Class Notes (806,874)
Canada (492,493)
History (488)
HI109 (96)


29 Pages
Unlock Document

Wilfrid Laurier University
Robert Hanks

European History th January 10 The First World War Theme: Disillusionment - disillusionment of the WWI set the stage for the events that followed in Europe for the rest of the 20 century The Pre-War Mentality in Europe - The dominant mentality was optimistic liberalism What is Classical Liberalism? Typical liberals: - were self-made professional men - opposed both socialism and absolute monarchy (not too much power with working class or monarch) - thought the Roman Catholic church was medieval, atheists and Protestants - believed in national self-determination, every nation should have its own state, therefore it would be free - many liberals supported imperialism, assumed Europe was the cultural centre of the world, Eurocentric - heavy emphasis on private property - government has small role - those entitled to vote, must own property - belief in progress (economic, scientific, political) - belief in the rights of the individual - belief in formal written constitutions - belief in responsible government (government answers to parliament, specifically Lower House, House of Commons) - closely associated with middle class Great Britain was the classical free trading state - British liberals supported nationalist movements (19 century)h - British parliament was the “model” parliament, other countries aspire - Home of political liberty - Some had tendency to pacifism and isolationism Norman Angell “The Great Illusion” (1909) - military power was great illusion - free trade is a good thing, free trade makes war impossible - highly popular in Europe - Italy and France also liberal states, but were unstable European History th January 10 WWI shattered liberal faith in progress. Challenges to Liberalism: - militant nationalism, more aggressive, propaganda especially in schools, “school of the nation” army, also propaganda, countries were in race for colonies, more colonies, more power - social Darwinism, permeated European society in 19 century  his scientific ideas were corrupted by social theorists, with each nation there is a species, survival of the fittest  not keeping with liberal faith in progress - cultural pessimism:  Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900): “Progress is merely a modern idea, that is, a false idea”  attacked religion, “God is dead”, thought Christianity was a sign of decadence and weakness  Attacked rationality, democracy, nationalism, socialism  Humans were stupid, corrupt and materialistic  Old values, were dead and society needed new values  Called for new race of supermen of poet/philosophers who would create new values  Ideas crossed entire political spectrum, influenced socialists AND fascists (Hitler and Mussolini)  Appealed to young idealists - radical socialism  British conservatives alarmed by suffragates, and workers attracted to socialism Issues in Britain  Rise of the Labour Party in Britain  Irish home rule, when government proposed Italy was a constitutional monarchy and France was a republic but were both considered unstable, had a rotating door governments Germany: Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-41 r. 1888- 1918) - most Germans were happy with their lives - most prosperous, well-educated - produced more winners of Nobel Prize for Science than any other country - becoming increasingly self-confident - Germany was “best administered, worst governed country in Europe” European History th January 10 - Built second biggest navy in the world, to claim their place in the sun - Building the navy alienated Britain and made world politics tense - German politics was complicated and unsettled, the constitution was a mixture of aristocratic and democratic - All men could vote - The emperor picked the government - More democratic than Britain but less responsible - Groups of German society didn’t feel represented, would find scape-goats - By 1914, the largest socialist party was SPD(Social Democratic Party), it was alienated by mainstream politics - Wilhelm was considered embarrassment by German population by 1914 - Germany felt insecure Austria-Hungary included: Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Romanians, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, Italians, Jews
More Less

Related notes for HI109

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.