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European diplomacy: from the Bismarckian System and the Realpolitik to the pre-WW1 Alliances and the Weltpolitik

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  1. Introduction.
  2. 1871-1890: The Bismarckian System, a will to isolate France and rule Europe.
    1. A system based on France's isolation.
    2. A system based on a certain equilibrium among European main powers.
  3. 1890-1907: Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, the collapse of the Bismarckian System and the bipolarisation of Europe.
    1. The creation of the Triple Alliance.
    2. The creation of the Triple Entente.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

From 1872 to 1907, a series of alliances are formed among European major powers. The international system formed by German chancellor Bismarck in order to ensure Germany's hegemony within Europe and prevent a possible French revenge disappears in 1890. Then, the European powers gather in two hostile groups: the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy) and the Triple Entente (Great-Britain, France, Russia). From 1904 onward, some conflicts oppose the main European countries and those tensions will eventually lead to the First World War. Being victorious over Napoleon III's France, in September 1871, Germany enjoys a certain hegemony on continental Europe during the following twenty years. This hegemony is due to the chancellor and prince of Bismarck, who conducts a clever diplomatic policy. Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) is a man of the Old Regime.

Tags: 1907 diplomacy, Bismarckian Alliance System, Collapse of the Bismarckian system

[...] Kingdom, to deprive France from any possible help in case of a revenge war with Germany Yet, Bismarck's system is fragile enough, in so far as it is based on secrecy and on a definite share of the influences that will burst in pieces with the imperialist rise of the late 1890's. However, the masterpiece of the alliance network against France, that Bismarck tries to set up in order to diplomatically isolate the country, is certainly the so-called Triple Alliance, a treaty signed in 1882. [...]

[...] Notes and annexes Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898) Map of Europe in 1871: the German hegemony after the French defeat and the annexation of the Alsace-Moselle The meeting of the Three Emperors in Berlin (September 1872) From left to right (sitting down), Tsar Alexander II, Kaiser William I and Emperor Francis-Joseph Please see the following map of European colonial empires in 1914: The Fachoda crisis: caricatures of Commander Marchand and Lord Kitchener, in the newspaper petit illustré amusant' June 10th 1899 The bipolarisation of Europe in 1914: Triple Alliance and Triple Entente Bibliographical references BAECHLER, Christian, L'aigle et l'ours: la politique russe de l'Allemagne, de Bismarck à Hitler, 1871-1945, Bern FULLER, Joseph Vincent, Bismarck's diplomacy at its zenith, Cambridge, [...]

[...] In 1887, as Russia expresses its wish to borrow money from the rich European countries to pay for its economic development, Germany refuses, whereas the French government entitles the Parisian banks to lend money to Russia. Thus, the French-Russian friendship is strengthened by a common hatred of Germany (France wants to recover the Alsace-Moselle and does not tolerate German ambitions in Morocco). If Russia wants to keep profiting by French financial help and pursue its economic development, it has to satisfy the French government and yield to its will. [...]

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