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Democratization in Europe at the dawn of the First World War

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  1. Intoduction
  2. PART I: The Kyoto Protocol
    1. Global warming
    2. The vertices of the earth
    3. The contents of the Protocol
  3. PART II: American diplomacy around the Kyoto Protocol
    1. General Remarks
    2. The positions of the presidents of the United States before the Kyoto Protocol
    3. The presidencies of Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
    4. The term of George W. Bush (2001-2009)
  4. Conclusion

Historian Arno Mayer states, in his ?Persistence of the Old Regime' in 1914, that "Europe is not only just about land but a noble monarchy as well. () The feudal elements have retained an overwhelming preponderance in the European systems." This statement goes against the grain of modern historiography which saw the traces of the old regime as virtually non-existent on the eve of World War I in 1914.

The Europe of 1914 is the result of a long political career that lasts throughout the nineteenth century. It is characterized by chronic instability of political regimes and geographical areas, the spread of the liberal movement resulted in a positive explosion of wars and revolutions, gradually reshaping the map of Europe to offer stability in the early twentieth century.

Europe then, extended from the UK to Russia through the recent German Empire, France and Austria-Hungary. The liberal movement led to claims of democratic type. It is a political democracy, that is to say, a real popular sovereignty, which excludes the existence of an illegitimate aristocratic ruling class, as explained in Alexis de Tocqueville in his work ?Democracy in America', a society that tends towards the deliberately playing. Democracy implies a parliamentary representative of the population, universal, social policies to help the poorest classes, freedom of information, universal access to education, etc Europe, particularly the North West Europe, in 1914, was the symbol of social and political advances, backed by a booming industrial revolution which ensured a considerable economic domination that only the United States was able to challenge.

Institutional democratic progress made by the liberalization of the various European systems were indeed globally significant but had been delayed in some states such as the German Empire and Russia. Social progress, meanwhile, was not as pronounced as the previous but still very present in some states where a clear desire to promote the less fortunate classes is present. Thus, it is legitimate to ask whether the political and social evolution observed throughout the 19th century allows the characterization of democratic Europe in 1914.

The Europe of 1914 certainly witnessed a great expansion of liberal democracy, both politically and socially. However, this progress is not widespread and the absolutism of the ancient regime still is still prevalent in many ways in European states.

Parliamentarism was permanently implanted in the institutions of Western Europe in 1914: Throughout Europe, there has been a democratization of institutions to some degree more or less important, in the sense that the people elect their representatives as in the United Kingdom and the French Republic. Other states were experiencing progress, such as Austria-Hungary, which adopted a Constitution and Russia was moving towards a tentative democratization by creating Zemtsvos, local consultative assemblies, which allow opinions to be expressed, but still do not reach the level of relative democracy.

Tags: Zemtsvos, democracy in Europe, absolute monarchy

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