Module seven[1] - The Historical Context of International...

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The Historical Context of International Relations Module Seven
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Emergence of the Westphalia System The end of the Thirty Years War (1618-48) was marked by the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia, which embraced the notion of sovereignty. Monarchs, and not the church, had religious authority over their populations. This development implied the general acceptance of sovereignty that the sovereign enjoyed exclusive rights within a given territory. States can determine their own domestic policies, free from external pressure and with full jurisdiction in their own geographic space. It also introduced the right of noninterference in the affairs of other states. States began to establish their own centrally controlled militaries.
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Balance of Power: In the nineteenth century a balance of power emerged because the independent European states, each with relatively equal power, feared the emergence of any predominant state (hegemon) among them. Thus, they formed alliances to counteract any potentially more powerful faction creating a balance of power.
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World War I: War centered in Europe and began in summer 1914 and ended in late 1918. It involved the world‘s great powers, which were divided in two alliances. Triple Entente, which consisted of France, Britain, Russia, United States, Japan, Italy, et. Central Powers, which consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungry, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.
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By the end of the war, the Triple Entente was defeated and several empires no longer existed including the Ottoman and Austria-Hungry Empires. Russia also fell to become the Soviet Union. The map of central Europe was redrawn into small states. The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing future conflicts.
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World War II: The war involved all the great powers and lasted from 1939 to 1945. The great powers were divided into two alliance systems. The Axis Powers, which included Germany, Japan, Italy, Hungry, Romania, and Finland. The Allies Powers, which included the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, France, and China. The war ended with total victory of the Allies over the Axis.
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Cold War The outcome of WWII was the emergence of two superpowers the United States and the Soviet Union (S.U.) as the primary actors in the international system. This meant the decline of Europe as the epicenter of international politics. There was the recognition of fundamental incompatibilities between the two new superpowers in both national interests and ideology.
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The U.S. and S.U. had major ideological differences. These differences pitted two contrasting visions of society
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This note was uploaded on 07/19/2011 for the course POLIT 1550 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Youngstown State University.

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Module seven[1] - The Historical Context of International...

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