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HIS103 - Bismarck and the States System

HIS103 - Bismarck and the States System - Bismarck and the...

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Bismarck and the States System, 1880-90 Monday, January 31 st / 2011 Bismarck never left a definitive statement of his reasons for his policy shift By gathering together straps of evidence, we may be in possession to test Bismarck’s hypothesis The initial argument advocated by historians was this was more of a tactical maneuver than a long-term strategic choice His promise to support Austria was an interesting commitment If the Austrians were the forward party, then they would be alone Bismarck himself, at the time, seemed to state openly that the real reason for his alignment with Austria was to make Russia more amenable to immediate friendship with imperial Germany The move to move towards Austria backfired A Bloc excluding and one aimed at Russia – the Austrian hope was to form the dual alliance, into a Triple alliance, which included Britain The Austrian hope was frustrated by the refusal of the then British Prime Minister (Gladstone) This refusal to respond positively, in a way, gave Bismarck a way out The Austrians went along with the logic of arithmetic – that it would be better to be one of three in a system of 5 great powers Second Austro-Russian-German alliance June 18 th , 1881 Commitment to contain the Netherlands neutrality towards the war of the fore power They wouldn’t join the enemy against them (which was enough for Bismarck) Bismarck made sure to include in the terms a specific promise on the part of the signatory powers – and that promise was to take into account each other’s interests in the Balkan Peninsula He appeared to dispense equal justice to the two other eastern European imperial powers
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