The End of the European Era Notes

The End of the European Era Notes - The End of the European...

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The End of the European Era Notes In Western Europe, elected parliaments determined the character of the governments and the course of their policies. By contrast the monarchs in the Central and Eastern European great power states— Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia—had strong policy-making influence, though the extent of that influence and the constitutional arrangements in these countries differed. Great Britain Had advanced furthest in democratic evolution and in industrialization o Gave the impression of remarkable political and social stability o Queen Victoria succeeded by flamboyant heir King Edward VII, leader of an opulent and luxurious society. o GB’s economic position not as brilliant as it appeared, no longer the leading producer of steel, iron, coal, overtaken by U.S., lagging behind Germany in innovations regarding vehicles, chemicals. o Remained the leading power in textile production, invested well in foreign powers. o Many landowners found their soil was rich in coal, landowners frequently became involved in industrial and financial activities, rising class of businessmen. Politics mirrored the homogeneity of the ruling class o Descendants of the aristocratic families who had ruled GB in previous centuries continued to be prominent, most had financial and industrial connections, strictly classical educations. o The most important leaders of both parties were conscious imperialists. Conservatives more concerned with maintaining their nation as the world’s foremost power, while Liberals might emphasize its mission of guiding the colonial people to self-government and the other blessings of British society—both were committed to competing for the African and Asian lands that were up for grabs. Labor movement and social reforms o Misery among the masses of the working population was still great, agricultural crisis in the 1880s had forced small farmers to migrate into cities, increasing numbers of unskilled workers o More militant spirit arose in trade unions, wanted to move toward collective ownership. o Development of a movement among middle-class British intellectuals who strove to close the gap between the wealth of the ruling group and the misery of the workers, called Fabians. o Conservatives and Liberals aware that the founding of a Labor party was a threat to the two party system, recognized they needed to make an effort to satisfy the needs of the working class. Conservatives placed emphasis on social reform, “municipal socialism” which improved public services. Liberals had a similar tendency towards social reform.
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The tensions between imperialists and the domestic reformers were sharpened by GB’s conflict with the Boer republics in S.Africa.
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The End of the European Era Notes - The End of the European...

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