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European History from 1848 Revolution to Great War Essay

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1848: Key events

The year was characterized with several revolutions across the continent whereby the populace demanded proper representation and responsive governments since their major interests and wishes were not being met. The first upheaval was witnessed in France before spreading to several countries, including those in Latin America. It is surprising to note that the revolutions that took place in Europe had no connection with those that happened in Latin America. However, they were both waged because of five major factors, one of them being unresponsiveness of the government since political leaders were simply interested in fulfilling their selfish interests instead of serving the electorate. Additionally, people wanted to be involved in the major decision-making process meaning that democracy was necessary for any working class to achieve his or her interest. Other factors include the upsurge of patriotism and the rise of the civil society.

In France, the revolution was caused by the nationalist and republican demands where the populace demanded representation in government. The revolution had an effect to the country’s institutional structure since the monarch constitution was suspended, leading to the creation of the Second French Republic. Intellectuals and civil societies led a revolution in Germany leading to the attempted overthrow of the autocratic regime that prevented people from enjoying their freedom of speech and press. However, the attempt was unsuccessful, something that forced many liberals to seek refuge in other countries. The unification of Germany into a single administrative and political unit took place in 1871 under the guidance of France. Various leaders of German states assembled in the Fence capital after Prussia was defeated in the war. In Italy, several Italian peninsulas united into the Kingdom of Italy in 1815.

1853: Causes of Crimean War

The war was fought between the Muslims and Christians over the holy land of Jerusalem, which was considered part of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. The church was divided into several small denominations, but Orthodox and Roman churches were the major ones. However, Christian leaders were reluctant to unite, as they were interested in power instead of fighting the common enemy. The Catholic Church signed an agreement with the Ottoman Empire over the control of all churches in Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. France and Russia wanted the control of the Church of the Nativity since it was believed that Christ was born there. While Russia supported the monks of the Orthodox Church, France was in support of the Roman Catholic Church. Turkey was unhappy with the fights because foreign forces were destabilizing the region in which it controlled. Russia interpreted the situation to mean Turkey was in support of the elimination of Orthodox monks and it swung into action against Turkish forces.

1870: Views of Benjamin Disraeli on Franco-Prussian War

The French war of 1870 was mainly fought in order to unite the various groups in Germany, something that would be a great threat to the national interests of France. Before the war, peace in the region had been maintained by a balance of power whereby no state was powerful enough to rule the rest. France was confident that it would win the war, but it was surprised to realize that the opponent was stronger than expected. Germany proved that it controlled highly trained forces that had the capacity to launch the best offensive. His views were valid at the time because the international system was underdeveloped and there was no urbanized dispute resolution mechanism, yet the society was developing at the rate that few had anticipated. If Prussia were allowed to continue forming alliances with its neighbours, it would reach a time when other states had to survive at its mercy.

1869: Opening of the Suez Canal

The opening of the Suez Canal is considered a historic event globally because it created an alternative route to the Asian continent. Moreover, it proved that human beings could employ technology to improve transport and communication. Indeed, the opening of the canal marked a new era in the growth of trade and transport because African merchants had an opportunity to connect with their counterparts in Asia. The movement of people from African continent was made easier, something that allowed the British to govern its colonies effectively. The patterns of European imperialism in the last decades of 19th century were not new in anyway because they had been applied elsewhere, particularly in the American continent. For instance, the British applied similar administrative techniques that had been used in the US whereby the locals were never given any chance of participating in societal decision-making. Repatriation of resources from the colonies was the major aim of any European power that was involved in colonialism. Several factors forced Europeans to seek new colonies in various parts of Africa, Asia, and South America. Imperialism had one major effect to the European continent, as it boosted economic development. Financial institutions, such as Barclays Bank, are accused of achieving their status through slavery.

1914: The Great War

The war, which is popularly referred to as the First World War or WWI, will always be the greatest event in the world history because many people have failed to understand how states could rise against each other over minor disagreements, such as the killing of one person. Historians are interested in establishing the immediate causes of a war or conflict, but the killing of the heir to throne can never be a justification of the First World War. There should be deep-rooted causes that forced allied forces and the axis to engage in one of the greatest world conflicts. Several factors caused the war, ranging from domestic, political, and economic factors in specific states, international events, and the growth of military technology to other specific events across the world. In Germany, there was power struggle between the left-wing parties and the right-wing bigwigs. The social democratic party, which hosted the left-wing parties, won elections in 1912, but it was facing a lot of opposition from the right-wing parties. The government sought an external war to distract the attention of the public and win their sympathy.

In Russia, the government was engaged in military research that was to be completed by the end of 1916 financial year. The German officials saw this development as a national threat and decided to intervene before the completion of the program. In France, leaders were not happy with the ultimatum issued forty years early because it was forced to pay Germany substantial amount of money after the Franco-Prussian war in 1871. The rightists demanded for revenge while the leftists preached peace and the unification of the country. However, the existing policies never allowed any European power to interfere with the process of colonization and a number of them saw it wise to engage in war to alter the system. Based on all these factors, the Great War was inevitable.

Each state in the European continent was ready to join the war in order to show its might and strength, having accumulated wealth and military technology. For the powerful states, the war would play a strategic role of giving them military and political advantage, as they were sure of victory. The reality was that lives would be lost, several individuals would be injured, and property would be destroyed. In fact, each state was aware that the economic system would be affected greatly because of destruction of the infrastructure. However, this was not a priority at the time because states were preoccupied with political power. One of the major effect of the war is that the economic system of the region collapsed, forcing the United States to come up with a strategy that would salvage the situation. The US created an organization referred to as the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development whose major goal was to restore the economy of Europe into its initial status.

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1. IvyPanda. "European History from 1848 Revolution to Great War." January 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/european-history-from-1848-revolution-to-great-war/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. "European History from 1848 Revolution to Great War." January 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/european-history-from-1848-revolution-to-great-war/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'European History from 1848 Revolution to Great War'. 20 January.

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