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Foreign policies of Germany and France between 1919 and 1939

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IEP Grenoble

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  1. Introduction
  2. The confrontation of the two powers
    1. Germany and France: The root of the struggle
    2. Security and imperialism: French foreign policy and German resistance
    3. Consequences on international relations
  3. Myth and reality of German and French foreign policies
    1. Locarno Pact: A new policy?
    2. The end of the myth: Collective security and its failure
    3. Nazi foreign policy and its consequences
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

France and Germany were during the interwar era one of the key elements of international relations. They were the two most involved powers in World War I. This war was not the last as many people hoped. Once again the two powers were very involved in the Second World War. Therefore, it is essential to analyse and compare the foreign policies of France and Germany to understand the breakout of the war. In this paper we will compare the foreign policies of both Germany and France and point up the impact of these policies on international relations and international order. First we have to consider the opposition of the two policies and then highlight the continuity of these policies during all the interwar era.

[...] The final goal of it was to replace Germany as the most important industrial power in Europe but also to make France the centre of a great commercial and economical network. The idea was to remove more than fifty percent of the German energy and raw materials by giving Sarre and Silesia mines to France and Poland and by making Germany give huge quantities of coke and coal to France, Italia and Belgium. The French metallurgic project was more than a mere quest of security, it was a vast project of economical expansion[1]. [...]


[...] The end of the French predominance in Europe About the new climate of appeasement and dialogue between France and Germany in the mid-20's see Girault Franck R. Turbulente Europe et nouveaux mondes (1917-1941). Paris About the Locarno Pact an dits different aspects see Milza, Pierre. Les relations internationales de 1918 à 1939. Paris p.60- Keylor, William. The 20th Century World : An International History. 4th edition. OUP p.137. Concerning the European Union project and its failure see Milza, Pierre. Les relations internationales de 1918 à 1939. [...]


[...] International crisis also had deep effects on international relations and foreign policies of Germany and France as well as others powers. Hitler seized control of Germany. The principles of his policy were to increase industrial and military production and to isolate as much as possible. Autarchy includes the idea of strategic autonomy thanks to enough raw materials. As a consequence war became a possible way to escape from crisis by getting new resources. It was collapse of the European security system[9]?. [...]

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