19th Cent. Europe; Balance of Power, 1871-1890


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The Great Powers attempt to avoid war and enhance their status after the Franco-German War of 1870-71. The central figure is Bismarck.

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19th Cent. Europe; Balance of Power, 1871-1890

  1. 1. Nineteenth Century Europe The Great Powers & the Balance of Power 1871-1890 Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  2. 2. “Long road…”or “...short slip?” … much of the traditional historiography on the origins of the war has, quite simply, over-determined the event. Far from a ‘long road to catastrophe’, there was but a short slip. Such a conclusion does not tend to support those who still think of the war as an inevitable consequence of deep-seated great- power rivalries -- a predestined cataclysm. But it certainly accords with the notion that the outbreak of war was an avoidable error. Niall Ferguson, The War of the World, p. 91. Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  3. 3. 1914-1918; Unprecedented Casualties Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  4. 4. “Hang the Kaiser!” Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  5. 5. The Versailles Treaty/Diktat Article 231. The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies. Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  6. 6. Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878 Liberated Bulgaria Plevna Memorial Svobodna Bulgariya Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  7. 7. Bulgaria Bosnia & Herzegovina “the sick man” Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  8. 8. Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  9. 9. Origins of the Russo-Turk War the Tsar Liberator Alexander had to make the humiliating Peace of Paris, 1856, just after coming to the throne Russia didn’t want to give up the role of protecting brother slavs the way they had been forced to give up “protector of Christians in the Holy Land” August, 1875, BOS•ni•a & Her•ze•GO•vi•na began an insurrection against Turkish rule To everyone’s surprise, Osman Pasha put down the revolt handily but with “Balkan atrocities” Russia massed forces and invaded through Romania Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  10. 10. Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  11. 11. Shipka Pass CONSTANTINOPLE Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  12. 12. the siege of Plevna, July-December, 1877 Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  13. 13. Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  14. 14. tensions produce two notable slogans We don’t want to fight But, by jingo, if we do We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men We’ve got the money too! British music hall chorus, 1878 origin of the term “jingoism” “[the Balkans] are not worth the bones of a Pomeranian grenadier.” Bismarck Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  15. 15. The Congress of Berlin, 1878 by Anton von Werner In the left foreground, Count Karolyi (Austria-Hungary), Prince Gorchakov, seated (Russia), and the Earl of Beaconsfield (Disraeli). In the center foreground, Count Andrassy (A-H), Bismarck, and Count Shuvalov (Russia). In the right rear, with the bald head, Lord Salisbury, (Great Britain) Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  16. 16. Bismarck offers to be “an honest broker” Russia accepts: exhausted by the unexpected rigors of the Turkish war worried by the thought of war with Britain and Austria-Hungary most distinguished diplomatic gathering between 1815 & 1919 Balkan peoples had unrealistic expectations--> disappointment Serbs expected Bosnia & Herzegovina, instead A-H gets them Romania has to surrender Bessarabia to Russia Bulgaria greatly reduced in size Greece furious that Britain gains Cyprus & Turkey keeps Crete & Epirus seeds sown for future Balkan revisionism & wars Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  17. 17. Changes made by the Congress Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  18. 18. Russia and Turkey the most aggrieved Turkey lost half its European territory and population Russia’s Pan-Slavs had little to show for their country’s heavy expenditures in men and money Bulgaria, the proposed springboard for future expansion, “a mere shadow of its former self” Britain, without the loss of a man, gained Cyprus and strengthened its position over the Straits Question Austria gained Bosnia and France was given a free hand in Tunis Russia, mortified, blamed Bismarck Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  19. 19. Alliance Systems Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  20. 20. the fateful Dual Alliance, 1879 Bismarck, aware of Russian resentment, feared its rapprochement with republican France he makes the treaty which will bind Germany to Austria-Hungary: mutual assistance if either is attacked by Russia benevolent neutrality if either is attacked by another party previous treaties had been concluded only during or on the eve of wars, or for specific purposes and restricted duration this was “the first of the secret treaties whose contents were never fully known but always suspected” this encouraged other powers to do likewise in self defense Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  21. 21. Feinde ringsum-ringed by enemies Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  22. 22. “one of three on the European chessboard” In 1881, Bismarck renewed the Dreikaiserbund “One must not lose sight of the importance of being one of three on the European chess-board. That is the invariable objective of all cabinets and of mine above all others. Nobody wishes to be in a minority. All politics reduce themselves to this formula: to try to be one of three, so long as the world is governed by an unstable equilibrium of five Great Powers” Bismarck The Five? Br, Fr, Ger, Aus.-Hun.,Rus Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  23. 23. Bismarck adds Italy, 1882 the alliance of 1881 effectively isolated France. She might have reached out to Italy, but… chose to seize Tunis instead. Italy then approached Bismarck, who referred them to Austria although Italy wanted to take the Trentino and Trieste from Austria, she still felt the French threat required coming to terms with the ancient enemy Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  24. 24. Italia irredenta (unredeemed Italy) Irredentism grew out of the Risorgimento (the unification movement) 1820s-1866 as Italy tried to establish a constitutional monarchy, these foreign policy claims were debated in the Assembly the claims were partially realized in 1919 Mussolini would push even further Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  25. 25. terms of the Triple Alliance, 1882 Italy was assured of German and Austrian aid if attacked by France Italy was obligated to aid Germany if she were attacked by France she was also obliged to go to war if either Germany or Austria were attacked by two or more powers French resentment eventually took the form of a tariff war that had ruinous effects in Italy Bismarck had improved Germany’s security immeasurably Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  26. 26. The Bulgarian Crisis, 1886-87 Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  27. 27. The Bulgarian Crisis after the Treaty of Berlin (1878) created Bulgaria as an autonomous state under the Ottomans, Alexander became its ruler although nephew to the tsar, he took a Bulgarian nationalist stance the issue was an Austrian railway project, the Orient Express line Russia felt the Bulgarians were ungrateful for Russia’s role in their creation two events in 1885 sparked the crisis: the annexation of Eastern Rumelia a successful war with with Serbia Prince Alexander v. Battenberg (1857-1879-1886-1893) Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  28. 28. Russia’s response fearing total loss of control over Bulgaria, Russia fomented a conspiracy in the Bulgarian army in August, 1886, Alexander was deposed and exiled the other Great Powers were alarmed at Russia’s attempt to make Bulgaria a complete satellite and choose her next ruler the Bulgarian Assembly resisted and ultimately chose an even more pro- Austrian ruler, Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg the Three Emperors’ League of 1881 was almost terminated Russia seemed ready to use force on Bulgaria and Austria prepared military countermeasures Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  29. 29. Bismarck’s Dilemma he knew if it came to war between his two allies he must choose Austria but he feared hinting this to Russia because the Pan-Slavs were already hinting at a French alliance in the fall of 1886 this was especially threatening because of the Boulanger crisis the French general headed a nationalist movement which advocated taking back the lost General Georges Ernest Boulanger (1837-1891) provinces Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  30. 30. Bismarck’s solution fearing a two-front war, he felt he had to appear to support the tsar’s Bulgarian ambitions but he needed to secretly see they were not realized all his skill and guile was necessary to scare France he engineered an army increase from 427,000 to 468,000 the renewal of the Triple Alliance, February, 1887 also sobered France next he had to undo Russia’s Balkan plans in his study, 1886 Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  31. 31. The First Mediterranean Agreement, 12 February 1887 an Italian admission during the alliance talks that Italy had Balkan ambitions of her own, led Bismarck to suggest they seek support in Vienna and London in March, 1887 this produced the first Mediterranean Agreement: Italy, Austria-Hungary (4 March) & Great Britain promised mutual support in case of disagreement with a fourth power (France or Russia) conservative Br PM Lord Salisbury wanted support against France for Britain’s moves in Egypt he also sought to “put a shot across Russia’s bows” in the Balkans so Bismarck was able to deter Russia without “leaving fingerprints” Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  32. 32. The Reinsurance Treaty; June, 1887 pledged Germany and Russia to benevolent neutrality in the event the other was at war exceptions, conflicts arising from: a Russian attack on Austria a German attack on France so there was no conflict with the Dual Alliance, a defensive alliance but secret clauses made it less morally defensible: Germany promised to support Russian interests in Bulgaria and the Straits before the year was out, Bismarck was encouraging a second Mediterranean Agreement (December, 1887) therein Britain, Italy & Austria guaranteed the status quo in the Near East, Bulgaria, Asia Minor and the Straits Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  33. 33. economic and military factors in the Bulgarian crisis economic motives and moves: Austrian ambitions and Russian fears were the background to Alexander’s policies which spurred the conflict this was the first occasion where railroad plans would “stir the pot” in Balkan and Near Eastern diplomacy Bismarck ordered the Reichsbank to refuse to accept Russian securities as collateral in 1887 which weakened Russia financially and made her less willing to be aggressive in the Balkans military meddling: at the height of the crisis in 1887, the German military attache in Vienna encouraged Franz Josef to believe that Germany would support an Austrian war against Russia Bismarck quickly squelched this false signal, but the German military, with the support of the General Staff, continued to play such a dangerous role in later crises Wednesday, November 11, 2009
  34. 34. 1888 Dreikaiser Jahr By the beginning of that year the troublesome Bulgarian crisis had finally been liquidated, and international tension had been relaxed. Bismarck could take satisfaction in the fact that his network of alliances... had been strengthened by Great Britain’s association with the junior members of the Triple Alliance. There was no immediate prospect of new troubles in Europe. The warmongers in France and the Pan-Slavs in Russia were in eclipse, and the attention of all powers was becoming increasingly absorbed in...areas far from the European center. Craig, p. 261 Wednesday, November 11, 2009