Essay: War and Revolution

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James Rarick

Western Civilization II

War and Revolution

War and Revolution during the nineteenth century

Conflicts during the nineteenth century -- introduction

Revolutionary attempts during the 1830s

the Year of the Revolution

France sets the pace

Nations across Europe and even in Latin America are inspired

Italy

Germany

Habsburg Empire

Belgium

Romania

Brazil

Franco-Prussian War

Epirus Revolt and crisis in the Ottoman Empire

War and Revolution during the twentieth century

The Balkan Wars

The First World War

Causes

Belligerent camps

The Russian Revolution

Irish Civil War

Spanish Civil War

The Second World War

Soviet and German invasion of Poland

b. Soviet-German War

c. The Allied Forces

The Cold War

Countries involved

b. Soviet and American influence

The fall of the Soviet Union

War and Revolution during the nineteenth century

Conflicts during the nineteenth century -- introduction

The nineteenth century was filled with turmoil as a result of particular political ideologies receiving significant attention from the public and because imperialism started to be regarded as an effective tool to assist empires in gathering large profits. Even with the fact that trade influenced some powerful players to express interest in imposing a system promoting peaceful attitudes, it was difficult and almost impossible for other nations to refrain from considering war as the best solution to their problems. This century enabled the world as a whole to look at the social order from a different perspective -- globalization was underway and more and more conflicts emerged as a result of people having differences in opinion. Conflicts occurring throughout the nineteenth century can practically be considered to have shaped the way the world evolved and to have influenced much of thinking expressed in the contemporary society.

7. Revolutionary attempts during the 1830s

The 1830s were tumultuous years as revolutionary thinking spread across several countries in Europe and as the masses started to express particular interest in overthrowing leaders they considered to be abusive. Tension was high in France during the 1920s as leaders started to impose harsh strategies in an attempt to control the masses and in order to penalize individuals believed to be exposed to being seen as 'different'. The Chamber of Deputies attempted to intervene and issued a vote of no confidence. "The king, as was his legal right, dissolved the Chamber and called for new elections." (Chapter 11-469) the king proceeded to pass a series of ordinances meant to secure his position by means such as censoring the press and by limiting the upper class's influence.

The king's ordinances were referred to as the July Ordinances and were largely the reason why the July Revolution started. Aristocrats were unwilling to accept being limited in their involvement in political life and thus influenced the masses to go against the king with the purpose of helping the country achieve reform. Even with the fact that the army barricades were installed throughout Paris, most of the military refused to fire and Charles X was left with no alternative but to abdicate.

The rebellion in Paris inspired Belgians and Polish to get actively involved in protests meant to emphasize their feelings. While the Belgians were successful in their endeavor, the Polish November Uprising failed to protect the rights of the Polish people and the Czar of Russia continued to rule over the country. The Czar actually attempted to control the situation in Belgium, but his failure to take his troops safely through Poland materialized in the Polish revolution and in him having to concentrate his forces on keeping Poland under his leadership.

The idea of revolution throughout Europe is perfectly exemplified by Eugene Delacrois' painting "Liberty leading the people." This picture shows rebellion as a noble concept -- an act that results as a result of honest hard-working individuals being unable to accept being oppressed and wanting to fight for their rights despite that they are in many cases both outnumbered and outgunned. One can understand that these people are not only interested in fighting for their personal well-being, as they also want to fight out of principle. They know that the idea of liberty is directly challenged and that they are among the only ones holding the power to rise against their tyrants.

8. 1848 -- the Year of the Revolution

1848 was a significant year in world history, taking into account that it was at that time when numerous individuals from across the world became united by a series of ideals and goals related to nationalism, regionalism, and the defense of the rights of the people. The fact that there was no coordination and cooperation between these people was, however, important in reducing their chances of success. An economic crisis was spreading throughout Europe in 1848 and the fact that potato and grain crops failed in previous years reflected in the price of food growing.

a. France sets the pace

Revolutionary agitation started in Paris in February as people believed that they would do a better job at ruling the country if they had power. Louis-Philippe was left with no option but to abdicate and the French Second Republic was created as a consequence. Even with the fact that many people in French had different opinions with regard to how their country should be controlled, most agreed that it was important for them to put an end to system of constitutional monarchy.

b. Nations across Europe and even in Latin America are inspired

Italy

Conditions were critical in most Italian states as Italians were inspired by other states which were under Austrian dominance and that rose against their oppressors. Papal states joined the revolution as the Pope was sympathetic with regard to nationalist principles. Even though the Bourbon dynasty recovered and regained control over Italian states, it had become obvious that Italians had the power to fight for their rights (Chapter 11-492).

Germany

The March Revolution in Germany united a series of liberals who fought with the purpose of being granted with a series of rights concerning matters like national unity and freedom of the press. The aristocracy eventually defeated the uprising, but it nonetheless became clear that the authorities needed to revise many laws in order to prevent the masses from expressing interest in a new revolution.

The Habsburg Empire

Even with the fact that the Habsburg Empire foresaw that revolutionary agitation across Europe was likely to influence nations under its control and thus issued a series of reforms, it was impossible for it to avoid experiencing serious trouble as several countries under Habsburg control denounced the Empire's tendency to ignore their importance. The Austrians used their relationship with other nations such as Russia in an attempt to secure its position and crushed the Hungarian revolt taking place within the borders of the empire.

Belgium

Conditions in Belgium were different from countries that experienced rebellions during 1848, as while people there were determined and wanted to fight for their rights, the situation was more complex and they needed to devise a unique plan in order to achieve success. Belgian revolutionaries counted on French individuals to assist them in overthrowing the regime, but the fact that border control made it difficult and impossible for many groups to enter Belgium meant that the rebellion would not experience success. "The expected mass support from Belgian workers failed to materialize, and a small regular army contingent easily scattered the poorly armed legionaries." (Sperber 120)

Romania

People in Walachia were inspired by revolutionary feelings present in other states in their vicinity and came to organize a revolt meant to emphasize the need for a different system. The movement, alongside with a rebellion in Moldavia, was directed against the boyar title. A group of young intellectuals and officers thus expressed both liberal and nationalist thinking and organized a revolution that was successful in overthrowing Prince Gheorghe Bibescu.

Revolutionary thinking reached beyond the European continent and influenced Brazilians to start the Praieira revolt. The movement was unsuccessful, but it demonstrated that revolutionary thinking was a particularly intriguing concept in critical times and that it could easily inspire oppressed people to rise against their tyrants.

9. Franco-Prussian War

The Franco-German war took place between July 19, 1870 and May 10, 1871 involving the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. France initially took up arms against Prussia but later had to face several German states that were Prussian allies. "The French Army proved to be technically backward compared with the Prussian." (Chapter 13-532) it rapidly became obvious that it was only a matter of time before the Germans would win the war. Napoleon III was taken prisoner and consequent to several months during which Parisians protected their city they were left with no options but to yield and open their gates to the enemy. Bismarck became a German emperor on January 18, 1871. The May 10, 1871, treaty of Franfurt marked the end of the war, the loss of Alsace and parts of Lorraine to Germany, and the start of the Third Republic in France (Chapter 13-533)

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