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In what ways did the balance of power change in Europe between 1870 and 1914? Discuss.

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Introduction

In what ways did the balance of power change in Europe between 1870 and 1914? Discuss. There were 6 big powers in Europe; there status as a powerful country depended on factors such as the size of its overseas empire, its economy, its government structure, its leaders and its political situation. The size main powers were Germany, Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Ottoman Empire. Germany Germany was had a huge effect on the balance of power in Europe between 1870 and 1914 in everyway. Until 1870 Germany was made up of many different states, Germany was seen as one of the weak countries within Europe and was formally known as Prussia (Prussia being its biggest state). Germany was made up of 39 states, including Prussia and Austria but in 1870 Otto von Bismarck united all 39 states to form a unified Germany. Germany as a unified country was a much more strong country. Germany was controlled by the Kaiser Wilhelm the 2nd who held most of the power in a monarchy style government structure, with the chancellor and parliament below Kaiser. Kaiser was very authoritarian and was quite an unusual leader, he was quite insecure. Germany had only a small overseas country and was very jealous of Britain's overseas empire which was much larger; because Germany had such a small overseas empire it was very hostile towards France. ...read more.

Middle

Another problem that Britain faced was the military system which was also loosing strength; Britain was losing its image as a very powerful military nation. Britain was the only nation not to introduce military conscription after 1871, possibly why it's the military in Britain got weaker. Britain was becoming less powerful but was still had major power in Europe. But Britain decided to enter into isolation and stayed out of everything going on within Europe. France France was once a very powerful country and was thought of as a threat to the peace in Europe up until 1870. The government structure in France was very inconsistent which made it hard to maintain its foreign policy, it was Democratic but unstable. The economy in France between 1870 and 1914 was quite poor especially in comparison with Germany, France had a slow population rise and had a much lower production of steel and coal than Germany, and its income was also much lower than Germanys because of poor exports. Another big weakness in France was the military force which was not strong at all because it was untrained and disorganised. Although France was not very strong individually, it thought it was close with Italy, Britain and Russia and would therefore unlikely to be challenged. ...read more.

Conclusion

The second weakness of Russia was the unstable government; Tsar the Russian leader was over thrown. Russia's main threat was from Austria-Hungary, this was because they were constantly fighting over the Balkans. Russia's balance of power in Europe was quite strong and Russia was considered a strong nation even though it had many potential weaknesses, demonstrated in 1904 when Russia lost to Japan, the over throwing of Tsar and the weak Russian economy. Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire had a great military government during this period although the economy was very poor and was subjected to commercial exploitation by Europeans. The Ottoman Empire became very bankrupt and special agencies were set up to prevent the empire from bankruptcy. The Sultan had the most power but he lacked support and was later overthrown in 1908 then replaced by a younger sultan. Within the Ottoman Empire there were many races so there was no agreement and no single army. The Ottoman Empire had a strong military force but as a country it was very weak and had little power because of the division of people within the empire. In conclusion I would say that the most powerful countries in Europe between 1870 and 1914 were Germany, once unified, Russia and Britain. CKY!!! ...read more.

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