Summary of La Paz Armada (1870-1914) (I). El Nuevo Orden Mundial: Los Sistemas Bismarckianos

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The video discusses the period of La Paz Armada between 1870 and 1914 and the diplomatic strategies employed by Bismarck to maintain a balance of power in Europe. Bismarck formed alliances with Austria-Hungary and Russia to isolate France, but tensions over the Balkans led to Russia leaving the alliance. Bismarck then formed the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy to continue to isolate France. He also signed the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia to prevent a Franco-Russian alliance. However, Wilhelm II's policies and Germany's actions led to the creation of two alliances, adding to tensions in Europe and a high level of armament buildup.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, we learn about the period between 1870 and 1914, which historians call the "armed peace." It began after the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the Second German Empire in 1870, which marked the end of the order established in the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Bismarck's goal was to replace the balance of power system of the Pentarchy with a new equilibrium that would ensure peace long enough for Germany to become the dominant European power. Bismarck's diplomatic strategies to achieve this new equilibrium are called the Bismarckian Systems, with the first being the Three Emperors' Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. Bismarck's objective was to isolate France diplomatically, preventing them from gaining allies that could help them retaliate against Germany. Therefore, he sought to maintain good relations with Great Britain, who was building an empire that would rival France's new colonies.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, we learn about the Bismarckian systems and the alliances formed during the period of La Paz Armada. Bismarck's goal was to isolate France, and he achieved this by forming an alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary. However, the system began to falter due to the rivalries between two of the three allies, Austria-Hungary and Russia, over the Balkans. Russia declared war on Turkey in 1878 and succeeded in defeating them, leading to a conference in Berlin where Germany had to side with Austria-Hungary, causing Russia to leave the alliance. Bismarck then formed a new system, the Triple Alliance, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, to isolate France.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, the video discusses Bismarck's policies and actions in maintaining a balance of power in Europe. One of his strategies was to sign the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, in which Germany promised to not support Austria in a conflict with Russia and in return, Russia promised to not support France in a conflict with Germany. Bismarck believed this would prevent a Franco-Russian alliance and keep Germany and Russia from having to fight each other in a potential war. Additionally, Bismarck worked to keep France isolated by encouraging their focus on colonial expansion, which kept them from forming a significant alliance with England. The video also notes that Wilhelm II's ascension to the German throne in 1890 led to a change in policy that focused more on gaining prestige and power rather than maintaining a balance of power.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, we learn that the political decisions of Wilhelm II and the actions by Germany led to the creation of two alliances, with France, Russia, and Britain on one side, and Germany, Austria, and Italy on the other. Wilhelm II's desire to compete with Britain led to Germany building a powerful navy, which in turn led to Britain allying with France to counter the threat of a German navy. Furthermore, Germany's alliance with Austria posed a threat to Russia, who then joined forces with France. The alliances added to the tensions in Europe and led to a high level of armament buildup in preparation for a potential war.

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