IR Notes Lecture 11

IR Notes Lecture 11 - IR Notes Lecture 11February 15, 2007...

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IR Notes Lecture 11—February 15, 2007 WWI I. European system was multi-polar prior to WWI a) Main actors i) Britain (1) Most satisfied of the great powers at the time (2) Liked to stay off the continent, only become involved if necessary ii) France (1) Began a decline in power in years prior to WWI (2) Like Britain, it was a status quo power, but wanted a few things (a) Franco-Prussian war 1870-71 they lost Alsace-Lorraine (3) Perpetually worried about German intentions and how to defend itself iii) Russia (1) Continued to be ruled by Czars, but rapidly industrializing/modernizing (2) Lagged behind other powers in mobilizing resources, although had lots of resources (3) Fractionalized and corrupt military, lost to Japs in 1905 raising questions about threats in East Asia and strength of Russia (4) Also, sense of Pan-Slavism, and thus allegiance toward Serbia iv) Italy (1) Weak, but big appetite v) Austria-Hungary (1) Sick man of Europe—conglomeration of different identities, government had trouble managing it all (2) Nationalist agitation in the South involving Slavic groups cause a lot of problems leading up to WWI (3) Trying to keep empire from falling apart leading into WWI vi) Germany (1) Unified in 1871, industrialization greatly increasing (2) Demonstrated in wars of unification that it was the most capable military in Europe, but faced questions over civilian control over that military (3) Being in the center of Europe made it the most important and threatening state in Europe b) Congress of Vienna in 1815 establishes the Concert of Europe i) Prussia, France, Britain, Russia, Austria-Hungary ii) Agreement that they would attempt to manage European affairs in peaceful way and maintain balance of power iii) Major disruption begins when Germany unifies in 1871 (1) Germany’s position fostered its own insecurity but also led others to become increasingly secured about their security (2) Classic security dilemma dynamics grow in Europe as other states begin to wonder what it’s going to do with all its power, and how they’re going to respond c) Bismarck i) tries to convince others that Germany is a sated power
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ii) But was working to maintain a balance of power in Europe favorable to Germany during this time (1) He believed that the possibility of a Franco-Russian alliance would be the downfall—a threat on both fronts (2) Also believed that you had to be a “trois” iii) Begins intricate alliance system (1) Austria-Hungary in 1879 (2) Italy in 1882 (3) Russia remained reluctant iv) He was effective at convincing Europe that Germany was benign, but Wilhelm---ehhh, not so much d) Wilhelm II i) Takes over in 1888, dismisses Bismarck in 1890 ii) Caprivi takes over as Chancellor, he together with Wilhelm rejects Bismarck’s pragmatism (1) Especially with trying to maintain good ties with Europe, esp. Russia iii) The New Course—make Germany more powerful in Eruope (1) Weltpolitik (2) France and Russia then form an alliance while Anglo-German relations
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IR Notes Lecture 11 - IR Notes Lecture 11February 15, 2007...

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