1800, 1900 - Between the old and the new century
The risk of war in Europe and the "concert of powers"
There were transformations of international relations, not only related only to the emergence of the great powers (the United States and Japan), but also the emergence of Germany. After the proclamation of the Reich, Bismarck was aware that now in Europe had created a big break. Two were the risks of war:
1) the spirit of revenge of France (revenge). In fact, the 1870-71 war between France and Prussia was very long and violent, and ended with a peace treaty negotiated (not discussed), but on France. So instead of closing the conflict this treaty had brought a desire for revenge. It was decided that the loser had to pay the winner a size (war indemnity) very high. Also without explanation Germany annexing its territory the Alsace and Lorraine.
In the aftermath of the peace treaty of Frankfurt (May 1871) he created a crisis between the various European states.
2) the ancient rivalry between Austria and Russia, who had the same interests in the Balkans: a defended the Catholic, the other Orthodox Christians.
On these two points it was based concert of powers.
The diplomatic policy of Bismarck and the Congress of Berlin
Germany tried to act as guarantor of international peace, and took on a role as a center catalyst of diplomatic relations, the first goal was an alliance between Austria and Russia, and joined him in October 1873, with the establishment of the league or of covenant Three Emperors: German Kaiser, Tsar Russian, Austro-Hungarian Empire. The aim was to consolidate peace in Europe. Austria was in favor of this agreement, it was willing to give up the affront of 1866, in exchange for an alliance that can keep up with the nationalist movements that arose within the country. Instead between Germany and Russia had a common interest to subdue the Polish population. Between 1875-76 there were two major rebellions in Bosnia and Bulgaria and Austria and Russia realized they have divergent interests. In fact, in 1877 Russia went to war in favor of the Bulgarians against the Ottoman Empire, which was defeated. In 1878 during the Congress of Berlin Bismarck he managed to reduce the claims of the Russian tsar in the Balkans, and to prevent excessive division of Ottoman power. So the Tsar had to give up the many advantages of victory. Between Russia and the Ottoman Empire they were created three new states: Montenegro, Serbia and Romania. The administration of Bosnia and dell'Erzigovina was entrusted to Vienna.
The triple alliance
In 1879 Germany is linked to Austria with a military pact. In 1881 there is the reconstruction of the League of the Three Emperors. France conquered Tunisia, and this worsened even further the relations between France and Italy, because Italy was interested in Tunisia. Bismarck tried to form an alliance with Italy to isolate France by creating a defensive alliance, but the problem was that there were in the difficult relations between Austria and Italy Italy had to give up claims on Trento and sad to be part of the Triple Alliance . In 1885 he opened the Balkan issue and this ended the league of three emperors. But in 1887 the pact between Germany and Austria was balanced by the reinsurance treaty between Germany and Russia, (so if for example Austria attacked Russia Germany came to Russia and vice versa). The three treaties constituted an effective instrument of peace.
Domestic politics in Germany: centralism and particularistic tendencies. In domestic politics Bismarck sought to reconcile the interests of large landowners with those of the industrial bourgeoisie, through protectionism. There was the imperial parliament, elected by universal suffrage, in which the ministers and the clerks had to answer before the emperor. On the financial wanted monetary union, ie a common currency that only a national bank could beat. The clerk tried to fight the Catholics, thus starting a battle for civilization, and the church imposed a state control. Only in 1875 he tried to ally themselves against the Catholic party socialist forces. He tried to have the support of the masses. In 1888 came to the throne Emperor Wilhelm II who had different ideas from those of the Registrar was believed that the industrial development had to be supported by colonial conquests and the arms industry, however the clerk pointed to a policy of balance. Bismarck resigned in 1890, leaving room for the new policy of the emperor. Europe divided into two blocks
With the end of the policy of Bismarck he ceased balance between nations. There was a rapprochement between England and France and between France and Russia. Europe is divided into two blocks:
- Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria and Italy.
- France England and Russia.
If a country he had attacked another would trigger a system of alliances and the whole of Europe it would be dropped in war. For example the two Moroccan crises.
Europe between democracy and authoritarianism
The Habsburg Empire and the issue of nationality.
In the internal politics of the great powers was a common trend: the attempt of the dominant social groups to impose authoritarian political solutions to reduce the action of trade unions and opposition parties, and to control those states that wanted to achieve autonomy policy. In the Habsburg Empire came on friction between the various nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Czechs and Slovaks were not sufficiently represented in the parliament, where there was a majority of Germans. With the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina increased the number of the Slavs. To solve this problem they thought of two solutions:
- Associate Slovenia and Croatia to the direction of the empire
- Militarily liquidate Serbia, which was seen as a model of an independent state: was chosen this solution.
Russia between authoritarianism and economic progress
The reactionary policy of Tsar Alexander III concerned the repression of anarchists. He wanted to stifle any aspiration of national separatism. Impose language and Orthodox religion dominated states, and began the persecution of the Jews. Under Alexander III and Nicholas II he started industrialization. It was created a banking system and began the construction of a major railway network. The France of the Third Republic. In France the Third Republic was proclaimed. There was the threat of a coup in 1877 by Mac Mahon, who was forced to resign. From 1879 to -99 in government there were moderate Republicans with a policy of liberalization, but remained open conflict between republicans and monarchists.
A case in point, the Dreyfus Affair
Captain Alfred Dreyfus was a jew, who was sentenced to hard labor on charges of spying for Germany. With his sentence the house seemed to be closed, but reopened two years later when the new Colonel George Picquart, convinced of his innocence, he spotted the real culprit. The colonel was removed from his office, but warned of the event the vice president of the Senate, and at the same time a writer jew start a media campaign along with the family of Dreyfus. So he was arrested Picquart, Zola (the writer) was tried on charges of insulting the armed forces, and in newspapers was made a campaign against Jews, democrats and liberals.
The two faces of France: the nationalist right and the left republican.
L'affaire Dreyfus emphasizes the antagonism between the right and left nationalist Republican. The Nationalists made use anti-Semitic hatred to defend the prestige of the army discrediting the image of the Republican government. The left instead tried to revive the liberal and democratic ideals. The army was seen as the second pillar of the order and of aristocratic values: honor, hierarchy, courage and tradition, as opposed to cash. The army was supported by Catholics. Another part of France was formed by intellectuals who had the universal values of civilization. The last part was made up by the crowd, which had a reactionary face, and was placed at the service of racist principles. In fact, Jews were beaten in the street, and appeared teams antisemitic tolerated by the police.
Queen Victoria was accompanied by two political leaders
- The liberal Gladstone, pacifist and democratic
- The conservative Distraeli, in favor of a policy of colonial expansion.
It was implemented a comprehensive program of political and social reforms, such as extension of the suffrage. In the political field the intensification of social conflicts, fueled by unemployment and low wages culminating in the founding of the Labour party. In 1906 the Liberals won a majority in parliament, creating a vast program of social reforms.