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Chapter 2

Detailed Textbook Notes Chapter 2

8 pages282 viewsFall 2010

Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL114H5
Professor
Jurgensen
Chapter
2

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Chapter 2: History & Global Politics War & Peace
An Introduction to the Role of History
Study of history help us identify examples of continuity & change, & patterns of
divergence & convergence
States tend to have official versions of historical events; Groups of individuals have their
own interpretation of history; Scholars of international relations have divergent views of
historical events
3 key themes in the relationship between history & global politics:
History is most often presented as the history of war & conflict and the rise &
fall of civilizations, states, & empires
Developments in history have had a defining impact on the development of
theories of war & peace
History reveals the importance of ideas as driving forces of change & conflict
The Ancient Legacy: The Rise & Fall of Civilizations & Empires
In the Middle East, civilization 2st developed around 3500 B.C.E., in basins of 3 great
river systems
City-states, empires, & civilizations developed complex instruments of diplomacy
& trade; ALSO developed complex systems for waging war
Civilization & war have symbiotic relationship
Large-scale warfare can be conducted only by systems of government that
possess organizational capacity to marshal surplus resources for war
In ancient civilizations, revenues from tax & rents tended to go to war, worship,
welfare
Civilization in Mediterranean dominated by successive waves of Greek peoples, who
established control over much of the religion
Peloponnesian War regarded as important case study in global politics
Philips son, Alexander the Great, conquered dominion that stretched from
Macedon to Indus River, but empire collapsed after his death
New power centre developed around Rome and soon expanded over entire Italian
peninsula
Roman Empire declined due to internal decay, civil war, and barbarian
invasions
In northern Europe, distinct cultural groups had developed by 800 B.C.E.
Decline & fall of western Roman empire in 4th & 5th centuries exposed Europe to
numerous invasions from nomadic peoples
Aftermath of the fall of Rome, power in Europe devolved to local nobbles
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Political & economic life highly localized & controlled by small numbers of nobles
& knights
In feudal societies, concepts like nationalism & citizenship didnt exist
For Marx, development of feudalism was important step in evolution of society
toward capitalism, which in turn was step to communism
Wealth from trade & gunpowder facilitated process of political consolidation
Process of political consolidation, as well as agricultural, industrial, &
intellectual development, was slowed by famine, plague, & war
Thirty Years’ War (1618-48): General European war fought mainly in Germany,
petty German princes & foreign powers against the Holy Roman Empire; also a
religious war of Protestants against Catholics. Ended with the Treaty of
Westphalia
Despite the instability, this era was one of European exploration & expansion
In North America, colonization was slower, and economic & political activity based on
wide range of cultural traditions
In history defined by power politics, the less powerful have been @ a
disadvantage the weak suffered what they must
Least powerful often disappeared from history altogether, having been
assimilated into larger political units, forced to accept humiliating terms of
Realists across time & place, history is made by the powerful
The Modern State & the Peace of Westphalia
Modern international system is often called the Westphalian state system
Peace of Westphalia ended Thirty Years War in Europe in 1648 & established
new order in Europe
Peace of Westphalia significant benchmark; it established foundations of modern
Although principles behind sovereign state begun to emerge before 1648, date is
useful point of differentiation between medieval Europe & modern Europe
Peace of Westphalia established constitutional, legal status of states as territorial
entities
Territorial state was sovereign, free to determine & practice its domestic
affairs, & free from external interference
Change occurred for several reasons:
Power of church had been weakened by splits in Christendom
oHorrors of 30 Years War revealed fragility of Christian Europe
Some of the monarchs of medieval Europe had been slowly acquiring
increased economic & military power
oEnables them to expand territories through amalgamation &
conquest of less powerful political units
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oEstablishment of hereditary monarchies promised increased
stability with respect to leadership transition
Profile 2.7: The Nature of the Modern State
STATE refers to political entities with following qualities:
Occupy a defined territory
Possess a permanent population
Sovereign with respect to other states
Diplomatically recognized by other states
Possess a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within their territories
The Rise of the European Empires
Defining feature of 17th & 18th centuries was European imperialism
Revolts rocked the European empires in 2nd half of 18th century
Most significant revolution occurred in the Thirteen Colonies in America; &
independence of U.S. would later be recognized as 1 of most significant
developments if world history
Most significant revolution IN EUROPE occurred in France
French Revolution (1789-94)
When Austria & Prussia threatened invasion, combining external threat
with internal chaos, the monarchy collapsed
Republic was established that ruthlessly supressed its enemies @ home &
defeated enemies abroad
Ideals of French Revolution spread across Europe: equality before the law,
the abolition of feudalism, & the rights of man
The revolution sparked beginning of development of modern nationalism
(although nationalism initially rejected by monarchs, it was to become 1 of
driving forces begins events in Europe & around the world)
Nationalism would:
oBe a motive for soldiers in battle
oEnable the establishment of the 1st true national armies of citizen
soldiers
oProve to be inspiration for revolution
oBecome inextricably with institutional & legal apparatus of emerging
nation-state
French Republic didnt survive; In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte seized power
During Napoleonic Wars, he was practically unbeatable; By 1810, most western
Europe controlled by France; Final defeat in Waterloo in 1815 ended French
dominance in Europe
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