The European State, 1871–1914 By: brendan o'hara


mass politics: a political order characterized by mass political parties and universal male and female suffrage

anti-Semitism: hostility toward or discrimination against Jews

westernizers: Russian intellectuals who believed Western ways were the solution to Russia's problems

Slavophiles: nineteenth century Russian intellectuals who believed that Russia's tsarist system, peasant villages, and Orthodox religious faith were superior to any Western ideals.

anarchists: people who hold that all governments and existing social institutions are unnecessary and advocate a society based on voluntary cooperation

Western Europe

In Britain, liberals and conservatives battled for about 50 years to gain political dominance over each other in the government. Both of these parties were led by landowning nobles. The people were unhappy with the government and voted for some social reforms including The Natural Insurance Act of 1911.

France established a republican government in 1875 to restore order after the collapse of the Second Empire. The powers of the president were intentionally left very vague and there were many branches created. The Constitution of 1875, intended only as a stopgap measure, solidified the Third Republic.

Italy emerged as a geographically unified state, but its internal state said otherwise. Sectional differences between the north and south prevented any national unity. Chronic turmoil between labor and industry undermined the social fabric.

Central and Eastern Europe

The constitution of the new imperial Germany begun by Bismarck in 1871 provided for a bicameral legislature. During the reign of Emperor William II (1888–1918), Germany continued as an “authoritarian, conservative, military-bureaucratic power state.” The tensions in German society created by the conflict between modernization and traditionalism were also manifested in radicalized right-wing politics. By 1870, Russia was witnessing an increasing number of reform movements such as westernizers and anarchists.

The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was severely troubled by the nationalist aspirations of its subject peoples, especially in the Balkans. In the course of the nineteenth century, the Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire gradually gained their freedom, although the rivalry in the region between Austria and Russia complicated the process.

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