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Early 20th Century
French Revolution
Ended the monarchy
Napoleon used nationalism to strengthen
He gained land and began an Empire
Napoleonic Code
giving rights people
• He was able to do this as the eco.
was prosperous, w/ …
• railroad construction
• high employment
• available credit
• gov’t assistance/planning
• re-design of Paris
• By the 1860s, discontent was on the
rise, b/c of pol. scandals; Napoleon
III responded w/ dem. reforms (resp.
gov’t, free speech, unions…) that
kept his popularity high
France fought in the
Crimean War against
Russia lost
France was able to reestablish itself as the
center of European
showed the influence of
war correspondents & the
need for better medicine
• Florence Nightingale
A “new” nations
united in this
• their early uprisings failed,
leading to the rise of
Giuseppe Mazzini – he
founded a Young Italy
society and dreamed of a
unified Italy based on
nat’lism and liberalism
• after a series of uprisings,
Mazzini est. himself as
pres. of a republic in
Rome: when Austrian and
Fr. troops tried to
intervene to restore the
pope, Giuseppe Garibaldi
and his Red Shirts tried to
defend the city (they had
to surrender in 1849)
• the more seasoned politician
Camillo Cavour stepped forward,
using realpolitik to secure It. unity
– he cheated in elecs., made and
unmade foreign alliances, and put
It. unification on the agenda of
the 1856 Paris Peace Conf. (he was
partially successful)
• at this pt., Garibaldi and his
remaining 1000 Red Shirts (i mille)
captured Sicily and s. Italy,
meeting w/ Cavour in 1861 to
secure the Kingdom of Italy under
King Victor-Emmanuel II (con.
monarchy) in 1866 Venice was
added (It. supported Pr. in its war
w/ Aus.) and in 1870 Rome was
added when Nap. III removed Fr.
troops to fight Pr….Rome then
became the capital
• The debate was
between the
“Greater Germans”
(who wanted Austria
inc.) & the “Lesser
Germans” (who were
• Count Otto von
Bismarck est. himself
as the leading Pr.
politician – known
for his use of
realpolitik in
achieving his pol.
goals (“blood and
• He proposed the re-org. of
the German Confed.
based on universal
suffrage; he knew this
would be rejected in
Austria and that it would
probably lead to war b/n
Pr. and Aus.
The Pr. army, w/ its ind.
weaponry and led by Gen.
Helmuth von Moltke, won
the Aust-Pr. War in 7
wks….Bis. negotiated a
lenient peace and created a
n. Ger. Confed. under Pr.
leadership (Pr. Kaiser
Wilhelm I acted as king)
• Other s. Ger. states, such
as Bavaria, signed a mil.
alliance w/ Prussia and
went on to develop closer
eco. and pol. relations
(Aus. was pushed out)
• The main threat to
emerging Ger. unity was
France, where Nap. III had
won a key plebiscite in 1870
this would lead to the FrancoPrussian War
• it began as a diplomatic
dispute over succession to
the Sp. Throne (Pr. and Sp.
still had family
connections)…the Fr.
feared being surrounded
and newspapers in both Pr.
and Fr. inflamed nat’list
• Pr. did remove their
candidate to the Sp.
throne, but the Fr.
made add. demands
(that Pr. wouldn’t try
this again), which Bis.
edited and released to
the press…w/ Fr.
“honour” sullied, Nap.
III declared war in 1870
• Pr. won w/in
months…1/2 million
troops were moved to
the front by train and
at Sedan they captured
100 000 Fr. troops and
Nap. III…this,
combined w/ the brutal
siege of Paris, led to
the collapse of the 2nd
• In the 1871 Treaty
of Frankfurt, Fr.
ceded AlsaceLorraine, paid
reparations, and
dealt w/ Pr.
occupation for 3
dem. had been entrenched
by this time, and the
extension of the franchise
was an accepted part of
the process
• in 1867, the 2nd Reform
Bill was passed by the
gov’t of the
Conservative (Tory)
Benjamin Disraeli
• w/ this working class
male householders
were given suffrage
• in 1884, a 3rd Reform Bill
went through under the
Liberal William
Gladstone, extending
the franchise to male
rural householders
late 19th c. G.B. still saw the
same ongoing conflict
though: reform v. tradition
Disraeli tried to profit from
this by creating a new
conservatism that appealed
to est. landowners and the
working class
• emphasized tradition,
patriotism, and reform,
working w/ Queen
Victoria, who emerged as
key symbol of his vision
• Disraeli also emerged as a
leading imperialist: he
made Victoria the Empress
of India and bought
shares in the Suez Canal,
and fought colonial wars
in Asia and Africa
• At home, his social
reforms recognized
unions, public housing,
consumer protection,
workplace safety…
Gladstone and the Liberals followed “Peace,
Retrenchment, and Reform”, favouring free
trade and fewer colonial wars/adventures
• They also favoured a laissez faire approach
and the eradication of outdated laws
• In this respect, they reformed the army, civil
service, and educational institutions, doing
away w/ patronage
• after ongoing Balkan conflict saw the
slaughter of 1000s of Christians by the
Ottomans (and Disraeli backed the
Ottomans b/c of his concerns over Russia),
Gladstone was back in office
• Gladstone was not successful in his own foreign
policy initiatives – conflict w/ the Boers and the
Irish showed that peace was elusive; w/ his intro
of the Irish Home Rule Bill he split his own party
• w/ these devels. and those in other Euro. nations,
a new type of rivalry had emerged, based on ind.,
imperialism and eco. competition
• nat’lism in the Balkans was esp. complex b/c of the
number of ethno-cultural groups in close
proximity; they were stuck in the collapsing
Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and the
Balkan Wars of 1912-13 only inflamed emotions
• the “spark” would thus occur in this
region, creating the total war that would
transform the 20th c.
• Germany and G.B. emerged as the key
powers in this period often called “The
Road to War” – both identified their
dominance as a natural outcome of earlier
history: the difference was that in Ger.
the old aristocracy retained its influence
w/o much trouble, while in G.B. the
dispute b/n the landed interests and the
people led to constitutional crises and
soc. had appeal for the growing trade union
mvmt. as well as those who gravitated to
• several attempts at real soc. organization had been
made and had not succeeded
subsequent attempts took a diff. approach:
gradualism replaced rev. for many socialists
• this approach came to be known as revisionism, and
it divided the soc. World
• even so, Social Democratic parties did begin to
appear and had success in Ger. and Fr.
• in GB the Labour Party arose during this period to
rep. the working class
from its inception, the Labour Party was divided b/n
the trade unionists and intellectuals (assoc. w/ the
the entrenchment of soc.
ideals had created a sense of
crisis in Europe – it was more
pronounced in the repressive
conditions of E. Europe
• Russia in 1905 saw the beginning
of profound change as revolution
began to grip the country (during
the time of Czar Nicholas II,
Russia was in the midst of an
identity crisis: czarist repression
+ industrialization (much of
which was financed by foreign
capital; it created the Russian
working class and the demand for
rev. change)
• The principal
Marxist Party, the
Social Democratic
Party, had been
exiled to Switz. –
they were caught
in the revisionist
debate along w/
other Euro.
• Vladimir Lenin
authored What Is
to Be Done?,
defending the
Marxist concept
of rev. and
advancing the ideal
of a vanguard
• the majority
agreed w/ him =
Bolsheviks (while
the minority
were called the
as events in Russia
deteriorated (eco. slump,
defeat in the 1904-5
Russo-Japanese War), a
real rev. unfolded
• the spark was Bloody
Sunday, when the
czar’s troops opened
fire on peaceful
demonstrators - this
led to crises across
Russia, leading
Nicholas II to create the
Duma in an effort to
reach a settlement
• the Duma’s powers
were limited and the
radicals and
conservatives were at
odds over the pace and
direction of reform:
Nicholas continued as
an autocrat
Became a protectorate of Great
Britain from 1883 until 1956
British domination of Egypt
became the model for the "new
Turkish general Muhammad Ali had
established Egypt into a strong and
virtually independent state by 1849
Egypt's inability to satisfy foreign
investors led to control of its
finances by France & Britain
Safeguarding the Suez Canal
(completed in 1869) played a key
role in the British occupation of
Egypt and its bloody conquest of
the Sudan.
Only major Asian
power to resist
being swallowed up
by the imperialists.
Matthew Perry
(U.S.): forced
Japan to open
trade in 1853
Russo-Japanese War (1904)
Russia and Japan both
had designs on
Manchuria and Korea
Japanese concerned
about Russian TransSiberian Railway
across Manchuria
Japan destroyed
Russian fleet off
coast of Korea and
won major battles on
land although
Russians turned the
tide on land
Westerners horrified
that Japan had
defeated a major
Western power.
Russo-Japanese War (1904)
Treaty of Portsmouth
(mediated by U.S. president
Theodore Roosevelt) ended
war with Japan winning major
concessions (preferred
position in Manchuria,
protectorate in Korea, half
of Sakhalin Island – Japan
also went on to annex Korea
Long-term impact of war:
Russia turned to the Balkans,
and Russia’s political
situation deteriorated
further, leading to the
Russian Rev.
Japan’s victory stimulated
Asian nationalism – various
Asian peoples hoped to
emulate Japanese power and
win their independence
Not everyone was pleased with the
open door policy— English
Canadians only wanted immigrants
from Britain
The French worried about their
status. They feared that the
demands of other minority groups
might drown out their demands for
cultural equality.
Frank Oliver became Minister of
the Interior in 1905.
In 1910, he changed the Immigration
Act in order to slow down the
migration of non-English speaking