Crisis - 28 June 1914:Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir toAustria-Hungary throne, assassinated by Serbs - 5 July 1914: Germany pushesAustria-Hungary to go to war with Serbia - 14 July 1914:A-H presents ultimatum to Serbia which is rejected; both mobilize for war - 28 July 1914:A-H declares war on Serbia and alliance system comes into effect - Russia begins mobilizing troops on the German border - Germany declares war on Russia and France - German troops disregard neutrality of Belgium and Luxembourg to sweep through France from the Northeast (Schlieffen Plan) - April 6, 1917 US joins the war after being a major allied supplied for years End of the Great War - As the French, British andAmericans drive the Germans to the “Hindenburg Line”, Bulgaria falls, the Ottoman Empire sues for peace, andAustria-Hungary collapses - War-weary Germans revolt and the Kaiser and generals are forced to sign an armistice on November 11, 1918 Characteristics of WWI Warfare - Trench warfare: 25 000 total miles, enough to circle the earth - Reconnaissance - Artillery - Waves of infantry attacks - New technology: tanks, airplanes, poison gas, machine guns Consequences of World War I - First total war, threatening national survival - Nation-states able to mobilize citizens to sacrifice - Demonstrated that current international order spanned to globe - Stalemate on all fronts as a result of trench warfare - The Treaty of Versailles (1919) - Woodrow Wilson proposes a League of Nations but lacks senate support > US returns to isolationism - Divisio
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