• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. To what extent was the unification of Prussia due to weaknesses of Austria?

    It was the mixture of planning on the part of Bismarck combined with circumstance, as he did not control the whole of the Hohenzollern affair but took advantage of the situation to provoke war which would in turn create a full-scale foreign war; this was meant to raise the national

  2. Why has Prussia replaced Austria as the leading Germanic power by 1870?

    Moltke also set up the War Academy where his men were properly trained and organised, which created a sense of uniformity among the whole army. These reforms were well taken by the Prussian army, as well as the government, and led the way to Prussian military dominance over Austria.

  1. Identify and discuss cases for and against conscription in Australia in the period 1916-1918?

    If Australia helped Britain in its time of need they would probably return the favour if we ever needed help. For example if Australia was to help win the war for Britain by sending more men they would be more likely to send men and help us if we were ever under threat.

  2. The Rise of Nation States in Europe

    * B. Unified themselves to compete with other countries. * C. Asked the government to protect their interests especially the merchants (middle class). - However, later nationalism developed to be militarism. - Usually, people needed to use force/war to succeed unification. - Therefore gradually they believed that problems should be solved by using force/war.

  1. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    He was able to do so. However, he seemed to have over-emphasized France's threat. Afterall, Bismarck also considered other matters in designing his policy. Show how Bismarck negotiated the Triple Alliance in 1882. What were the purpose of this Alliance ? The Triple Alliance was signed between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy on 20th March, 1882.

  2. Piedmont for a leader in establishing unity.

    This implies that Austria was an obstacle to Unification to a large extent but the Pope and French intervention were equally other obstacles as well. The French intervened because Louis Napoleon Bonaparte felt he needed to please Roman Catholic interest back home and consolidate his power base in France.

  1. Why was Europe on the brink of change at the turn of the 20th ...

    Because of the collective nature of socialism, it is to be contrasted to the doctrine of the sanctity of private property that characterizes capitalism. In the 1840s the term communism came into use to denote loosely a militant leftist form of socialism.

  2. How Far Did Weapons and Tactics Change Over the Period of 1914 and 1918?

    Each attack would begin with a heavy artillery bombardment from behind the front line, intended to demolish the barbed wire defences and blow apart the machine gun posts. The bombardment would usually continue for a few days before the next stage of the attack would take place, an example of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work