New balance of power and the formation of new states

New global power relations and the formation of national states

The industrial revolution began in Britain with the construction of large infrastructure projects (rail), an extensive fleet (steamers), large factories and large industrial cities. British industrial development remained behind at the newly founded new German Empire (1871), which emerged from the largest (federal) state Prussia.

At the end of the 19th century worked new power blocs together. France had an alliance with Russia and eventually formed an alliance with Britain (triple entente, 1907). The Triple Alliance or Triple Alliance was an agreement between Germany (original Prussia with the other German States Bismarck), Austria-Hungary (Danube Monarchy Franz Joseph) and Italy, also called the Central Powers in the First World War. The new power blocks were created by the fear of the rise of the new German industrial power block. The Ruhr, the Saar and Silesia formed the basis for the industrial revival in Germany, focusing on coal and steel.

The overseas British domination was threatened by the German industrial production of military ships. The French domination on the continent was threatened by Prussia, led by Otto von Bismarck. The Prussian victory (Franco-Prussian War) to France (Alsace-Lorraine), the German states were reunited and formed the German unitary state in 1871. It also marked the end of the Napoleonic domination and the end of French rule in Europe.

The Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) is the basis for many conflicts in Europe, including the First and Second World War, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919: reparations Germany to France, gebiedsinperkingen (Alsace-Lorraine), loss of all colonies and disarming to 100,000 soldiers in Germany.

After the loss of Germany (and the Danube monarchy) in the First World War (1919-1933), the German Empire was dismantled and erected the Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic was followed under Paul von Hindenberg the German Empire of Wilhelm I, II and Chancellor Bismarck (1871-1918). The German republic was heavily burdened by the Treaty of Versailles and led to major internal conflicts, extremism (Communists and National Socialists) and the rise of National Socialism under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.

Furthermore wrong the world economy into a global Great Depression (1929), whereby extremism both had a political as an economic load. The internal conflicts between communists and national socialists, the heavy reparations, the global economic crisis, hyperinflation, poverty, the large internal unrest and external conflicts with France culminated in the Second World War. The Weimar Republic experienced after the crisis years, a period of relative prosperity, stability and good relations (1923-1929). In 1926 Germany was absorbed by the League of Nations (founded in 1919 to prevent global conflicts), Germany could meet the reparations and the economy got underway with the help of American loans.

In 1929 the Great Depression was blowing over from the US Germany which ended on US loans, the economy stagnated and unemployment rose. The depression led to the rise of National Socialism (Nazi Party) and communism. In 1933 joined the cabinet Hitler and abolished by the enabling act on democracy and the republic, with all other parties were banned and Hitler as Chancellor had absolute authority over Germany. After the death of President Hindenburg in 1934 Hitler took over the rights of the Reich President.

Great Depression ’29

After the boom period in the 20s crashed the New York Stock Exchange (Great Depression ’29). The underlying (real) economy grew much more slowly than the stocks and shares on the stock market.

Markets were filled, people were laid off, businesses went bankrupt and the decreased purchasing power, causing the shares were worth less and investors may not invest more went, people could not pay back debts and banks went bankrupt. Global economy into depression landed. The Great Depression is one of the causes of the outbreak of World War II. Germany could not meet reparations, money was worth anything (hyperinflation) and nationalism flourished.

World Wars

The First World War broke out following the assassination of Franz Ferdinand (Apprentice Austrian Empire) by Gavrilo Princip supported by the Serbian separatist black hand movement. Russia supported Serbia militarily and eventually Germany supported Austria.


The First World War (Great War) culminated in a total world war. Great Britain took part in the war with many different overseas colonies and the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers making the Middle East, the Balkans and Russia also became a battleground. The USA was involved in 1915 in the First World War when the Germans Anglo-American cargo (ammunition) Lusitania torpedoed. Before that the US had always remained neutral (isolationism). The Ottoman Empire (sick brother) supported the Central Powers because of the previous tensions with Russia (11 Ottoman-Russian wars) and England (take two large battleships). Additionally, felt the lack of colonies of Germany as a disadvantage compared with the English and French. Raw materials from colonies were crucial to the emerging industrialization.

In addition to global and regional conflicts (Franco-Prussian War, Alsace Lorraine) at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century brought along nationalist sentiment, anti-Semitism, pan-Germanic and pan-Slavic movement. It was also highly romanticized war by Nazi movements. War would solve many problems, boys became men, unemployment would disappear, war purifies society from dangerous groups such as socialism, feminism, homosexuality and led to the growth of the (war) economy. Germany also had the strongest land army and it would be a shame to do nothing with it. It is expected that a war would be settled quickly in favor of a particular party. The reverse was true.

The First World War was a cumbersome, useless and bloody war where many soldiers stayed unnecessarily long in the front and in which barely achieved victories or site was the opponent. The war turned into a very lengthy horrific trench warfare. By industrialization armies had been modernized, but the tactics were based on incorrect assumptions and estimates. Exhaustion, fatigue war, the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (independence Slavic minorities), the division of the Ottoman Empire and the uprising of Arabs ended the First World War.

The Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers but crumbled during WWI. Still, the Ottoman Empire was able to stand up bravely against the Allies, allowing the Allies received support from Arab and Armenian insurgents. The Ottoman Empire (sick man). crumbled before the First World War with the loss of ground in the Eastern European regions (Balkan wars), British takeover of Egypt and the battle for the Crimea (oil fields in the Caucasus, attack Germany in Odessa and Sevastopol). The fight in the first world war was led on three fronts (Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire). Eventually the Ottoman Empire finally fell apart so that the Middle East was again put on the map. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire turned into the Republic of Turkey (headed by the first president Kemal Ataturk). The Arab provinces were countries: Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Yemen, Saudi Arabia. During the First World War, notably France and England these boundaries established through secret declarations and mutual correspondence. The Sykes-Picot Agreement is one of the most important treaties for defining the current boundaries of the Arab states currently. It still causes a lot of conflict at present between many different beliefs and tribal disputes. The Balfour Declaration (the promise of a Jewish home by the British) exacerbates the hatred between the political Zionists and the political Islam in the Middle East. The Balfour Declaration is seen as a betrayal of the Hussein-McMahoncorrespondentie which just Arab insurgents were promised land in Palestine. Later, the British came back here by the Zionist Jews to give a home (as guilt for the persecution of Jews during World War II. The reason dangerous terrorist movements like ISIS (IS), Taliban, Al Qaeda pull has to do battle with the developments especially from the First World War. The new limits imposed by France and England was accompanied by much bloodshed, chaos and carnage. A breeding ground for religious terrorism.

Russia (in 1917 the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution of the Bolsheviks) the peace treaty signed with Germany (Brest-Litovsk). The disintegration of the Habsburg Empire also meant the surrender of Germany to the Allies. After the flight of Emperor (Wilhelm II) to Netherlands Germany changed in the Weimar Republic. In 1919, peace was signed in the Treaty of Versailles.

The Second World War was created largely by the great unrest within the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) about the heavy reparations, curtailment of the army, hyperinflation and loss of territory, including Alsace-Lorraine and an independent Poland. The Great Depression in 1929 strengthened the nationalistic feelings, which the supporters of Nazi and fascist movements (Hitler and Mussolini in 1933, 1922) increased significantly. Within Europe also broke several revolutions in Russia (1917) making extreme moves it competed (extreme left and extreme right). These movements arose from the fear of each other, for minorities and for various movements such as communism, fascism, socialists, republicans etc.

In 1939, Adolf Hitler invaded Poland the leader of the NSDAP. Hitler had in Austria in 1938 and part of the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Sudetenland) already annexed. The attack on Poland was a step too far for the UK and France making them Germany officially declared war. In 1941, Germany invaded Russia (Stalin) inside (Operation Barbarossa, Push to the East), which Germany was a war on two fronts.

The United States was involved in the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Germany formally declared the US war because Germany had concluded a pact with Japan (Anti-Comintern Pact). Actually provided the US a lot of support to the British, where Hitler was already at war. In Africa, the struggle was waged for the Suez Canal (access to oil) between the Italians and the British (Montgomery) in Egypt. The Germans (Rommel) supported the Italians. The Americans supported the British.

During World War II the distinction between civilians and military brutality grew smaller. The Second World War became a total war where everyone was involved.

Moreover suppressed the Nazi and Soviet regime widely its own population and were international agreements (Geneva Convention) largely violated. Two thirds of the dead also came under the civilian population and minorities were massively persecuted (Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, intellectuals, etc.).

The German blitzkrieg strategy initially Hitler conquered much territory. Austria and the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) were annexed without a struggle (1938). Poland was conquered within four weeks (Polish Campaign, 1939) by Germany and Russia (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). Scandinavia was conquered in 1940 because of the important raw materials (iron ore). Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg were occupied and overrun by the German army.

The Germans stormed into France through the Maginot Line and the deemed impenetrable Ardennes (precision Luftwaffe attacks and advancing Armoured Division). The French and British allies were cut off at the channel coast by German reconnaissance units which the British over the canal had to flee (Dunkirk) to Britain. On June 14, 1940 Paris was captured by the Germans and a large proportion (60%) of France under German rule. The remainder (Vichy France) came under the command of Field Marshal Petain, but was actually a puppet state under German rule.

In July 1941 Hitler invaded the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa). The Eastern Front proved to be a decisive battle in the entire Second World War. Initially, the war for Hitler went smoothly with quick victories on large plots of land on the outdated immobile Red Army. The German troops pushed deep into Russia through to Stalingrad (Northern troops to Leningrad, the middle troops to Moscow and the southern troops to the Caucasus oil fields). The Germans were stopped by the enormous distances and long supply lines in the Soviet Union, the mud and the cold onset of winter so everything froze. Napoleon had already dealing with this situation. Stalingrad was the turning point of the war. The Russians were able to gradually recover and drove the Germans back to the West. In 1943 the Germans won a last great battle of Kursk. Then the Germans could no longer take the initiative. In 1944 the Soviets launched Operation Bagration which the German forces permanently from the mother country were closed. The conflict was finally resolved by the conquest of Vienna and Prague which Berlin (last major battle of Berlin) could eventually overcame and conquered Germany had to surrender in 1945.

The Western Front in 1943 offered real resistance by attacking Mussolini in Sicily. Rome was liberated and the Italians sided with the Allies. Normandy was the real big invasion of Americans, Canadians and Britons on the Continent. On June 6, 1944 (D-Day), the Germans were faced with the largest combined amphibious and airborne operation in history (Operation Overlord).

On 25 August Paris was liberated by the Allies. The Allies tried to invade further Netherlands via Germany, but that attempt failed (Operation Market Garden at Arnhem) by an unprecedented fierce battle against the Germans. In 1944, the Germans launched even an offensive in the Ardennes to regain the port of Antwerp. This led to a delay of the war. Eventually, the Allies were able to cross the Rhine and quite easy to beat the exhausted German armies. Moreover prefer the Germans surrendered to the western allies than to the hard merciless Red Army. On April 25, 1945, the Americans and Russians shake hands at the Elbe. Hitler committed on April 30 ‘suicide and Germany surrendered on May 7 officially over.

The capitulation of Germany was not the final end of the Second World War. Japan (Hirohito) only surrendered on September 2, 1945 on after the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima (little boy) and Nagasaki (fat man). The Americans dominated Japan already at sea during the Battle of Midway. But the atomic bombs hastened the end of the War. Officially hostilities on December 31, 1946 were terminated by President Truman.