Self Help

Rise and Fall of the Great Powers Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000, The - Paul M. Kennedy

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Matheus Puppe

· 161 min read



Here is a summary of the key details from “First Vintage Books Edition, January 1989” section:

  • Copyright owned by Paul Kennedy and dated 1987. All rights reserved.

  • Originally published in hardcover by Random House in 1987.

  • Published in paperback by Vintage Books in January 1989.

  • Includes acknowledgments where the author thanks friends and colleagues who provided feedback, references, and encouragement on the book.

  • Contains maps, tables, charts to illustrate concepts in the book.

  • Introductory text provides an overview that the book seeks to trace how great powers have risen and fallen relative to each other over the past 500 years, focusing on the interaction between economics and strategy as states tried to become both rich and powerful.

  • Details copyright information, original publication date/publisher, acknowledgments, and includes maps/tables/charts to support the content. Provides a high-level summary of the book’s goals in tracing changes in global power balances since 1500.

The passage argues that the relative strengths of great powers fluctuate over time due to uneven economic growth and technological changes that benefit some nations more than others. Military power depends significantly on productive and financial capacity. If a nation overextends itself strategically or sees economic decline, its military strength will weaken over the long run.

The rise of Western Europe from 1500 onwards was driven by competitive dynamics that stimulated innovation, in contrast to centralized empires. For about 150 years, the Habsburg dynasty threatened to dominate Europe but overextended militarily as their economic base weakened.

From 1660-1815, France intermittently challenged the balance of power in Europe, but its bids for control were checked by combinations of other great powers like Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia. Financial and industrial innovations gave some nations advantages.

From 1815-1900, balance was maintained through the Concert of Europe. Britain’s industrial and naval dominance peaked during this period of stability. But industrialization was spreading, benefitting nations that modernized militaries and infrastructure to support larger forces. Growing instability after 1880 reflected fluctuating economic influence.

  • Over the late 19th and early 20th centuries, traditional European powers like France, Austria-Hungary, and Italy were declining relative to new powers like the US, Russia, Germany, and Japan. This posed problems for the British Empire in defending its global interests.

  • World War I confirmed the rise of Germany and exhaustion of traditional powers, but the US emerged as strongest. Post-war isolation of US and Soviet Russia left an unstable system challenged by revisionist states Italy, Japan, Germany in the 1930s.

  • World War II solidified US and Soviet dominance in a bipolar world. However, economic balances were shifting again with the rise of Europe, China, Japan. By the late 20th century the military balance no longer matched the economic multipolar reality.

  • The book surveys great power politics over 500 years, how economic/technological change shifted relative power positions, and the interaction of strategy and economics during peace and war periods. It does not propose strict theories but provides historical evidence for analyzing power balances, causes of war, and empire over the long term.

Here are the main points that can be drawn from the passage:

  • In 1500, it was not obvious that Europe would come to dominate much of the world. At the time, eastern empires like India and China seemed more advanced in terms of wealth, population, culture, and economic/military power.

  • Europe had relative weaknesses compared to other major civilizations, as it was neither the most fertile nor most populous region. India and China surpassed Europe in population and agricultural production.

  • Knowledge of eastern civilizations in Europe was limited and based on travelers’ tales that were prone to exaggeration. However, the impression of wealthy, large eastern empires was generally accurate.

  • When first encountering these other major centers of civilization, Europe’s weaknesses would have seemed more apparent than its strengths from a comparative perspective. Other societies appeared more favorably endowed.

  • The passage is setting the stage to examine how and why Europe eventually rose to global dominance over the following centuries despite initial disadvantages compared to major civilizations in Asia.

This passage discusses the geopolitical situation in Europe in 1500 and compares it to other major world civilizations at the time, with a focus on Ming China.

The key points are:

  • Europe was geographically vulnerable to invasion and lacked united leadership. It consisted of many fragmented states.

  • Major threats came from the expanding Ottoman Empire, which had conquered Constantinople and much of the Balkans. There were fears Rome could face a similar fate.

  • While Europe was developing commercially and technologically, it was not clearly more advanced than other civilizations like Ming China or the Mughal Empire in areas like culture, science, and technology.

  • Ming China appeared very advanced with a large population, unified bureaucracy, sophisticated culture, extensive trade networks, and precocious technology development like printing, paper money, and gunpowder.

  • However, China decided to halt naval exploration under Cheng Ho in the 15th century due to strategic priorities on land and the conservatism of the Confucian bureaucracy, which distrusted the military, commerce, and changes initiated by outsiders. This inward turn slowed China’s development relative to emerging European powers.

  • The elite Chinese bureaucrats, known as mandarins, disliked merchants and private capital accumulation. They often intervened against individual merchants by confiscating property or banning businesses they saw as troublesome.

  • While the Ming dynasty achieved technological feats like rebuilding the Great Wall and developing canals/ironworks/navy, these state projects were eventually neglected as the bureaucracy lost interest over time. Printing was also restricted, and cities were not granted autonomy.

  • Without official support, merchants struggled to thrive. Those who did accumulate wealth tended to invest in land and education rather than industrial development. Bans on overseas trade and fishing removed potential stimuli for sustained economic growth.

  • As a result, Ming China became less vigorous and enterprising than during the earlier Song dynasty. Increased agricultural productivity eventually slowed, while population growth was only checked by disasters. China’s relative decline continued even after the Ming were replaced by the more vigorous Manchus in 1644.

  • In contrast, Muslim states were rapidly expanding in the 16th century through the Ottoman Empire in Europe/North Africa, the Safavid dynasty in Persia, Mughal Empire in India, and spread of Islam in Southeast Asia and Africa. The Ottomans in particular posed a major challenge to Europe.

  • The Ottoman Empire faced threats on several flanks, including the Aegean Sea, Cyprus, the Red Sea, and a rising Russian power in Crimea.

  • Internally, a religious split between Sunni and Shiite Islam destabilized the Muslim world and required force by the Sunni Ottoman sultan to maintain control.

  • The Shiite Persian Safavid dynasty actively allied with European powers against the Ottomans.

  • After 1566, 13 incompetent sultans in succession damaged Ottoman leadership as external threats grew.

  • The centralized Ottoman and Mughal systems suffered from defects of despotism and orthodoxy that stifled initiative and innovation. Conservative attitudes stifled economic and technological progress.

  • In Japan, internal feuding between clans was replaced by consolidation under warlords using European firearms, leading to centralized Tokugawa shogunate rule by the early 1600s. However, the Tokugawa enforced isolation and severely restricted foreign contact.

  • Japan imposed strict isolationist policies under the Tokugawa shogunate starting in the 17th century to maintain control. Foreigners were only allowed to trade at Nagasaki harbor on a small artificial island and Christians were ruthlessly persecuted.

  • This achieved national unity and stability which benefited trade and economic growth within Japan. However, it also prevented Japan from adopting new technologies and advancing relative to other states. The samurai class became bored and stagnant without opportunity for travel or engaging in warfare.

  • When Commodore Perry arrived in 1853 demanding Japan open to trade, the government was weak and unprepared due to two centuries of isolation.

  • Early Russia expanded through conquest of surrounding lands, enabled by new gunpowder weapons. However, conquest brought challenges of managing diverse peoples and internal dissent. Russia remained economically backward due to harsh climate, distances, social defects like serfdom, and resistance to Western modernization.

  • Despite setbacks, Russia continued expanding its empire through military force and autocratic rule while resisting Western influence, eventually emerging as a world power though not initially seen that way by Europeans in 1500-1650 due to remoteness and perceived backwardness.

  • The decentralized political system in Europe led to the growth of international trade and merchant credit systems like bills of exchange and insurance. This created more predictability and stability for economic activity than was previously seen.

  • Shipbuilding improved to create sturdier vessels capable of North Sea and Atlantic trade. These ships were less impressive than Mediterranean craft but had advantages for long-distance trade.

  • The fragmented political authority in Europe meant no single power could suppress commercial growth. Merchants and traders could move to areas with more tolerant rulers if persecuted. This decentralized system was symbiotic with the rising market economy.

  • No entity could halt technological progress, so improvements spread widely. Competition prevented any monopoly on military power. Europe’s political balance of power hindered domination and fostered arms races that accelerated military technological development, shifting the global balance in Europe’s favor over time.

The passage discusses the development of gunpowder weapons and naval technology in Europe compared to other civilizations in the 15th-16th centuries. It notes that initially, cannon designs were similar globally. However, Europe saw constant technological improvement driven by competition between states and armament manufacturers seeking new contracts. This included advances in gunpowder, casting smaller but more powerful bronze cannons, gun barrels and projectiles.

Europe took the lead as other civilizations like China and Japan grew complacent after establishing political control. Fortifications also improved more rapidly in Europe, allowing independent city-states to withstand seizure by larger powers and maintaining political plurality. At sea, Europe systematically explored voyages and gathered geographical knowledge. Gun-based naval power developed through the placement of cannons on ships, initially posing challenges but becoming more effective as designs improved. While European global dominance was a gradual process, these technological advantages provided growing maritime mastery over the 15th-16th centuries.

  • In the 16th century, many societies outside of Europe were less developed than the Spanish adventurers found in the New World. China and Japan largely closed themselves off from maritime trade. The Ottomans still posed a major land threat to Europe.

  • However, the development of large armed sailing ships gave European naval powers the ability to control ocean trade routes and dominate vulnerable non-European societies. The Portuguese successfully established control over parts of the Indian Ocean trade against Arab fleets. They also carved out a chain of forts from West Africa to Southeast Asia.

  • The Spanish rapidly built a vast empire in the Americas, exploiting silver and other resources. Transatlantic trade boomed. This showed Europe was committed to permanently altering global political and economic balances through force of arms.

  • In addition to valuables, Europe gained access to many new commodities that boosted prosperity, like fish, sugar, tobacco, fur, and later grains. This stimulated shipbuilding and other industries. Rising interaction between European powers accelerated further expansion.

  • Rivalries between Spain, Portugal, the Dutch, French, and English led other countries to enter overseas trade and exploration despite Iberian claims of monopoly. Competition drove the ongoing dynamic of European global expansion and dominance in the 16th century.

  • In the 16th century, power struggles within Europe helped it rise above other world regions economically and militarily. However, it was unclear if any single European state could dominate the rest.

  • For around 150 years after 1500, the Spanish and Austrian branches of the Habsburg dynasty threatened to become the predominant political and religious influence in Europe through their vast combination of territories stretching from Italy to the Netherlands and central Europe.

  • Two key developments drove larger-scale and more interconnected European warfare during this period. The Protestant Reformation added a new religious dimension to traditional dynastic rivalries. And the Habsburgs’ extensive territorial holdings through marriage and inheritance exceeded anything since Charlemagne.

  • Over the course of the 1500s-1600s, a struggle ensued as the Habsburgs attempted to consolidate dominance over Europe. By 1659, when Spain acknowledged defeat in the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the political plurality of Europe with several major powers was established, ending the Habsburg bid for mastery.

  • In 1519, Charles V inherited large territories in Europe as both Holy Roman Emperor and ruler of the Habsburg lands in Austria. This embodied inheritances in Spain, Austria, and the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia starting in 1526.

  • The vast and diverse lands posed challenges to centralized rule and Ferdinand was given control of many territories starting in the 1520s in recognition of this.

  • However, other states saw this as immense Habsburg power encircling them, particularly France which aimed to curb Habsburg influence over the next two centuries. German princes and popes also disliked the accumulation of power.

  • Religious disputes from the Reformation fused with political rivalries, making compromise difficult. Militant Habsburg rulers defended Catholicism, so defeating Protestant forces also strengthened Habsburg power.

  • Major conflicts included wars in Italy against France in the 1520s-1540s, struggles with the Ottoman Turks, and conflicts within Germany following Charles V’s attempts to defeat Protestant princes after 1547.

  • The sheer longevity of the conflicts, from decades of war with the Turks to the Eighty Years War and Thirty Years War, placed enormous financial strains on the combatant states.

This passage summarizes the major political and military developments in Europe following the abdication of Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor in 1555. Some key points:

  • Charles V abdicated in 1555, dividing the Habsburg domains between the Austrian and Spanish branches led by Ferdinand I and Philip II respectively.

  • Philip II faced revolts in the Netherlands and wars against the Ottoman Empire, while Ferdinand I enjoyed relative peace.

  • The Dutch revolt against Spanish rule expanded into an international struggle involving England, France and the Netherlands against Spain in the 1580s.

  • Religious tensions in the Holy Roman Empire led to the outbreak of the devastating Thirty Years War in 1618 between Catholic and Protestant states.

  • Sweden, France and other powers intervened against Habsburg dominance, though the war remained multi-sided and destructive until the 1640s.

  • Events like the Portuguese and Catalan revolts further strained Spanish resources amid the growing economic and social costs of the prolonged conflicts.

So in summary, it traces the dispersal of Habsburg power after Charles V and the series of military conflicts that ensued across Europe in the late 16th-17th centuries between the Habsburg monarchies and their opponents.

The Thirty Years War ended in an untidy fashion with various peace agreements occurring at different times between different parties. In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia acknowledged the political and religious balance within the Holy Roman Empire. This limited imperial authority.

While some individual states gained or lost territories, the overall settlement recognized no one power would dominate. It left France and Spain continuing their national rivalry unrelated to religion. Mazarin allied England and France against Spain, delivering blows that led Spain to agree to peace in 1659’s Treaty of the Pyrenees.

This marked the end of Habsburg predominance in Europe, though Spain still controlled Iberia. Political fragmentation in Europe remained similar to 1519, though Spain lost more areas by the late 1600s due to rebellions and territorial losses.

The Habsburgs possessed huge inherited resources from their dynastic control of areas like Castile, the Low Countries, and later the Americas. However, they struggled due to the increasing costs of war starting in the 1520s. Tactical changes reduced cavalry effectiveness while fortifications and sieges required more infantry. Meeting financial and military requirements exceeded Habsburg capabilities due to these escalating costs of war.

The passage discusses the rise of large standing armies in Europe during the 16th-17th centuries, known as the “military revolution.” It focuses on developments in the Spanish Empire as a prime example.

Key points:

  • Armies grew significantly in size, with infantry (especially pikemen) increasing much more than cavalry. This was due to infantry being cheaper.

  • The Spanish army under Charles V grew from 30,000 troops before 1529 to over 100,000 by 1552 as it faced wars on multiple fronts.

  • Naval forces also expanded rapidly to protect growing trade and defend against privateers/pirates. Spain’s galley fleet grew from 46 to 146 ships from 1562-1574.

  • This rapid military buildup placed immense financial strains on governments like Spain and the empires of Charles V and Philip II as the costs of war inflated.

  • constant warfare led to repeated bankruptcies in Spain and unsustainable debt levels. By Philip II’s death in 1598, Spanish debt totaled a staggering 100 million ducats.

  • The growing costs overwhelmed Spain’s fiscal resources and contributed to its long-term decline, even as its armies remained formidable in individual battles.

  • Overextension across too many conflict zones meant Spanish forces could not defend all fronts simultaneously.

The Habsburg Empire maintained widespread garrisons and territories scattered across Europe, North Africa, and the New World. Like the later British Empire, this vast territorial control required enormous resources to govern and defend. It made the Habsburgs vulnerable due to the existence of many enemies who could capitalize on their strategic overstretch.

Compared to other European powers at the time, the Habsburgs had less periods of rest between conflicts. They had to immediately shift forces and attention from one war front to another, fighting enemies like France, the Ottoman Empire, and Swedish forces simultaneously on multiple fronts. This perpetual state of war exhausted their resources over time.

It was difficult for the Habsburgs to escape this vicious cycle. Focusing resources more narrowly may have helped, but giving up any territory also posed dangers that others could fill the power vacuum. Overall, the costs of continuously defending all fronts and not abandoning key areas like the Netherlands, Italy or colonial possessions in the end undermined the Habsburg position in Europe as resources were depleted in prolonged multi-front warfare.

In summary:

  • The centralized Habsburg empire was in reality a collection of territories, each with their own privileges and identity. There was no central administration to encourage unity.

  • Raising funds in one territory to fight wars elsewhere was difficult, as taxpayers resisted paying for wars that did not directly benefit them. This localism constrained the empire’s fiscal capacity.

  • Places like Sicily, Naples, and the Netherlands all provided tax revenue at times but also drained funds when they needed defending. The Italian territories in particular took more than they contributed.

  • The Netherlands became a huge long-term drain as it descended into revolt against Spanish rule after decades of unrest and tax increases.

  • Spain itself had very limited royal fiscal rights due to the autonomy of territories like Aragon, Catalonia, and Portugal. This left Castile as the main source of funds but its tax base was too small.

  • Through a combination of poor economic policies, endless wars, and mismanagement, the empire failed to efficiently mobilize resources and eroded its own power over time.

The passage discusses the economic and political factors that contributed to Spain’s decline as a military power in the 17th century. The influx of silver from the Americas initially provided wealth, but it was mismanaged by the crown and tended to flow out of the country. Other ill-advised policies included expelling Jews and Muslims, restricting trade, and imposing heavy taxes that hurt economic activity.

The passage then provides context by comparing Spain’s experience to other European powers that also had to vastly increase their military capabilities during this period. While all countries faced challenges in administrating and financing larger armies, some like France, England, the Dutch Republic, and Sweden were more successful relative to Spain. France in particular showed signs of weakness initially but was able to recover through policies like consolidating territory, instituting direct taxation, and overhauling its fiscal system under figures like Sully and Richelieu. Overall, the passage argues Spain’s decline was relative rather than absolute, as adapting to the “military revolution” tested all states but some were better able to meet the demands.

  • France and Spain were exhausting each other after decades of war, resembling punch-drunk boxers clinging to each other in a state of near-exhaustion. Both were suffering from domestic rebellions, impoverishment, and dislike of the war, and teetering on the brink of financial collapse.

  • However, the French army was gradually emerging as the strongest in Europe under generals like d’Enghien and Turenne. But France’s naval power had declined due to the demands of land warfare.

  • Spain had fought on remarkably tenaciously despite being overstretched. The resulting Treaty of the Pyrenees reflected Spain’s declining relative to France more than France’s growing strength.

  • The European powers all had mixtures of strengths and weaknesses, and it was important not to let weaknesses outweigh strengths. This included England and Sweden, whose interventions helped check Habsburg ambitions.

  • Early 16th century England lacked stability, a standing army, financial institutions, and had a low population compared to France and Spain. Its interventions in France were financially devastating. Only consolidation of crown lands and dissolution of the monasteries improved finances.

  • England recognized its military and financial limitations under Elizabeth I and pursued strategies of supporting allies on land while raiding Spain at sea, to wage war economically. This balanced intervention checked Spanish ambitions on the continent. But supporting forces abroad strained finances to the breaking point.

  • After 1603, finances played a central role in the spiraling conflict between the English crown and Parliament over the next four decades. Taxes like Ship Money led to disputes that eventually resulted in civil war.

  • Cromwell’s England in the 1650s was able to play a greater role in European politics compared to previous governments. His New Model Army, organized along modern lines, was effective in battles against Spain. The navy also underwent a renaissance and saw successes against Spain.

  • However, maintaining large land and naval forces was very costly. Taxes were imposed at unprecedented levels but still not enough to cover expenses. Debts rose and soldier/sailor pay was in arrears, causing discontent. While military efforts tilted the balance against Spain, the profitable Spanish trade was lost to neutral Dutch.

  • In contrast, 17th century Sweden emerged successfully from initially unpromising economic and military foundations through external investment, internal reforms under Gustavus Adolphus, and financing its vast army in Germany through foreign subsidies, contributions from German states, and exactions from territories it controlled. This allowed Sweden to play a larger role despite its smaller size compared to England.

The Swedish army played a key role in checking the expansion of the Habsburgs from 1630-1648 during the Thirty Years War. However, Sweden’s military successes gave it a false sense of its true strength in Europe. The Swedish army in Germany relied on plunder just to survive, hurting the local population. Maintaining Sweden’s new overseas territories was also costly.

After the war, Sweden remained an important regional power in the Baltic under Kings Charles X and Charles XI. Charles XI strengthened royal finances and defenses to transform Sweden into a “second-class power.” However, Sweden lacked the economic resources and population to maintain major military power over the long term. It gradually declined from the first ranks of European powers in the late 17th century.

In contrast, the Dutch Republic emerged as a great power despite humble beginnings as a rebel province of the Spanish Netherlands. It transformed itself into an economic powerhouse through trade, shipbuilding, industrial development, and overseas expansion. The Dutch economy provided the tax revenue and credit needed to fund large military and naval forces that defended the Dutch Republic for almost a century, allowing it to wield influence disproportionate to its small size.

  • Between 1598-1605, the Dutch Republic annually sent on average 25 ships to West Africa, 20 to Brazil, 10 to the East Indies, and 150 to the Caribbean, establishing trading posts and colonies around the world.

  • Amsterdam became a center of international finance, offering services like deposits, money transfers, bill clearing, and loans on a large scale due to the Dutch trading wealth. This gave the Dutch easy access to loans.

  • As war with Spain resumed in 1621, military costs rose steadily, reaching over 18 million florins by 1640. While straining public finances, allowing public debt to finance the war through loans prevented economic collapse as debt was repaid carefully.

  • Military spending put enormous pressure on states to centralize power and taxation to fund costly new armies, navies, and fortifications. War was a primary driver of nation-building across Europe in this period through both its economic demands and role in fostering national consciousness and identity.

  • However, early modern militaries were inefficient, prone to mutinies from lack of pay, and difficult for states to reliably fund given the gap between tax revenues and war costs. All states struggled under the severe financial strain of constant warfare.

  • The Thirty Years War era of 1519-1659, characterized by an Austro-Spanish axis fighting Protestant coalitions and France, gave way to a more multipolar system after 1660. Countries now made decisions based more on national interests through shifting alliances rather than transnational religious causes.

  • Over the period from 1660-1815, some powers declined (Ottoman Empire, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden) while others rose (Austrian Habsburgs, Brandenburg-Prussia). France became the most powerful on the continent by the late 1600s. Britain expanded globally as a maritime empire. Russia grew south and east across Asia.

  • The five great powers of France, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, Britain, and Russia emerged through a combination of factors beyond just military technology. Crucially, states increased their control over military organization through measures like standardized training, supply systems, and bureaucracies to administer forces. This nationalized and professionalized armed forces.

  • In summary, this period saw the transition to a more fluid multipolar system internationally and the rise of certain nation-states, facilitated by internal state-building efforts to monopolize and strengthen military capability.

  • Finance and economic strength were more important than strictly military developments in determining the relative power of states from 1660-1815. Wars were prolonged and expensive, requiring significant financial resources.

  • A “financial revolution” occurred in the late 17th/early 18th centuries as states developed banking and credit systems to raise funds for wars. The need for money to fight lengthy, expensive wars was the main driver of this change.

  • The Dutch led the way in creating efficient mechanisms for raising loans and maintaining strong government creditworthiness. Amsterdam became a major financial center, investing in foreign companies and governments. This boosted Dutch economic growth.

  • When funding foreign loans, Dutch bankers considered financial stability over ideology. This provides insight into the relative economic strengths of powers like Russia, Spain, Austria, Poland and Sweden.

  • Britain and France were the main rivals during this period. While Britain had clear strengths, France also had considerable wealth, revenues, population and industry. Its economy was developing and armaments production was large. Success in wars came down to which power could maintain credit and raise more funds over long conflicts.

In the 18th century, British people were more aware of their country’s weaknesses compared to France due to France having a more coherent political system under its dirigiste regime. However, Britain had key financial advantages that enhanced its power during wars and supported stability and growth during peacetime.

While Britain’s taxation system was more regressive relying on indirect taxes, various features made it less resented by the public. There was no farming out of taxes like in France. Many taxes were invisible or seen as hurting foreigners. There were no internal tolls hindering commerce. The main land tax allowed no exemptions.

Britain’s per capita income was already higher than France’s by 1700, making its population more able and willing to pay proportionately higher taxes. Direct taxation may have increased savings and taxable wealth.

The critical difference was Britain’s system of public credit. Institutions like the Bank of England raised long-term loans efficiently while repayment of debts was guaranteed. This growth in credit supported by parliamentary taxation powers and economical government convinced investors. Steady economic and trade expansion increased tax revenues.

France failed to match this due to its disorganized and corrupt system of tax farming and collection that discouraged investment in business over purchasing offices. Overall Britain was better able to finance wars and maintain stability and growth through its financial advantages.

  • France’s financial system suffered from a lack of development and stability. Revenue collection was inefficient and unpredictable, making long-term planning and investment difficult.

  • The French port city of La Rochelle was well-positioned to exploit trade but faced heavy taxes, fees, and monopolies that stifled economic growth. Wars disrupted trade further as the navy was weak.

  • France struggled more than other powers to raise funds for wars due to a history of debt defaults and currency devaluations, requiring much higher interest rates. Even paying high rates, funds were insufficient for sustained wars.

  • By the late 1780s, France’s national debt was similar to Britain’s but interest payments were nearly double due to higher rates. Efforts to raise new taxes faced resistance, contributing to the collapse of the monarchy in 1789.

  • Most European states struggled to fund large standing armies and wars due to inefficient tax systems and exemptions. Even wealthy states like France, Britain and the Dutch Republic found it difficult without taking on debt.

This passage discusses how geographical factors influenced the power and fortunes of nations during the era of frequent European wars from the 17th to 18th centuries.

Some key points made:

  • A nation’s location and borders could determine whether it faced threats on multiple fronts or was able to concentrate its forces. Access to sea lanes and ports also impacted military and economic power.

  • The Netherlands initially benefited from its river defenses and trade access, but later struggles as its sea trade became exposed and land borders more vulnerable to France. This diversion of resources contributed to its decline relative to powers like England.

  • France suffered from being a “hybrid” land and sea power, as it had to divide its energies between continental campaigns and engaging maritime powers like England. This made decisive victories difficult and contributed to France never achieving clear dominance through “strategical concentration.”

In summary, geographical factors like borders, trade routes, and the need to fight on multiple fronts or divvy up forces between land and sea campaigns significantly influenced the balance of power between European nations during this period of frequent warfare. Location was a critical consideration for military and economic success.

  • France frequently faced threats from multiple fronts due to its geographical position and repeated aggressiveness. While Napoleon was able to impose French ideas on much of continental Europe through military genius, this dominance was always temporary.

  • The Habsburg Empire (Austria) and Brandenburg-Prussia also grappled with the strategic problem of facing potential opponents from various directions due to their positions in central Europe.

  • Austria in particular had to juggle defending its diverse territories and interests against the Ottomans, France, Prussia, and later Russia. This made its foreign policy very complex.

  • Prussia rose due to able leadership and efficient military/bureaucracy, but it also benefited from the decline of Sweden and opportunities presented by Austria’s distractions. However, its power was still limited by size and exposed in the Seven Years’ War.

  • By contrast, Russia and the US enjoyed relative geographic invulnerability and freedom from the strategic complexities of central Europe due to their distance from main battle zones and expansion facing weaker opponents at their borders. However, their international impact increased over the period.

  • Prior to the 1760s, the American continent was mainly fought over by European powers like Britain, France, and Spain, rather than being a major geopolitical player in its own right.

  • British success in the Seven Years War removed foreign threats from North America, allowing the American colonies to demand independence from Britain if their needs weren’t met.

  • By 1776, the American colonies had grown significantly in population and economic self-sufficiency, making them difficult for Britain to control from across the Atlantic.

  • The emergence of the United States as an independent power starting in 1783 had two major consequences: it created an important extra-European center of industry and military might, and threatened Britain’s security by being a potential enemy on its Atlantic flank.

  • Similarly, the rise of Russia in the 18th century, through military expansion under czars like Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, alarmed other European powers and significantly impacted the continental balance of power.

  • However, it was Britain’s advantageous island location and development of maritime trade and naval power that allowed it to surpass France as the foremost European power by the late 18th/early 19th century.

  • While Britain’s rise to power was partly due to its colonies, navy, and international trade forming a “virtuous triangle,” this explanation was an oversimplification. Domestic agriculture was actually the foundation of the British economy in the 18th century.

  • Maintaining trade with European countries like Germany and the Mediterranean was also economically important to Britain. A dominant France could threaten this trade.

  • British strategy involved both maritime and continental dimensions. Maintaining the European balance of power against France was seen as crucial to also maintaining naval dominance, since a dominant France could challenge Britain at sea after dealing with threats on land.

  • Britain supported countries willing to “divert the expense of France” through both direct military action on the continent and heavy financial subsidies to allies like Prussia. This allowed Britain to focus resources on naval power while others contained France on land.

  • Population and military figures need context - they don’t capture factors like finances, geography, leadership that determined real power. British subsidies augmented allied land forces more than statistics showed.

  • The early reign of Louis XIV allowed him to strengthen France’s administration and military in preparation for pursuing glory. This made it easy for him to try to expand France’s borders early on.

  • In 1667, France invaded the Southern Netherlands and quickly captured towns, but was checked by a treaty in 1668. This angered Louis and he spent the next few years building up France’s forces to strike against the Dutch, who he saw as obstructing his ambitions.

  • In 1672 France launched a surprise attack against the Dutch with support from England. However, England pulled out in 1674 due to the war’s unpopularity. Other states then joined the Dutch in opposing France.

  • While neither side could achieve a decisive victory on land or sea, the stalemate blunted French ambitions. The conflicts highlighted weaknesses in England’s political and financial systems as well.

  • Further French aggression and religious persecution in the late 1680s caused more states to join forces against France. The Nine Years War from 1689-1697 contained France’s gains but was very costly for all involved.

  • A return to the prewar status quo through the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick brought temporary peace. However, Louis XIV’s actions over the Spanish succession led to another major war starting in 1701.

  • During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), Britain played a greater role than in the previous war through substantial subsidies to allies, a powerful Royal Navy, and fielding a large Continental army under the brilliant general Marlborough.

  • Marlborough’s army, combined with large Dutch and Austrian armies, was able to counter French attempts to impose its will in Europe. Key Allied victories included Blenheim, Ramillies, and Oudenarde.

  • At sea, the Royal Navy dominated without a main enemy fleet, supporting Portugal and attacking French possessions in the West Indies, North America, and taking Gibraltar.

  • However, the Allies could not impose their will on France or Spain. Their invasion of Spain failed and occupying France was too difficult.

  • The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht secured British maritime and colonial gains while balancing power in Europe. France was weakened but not destroyed. The Habsburg and Dutch empires were reconfigured with Britain emerging as the dominant power.

  • In the early 18th century, there was a balance of power in Europe underwritten by an entente between Britain and France lasting from 1715-1733. Both powers cooperated to prevent Spain from pursuing expansionist policies.

  • By the 1730s, France was looking to assert itself more independently as a great power rather than rely on its alliance with Britain. France improved relations with Spain and expanded diplomatically in eastern Europe.

  • Conflicts emerged between Britain and Spain’s colonies in the 1730s-1740s, drawing France into supporting Spain militarily. This escalated the conflicts into a wider war between Britain and France.

  • The war was transformed by the death of Emperor Charles VI in 1740 and Frederick the Great’s seizure of Silesia from Austria in 1741. Britain allied with Austria against France and Prussia.

  • The war escalated greatly but financial constraints and conflicting interests eventually compelled Britain and France to agree to a truce and return to the status quo in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. However, tensions remained unresolved.

  • Conflicts between Britain and France in North America in the 1750s further escalated tensions, drawing in the eastern powers of Austria, Prussia, and Russia seeking opportunities for their own disputes. This led to the “Diplomatic Revolution” of 1756 and the start of the Seven Years’ War.

  • Pitt initially focused on a “maritime strategy” of seizing colonial possessions, but realized they needed a “continental strategy” as well to protect important allies like Prussia and Hanover from French occupation.

  • This continental strategy required substantial financial resources to fund large subsidies to Prussian forces and a British “Army of Observation” in Germany over many years of grinding warfare.

  • Britain was uniquely able to provide these resources due to its booming trade and navy, which brought in high customs revenues even as the national debt grew. Other combatants faced economic troubles.

  • At sea, the massive Royal Navy imposed blockades that throttled French trade while securing British commerce. On land, the Anglo-Prussian alliance achieved major victories, though Prussia suffered heavy losses defending against multiple enemies.

  • In the peace settlements, Britain gained territory in North America and India at France’s expense, emerging as the dominant colonial and naval power. Prussia survived but was weakened.

  • The long period after 1763 saw reforms in the major powers but Britain focused more inward due to domestic political divisions and its conflict with the American colonies, weakening its position for the next war with France.

When France entered the war against Britain in 1778, it may have reduced the strain on British naval vessels by allowing them to focus on relief efforts in places like Gibraltar, the West Indies, and North America rather than directly confronting the French navy off their coasts. However, this effectively meant surrendering command of the seas. By the time the Royal Navy was rebuilt in strength and dominated the seas again after victories in 1782, the American Revolutionary War was already virtually over.

The war against the American colonies posed two strategic challenges not present in previous 18th century wars. First, suppressing the rebellion over such a vast distance of 3000 miles required large-scale land operations, but sea power alone could not force the self-sufficient colonists to submit. It likely would have required an army as large as Napoleon’s to reconquer and occupy the territories, which was beyond Britain’s military capabilities. Second, Britain had to fight the war alone as it had lost European allies who may have distracted France due to diplomatic blunders. For the first time, France concentrated its resources on a naval and colonial war against Britain rather than involving its army on the continent. This turned the tide against the overstretched British forces.

During the 1770s, Russia made significant gains at the expense of the declining Ottoman Empire, annexing Crimea in 1783 and more Black Sea territories in 1792. This growing Russian power worried Austria and Prussia as well as Sweden and Britain. However, with Vienna and Berlin wanting to stay in Russia’s good graces, and the western powers too distracted, Russia’s expansion continued unchecked.

In the late 1780s, the major European powers were mostly concerned with traditional regional issues and balances of power seemed stable. Britain and France were recovering from their costly war but still economic and diplomatic rivals. France’s position appeared strong until domestic turmoil and financial problems emerged in the late 1780s.

The French Revolution began as an internal struggle but its radicalization caused concern for some neighbors. However, most powers were unprepared for war and more focused on the partitioning of Poland. Only as the revolutionaries adopted a more assertive foreign policy did events escalate into a broader conflict in 1792. The initial allied attack was disorganized and allowed French victories, drawing more powers into a First Coalition against the revolutionary regime in 1793-1795. However, this coalition struggled with unclear goals and divisions as powers like Russia prioritized further partitioning Poland over defeating France. This gave France time to strengthen militarily before the coalition could mount an effective challenge.

  • Through 1796-1797, the countries in the Coalition against France fell away one by one: the Netherlands was conquered and became the Batavian Republic; Spain sided with France against Britain; Sardinia-Piedmont was crushed by Napoleon; and the Habsburg Empire was forced to accept the Peace of Campo Formio, losing much of Italy. This left only Britain still opposing France.

  • Britain’s efforts on the continent, like the campaign in Flanders and Holland led by the Duke of York, lacked strength and expertise to defeat the French army. British strategy focused more on colonial operations, naval blockade, and coastal raids, which were expensive and inefficient.

  • France could not overcome Britain’s naval power, and invasion attempts of Britain and Ireland failed. The entry of Spain and the Netherlands into the war on France’s side led to victories for Britain at sea.

  • By 1797 both countries were in a strategic dilemma - France dominated land but Britain dominated sea, and neither could defeat the other without changing this balance of power. Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 was an attempt to do this, but it ultimately failed after his defeat there.

  • This sparked the Second Coalition against France from 1798-1800, but it too lacked unity and coordination between Austria, Russia, and Britain. It collapsed after French victories in Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

  • Britain remained dominant in overseas campaigns but could not achieve its goal of checking French power on the continent without continental allies, leaving it relatively isolated again by 1801. This dynamic led to the Treaty of Amiens and a temporary peace.

Tensions and conflicts were reported across various regions, from Muscat to the West Indies and from Turkey to Piedmont. These reports, along with evidence of a large-scale French warship building program, caused the British government under Addington to refuse to return Malta to France. In May 1803, Britain turned a cold war with France into a hot one by declaring war.

This became the seventh and most testing of the Anglo-French wars between 1689-1815. Over the next 12 years, Britain systematically recaptured French and French-allied overseas territories through its naval power. However, on land Napoleon’s large armies defeated multiple coalitions against France. France’s control of much of continental Europe allowed it to impose a trade blockade against Britain, significantly impacting its economy.

Although the blockade disrupted British trade for periods, its economy ultimately grew during the wars due to industrialization, alternative export markets, and smuggling. High government spending to finance the war also stimulated industries. While the war weakened British rivals like Spain and Prussia, it did not ultimately undermine Napoleon’s military domination over much of Europe.

  • The British were able to sustain large-scale war through borrowing over £25 million annually in the crucial later years of the Napoleonic Wars, which gave them a decisive advantage, to Napoleon’s amazement. This allowed them to endure the costs of war better than France despite their smaller size.

  • France’s economy was complicated - the Revolution initially hurt activity but mobilized resources for war production, stimulating industries. Napoleon’s reforms aided modernization. However, growth was slower than Britain’s, especially in agriculture which changed little.

  • French industry was protected but less competitive as it turned inward due to the naval blockade cutting off Atlantic trade. Regions near land borders fared better. Overall the economy became more localized and uncompetitive.

  • Despite this relatively backward economy, France remarkably financed decades of major war through various financial mechanisms and plunder from conquered lands and enemies. Huge sums were extracted this way to cover military spending.

  • However, French casualties mounted in successive victories, depleting experienced troops. While Napoleon continued victories, cracks began to emerge in his previously invincible system as manpower reserves dwindled.

  • Stubborn and resentful Austrians had a sizable army. This would be important in the near future as tensions rose.

  • Napoleon’s campaign in Spain in 1808 did not fully decide the outcome as he thought. Dispersing formal Spanish armies led to guerilla warfare, which was harder to suppress and strained French logistics. Denied local food, the French army depended on precarious supply lines.

  • By making Spain and Portugal a battlefield, Napoleon unintentionally gave Britain an opportunity to intervene on land and support local forces like Wellington’s. The 25,000 casualties suffered by Massena’s army in 1810-1811 trying to take Lisbon showed the “Spanish ulcer” could not be resolved.

  • This weakened France while relieving pressure on Britain both strategically and commercially. With friendly instead of hostile Spain, British exports recovered and the damage from the Continental System eased temporarily.

  • However, the overstretched French system was built on contradiction, conquering other peoples against their will. Resentment grew along with economic controls, setting the stage for the system’s collapse once key setbacks occurred.

  • The period from 1815-1885 saw the growth of an integrated global economy centered in Western Europe, especially Britain. Advances in transportation and communications facilitated the rapid spread of industrialization and manufacturing across regions.

  • Britain emerged as the dominant economic power during this time through its industrial leadership and control over global colonial and trade networks. This brought immense wealth and solidified its great power status.

  • The turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars discouraged major power conflicts in Europe in favor of peace and stability enforced by bodies like the Concert of Europe and free trade agreements. This environment supported further commercial and industrial investment.

  • However, wars of conquest against less developed peoples intensified as European powers expanded their colonial empires economically and militarily.

  • There were still regional conflicts among European powers over territorial and nationality issues, but these tended to be limited in scope and duration compared to the preceding Napoleonic Wars. Only the American Civil War approached the scale of a major conflict during this period.

  • In summary, this era saw the rise of aBritish-led globalized economy but colonial expansion still involved ongoing military conflicts, while powers in Europe generally favored stability over war to support continued economic growth.

  • The Civil War was an exception to the rule that short, localized wars in the 19th century were determined more by existing military strengths rather than the long-term mobilization of resources. The Civil War’s outcome was influenced more by the North’s superior finances and economy compared to the South.

  • Industrial and technological changes in the late 19th century like railways, telegraphs, and new weapons began influencing military strengths more gradually. Commanders had not yet adapted strategies to these changes for European wars.

  • Uneven industrial and technological development among nations likely affected outcomes of mid-1800s wars more than financing alone. Wars were short so existing strengths mattered more than raising new funds. Defeats on the battlefield usually determined outcomes more than finances.

  • The text analyzes how the Industrial Revolution, increasing economic integration, and relative peace in Europe benefited some powers more than others and changed the global balance of power, with Britain becoming distinct from other powers by the 1860s as industrialization spread further.

  • Before the Industrial Revolution, economic differences between European and non-European societies like China and India were not huge, as agriculture was the main economic activity globally. However, the Industrial Revolution drastically increased productivity and wealth in Europe.

  • European industrialization transformed the global balance of power and wealth. As European shares of manufacturing output grew rapidly due to industrialization, shares of countries like China and India shrank relatively and in some cases absolutely as their traditional industries were decimated by cheaper European goods.

  • Per capita income levels diverged greatly by 1900, with European levels over 30 times higher than in China/India on average. populations grew in Asia without industrialization, further reducing per capita incomes there.

  • Technological advantages in weapons, transport, and industry gave Europe military dominance globally. By the late 19th century, the firepower gap allowed European forces to easily defeat non-European opponents.

  • Britain was the clear “winner” of this period, greatly enhancing its already strong global position through industrial leadership and expanding its vast economic and naval supremacy globally in the first half of the 19th century.

  • In the mid-Victorian period in the 1860s, Britain viewed itself as the dominant trading center of the world, with exports and imports flowing in from all corners of the globe. Economist Jevons described it as the “trading center of the universe.”

  • However, while Britain dominated industrial production and trade, its overall GDP was likely not the largest in the world given the huge agricultural output in China and Russia. Where Britain truly led was modern industrial wealth production.

  • Despite its economic strength, Britain’s industry and resources were not highly mobilized for warfare as they were not organized by the state for military purposes. The ideology of laissez-faire economics discouraged large military expenditures and state intervention in the economy.

  • As a result, Britain’s fighting power did not match the size of its economy. Its military expenditures and size of armed forces were quite small compared to other major powers of the time. This made Britain a different type of great power, relying more on other factors than direct military might.

  • These other strengths were naval dominance, with no challenge to British control of the seas, and expanding colonial empire facing few serious rivals for territory after 1815. However, Britain’s influence was often geographically restricted and it generally avoided direct military interventions on the European continent.

The passage discusses three areas of British distinctiveness and strength in the 19th century: colonial expansion, industrial and commercial activity, and finance.

Britain had a relatively small colonial army due to lack of pressure from other foreign powers in many tropical regions it colonized. Despite anti-imperial rhetoric, the British Empire continued expanding rapidly between 1815-1865 through both strategic acquisitions and settlement of white colonists.

Britain was the dominant global industrial and trading power, fueled by its financial sector. It exported huge amounts of capital investment abroad starting in the 1830s-1870s, complementing visible trade flows. This reduced Britain’s trade deficits and ensured economic growth at home and abroad. London became the center of global banking, shipping, and insurance networks.

However, two potential strategic weaknesses emerged from this economic structure. Britain helped develop industries and infrastructure in other nations that could eventually rival it. Also, its economy became highly dependent on international trade and finance, which could be disrupted during wars, threatening domestic prosperity. Most British were optimistic this would not undermine its power, but the passage notes all civilizations reach the top of the cycle at some point.

  • The economic and industrial development of continental European powers like Prussia between 1815-1848 lagged significantly behind Britain, as they started from a much lower base and suffered setbacks from the Napoleonic Wars. Modernization happened gradually due to lack of capital, demand, and official support.

  • Politically, the post-Napoleonic period was dominated by Metternich’s desire to maintain the status quo and stability. Conflicts that did occur were often reactionary attempts to suppress revolutionary/liberal threats. Territorial changes required great power consent.

  • Prussia’s position was affected by its domestic political tensions and divisions between western liberals and eastern conservatives. It struggled to assert itself against Austria in debates over German unification. At Olmütz in 1850, Prussia agreed to demobilize under Austrian/Russian pressure.

  • Prussia also feared provoking Russia, the dominant military power to its east. It tried to stay neutral in the Crimean War to avoid conflict with Russia even as it risked losing respect from Austria and western powers. Its position internationally remained subordinate during this period.

In this passage, the author portrays Prussia in the first half of the 19th century as a marginal participant on the international stage due to several constraints and weaknesses relative to other major powers. Some key points:

  • Prussia was disadvantaged by its geography and overshadowed by more powerful neighbors like Austria and Russia.

  • Internal political crises and disagreements limited Prussia’s ability to utilize its strengths like its army, education system, and administrative capabilities on the international level.

  • Prussia was incapable of playing a larger role in international affairs and emerged from its “near-second-class status” only after 1860 when internal political issues were overcome and industrial development increased.

  • While facing difficulties, Prussia’s problems were less daunting compared to the heterogeneous Habsburg Empire which struggled more with its diverse ethnic makeup, lack of economic development, and weaknesses like funding its multi-ethnic army.

So in summary, the passage portrays Prussia in the early 19th century as a marginal participant on the international stage due to constraints from foreign powers and inner weaknesses, though not as disadvantaged as the Habsburg Empire according to the author.

  • The French military’s capacity was constrained after the Napoleonic Wars drained French finances and left the country with a large public debt. Military spending as a share of revenues declined significantly between 1817-1848.

  • When crises arose requiring more military spending, such as in 1848-1849 or 1859-1860, the increases were never enough to bring the army up to full strength. Budgets were quickly cut back after crises passed.

  • French military budgets never kept pace with those of other major powers like France, Britain, Russia, and later Prussia. Administrative inefficiencies also meant budget funds were not well spent. As a result, French military strength did not match the wars it might be called upon to fight.

  • However, despite setbacks, France’s position was still significantly better than Prussia or Austria in terms of national income, population size and homogeneity, ability to afford large armies and navies, and industrial competitiveness through much of the early-mid 19th century.

So in summary, the passage outlines how French military capacity was constrained by financial burdens after the Napoleonic Wars, with spending and army strength failing to keep up with other powers, but France still maintained relative advantages over some like Prussia and Austria.

  • While Russia remained a major military power in the early 19th century with a large army, its economic and technological strength was declining relative to other powers like Britain and Germany.

  • Russia’s total GDP and population grew significantly in the 1800s, but its per capita GDP fell far behind Western European nations as others industrialized faster. Russia was losing its position as Europe’s leading iron producer and became more dependent on imports.

  • Despite some modernization like railroads and factories, Russia’s lack of capital, small middle class, vast distances, and autocratic state made industrial takeoff more difficult than elsewhere in Europe.

  • It was not until the Crimean War in 1854-1856 that Russia’s declining economic and military strength relative to powers like Britain became fully evident. The war exposed weaknesses in Russia’s industrial and logistical capabilities.

  • So in summary, while still influential politically and militarily in the early 1800s, Russia’s economic and technological power erosion relative to leading Western nations accelerated in the decades after 1815 due to faster industrialization elsewhere. This growing weakness was revealed in its poor performance in the Crimean War.

  • The Russian army’s garrison duties were largely focused on “police” actions in Poland and Ukraine, as well as border patrols and military colonies. However, this left the army inefficient for major campaigns. For example, 11,000 casualties in the Hungarian campaign were almost all due to disease, not actual combat.

  • The Crimean War (1854-1855) exposed Russia’s military backwardness. Forces could not be concentrated effectively due to threats from allies in the Baltic and the possibility of Austrian or Swedish intervention elsewhere. Fighting the Turks in the Caucasus and defending territories in the Far East also stretched resources thin.

  • When Anglo-French forces invaded Crimea, the Russian army lacked the capability to repel the invasion. At sea as well, while Russia had a sizable navy, it was outmatched by the industrialized fleets of its enemies.

  • On land, Russian infantry fought well but the cavalry and equipment like muskets were inferior. Leadership problems, lack of trained mid-level officers, and inefficient reserves also hindered the army’s effectiveness.

  • Logistically, moving troops and supplies was enormously difficult given Russia’s lack of rail infrastructure and reliance on horse-drawn transport on poor roads. Equipment and supply stockpiles were depleted rapidly.

  • Financially, the war was a heavy burden and the blockade caused economic difficulties, requiring borrowing and inflationary measures. Performance issues across the military exposed deep flaws in the Russian state and its ability to wage modern war.

This passage summarizes some key aspects of the Crimean War and its implications for Britain and Russia:

  • The war exposed weaknesses in Britain’s small standing army and reliance on sea power when facing a major continental opponent like Russia. It had to greatly increase military spending to make up for past neglect.

  • Even with increased spending, Britain struggled due to its small army size and reliance on allies like France. When France pushed for peace and Austria stayed neutral, Britain could not continue the war alone against Russia.

  • The war shocked and weakened Russia militarily and economically. It drove major reforms like abolishing serfdom and increasing industrialization and infrastructure development.

  • However, it was unclear if Russia could modernize fast enough to keep pace economically and militarily with western European powers in the long run given its huge, poor peasant population. The war reduced Russia’s standing in Europe.

  • The passage then contrasts the economic trajectories of the US and Russia up to the Civil War, noting the US had significantly higher productivity and standards of living despite a smaller population, putting it on the path to becoming a global economic power.

  • The Civil War transformed the US into a military giant through its demands, showing the potential economic resources it could mobilize, though at tremendous human cost.

The American Civil War demonstrated how industrialization and total mobilization of resources could affect warfare. The Union won due to vast advantages in population, economy, industry, transportation infrastructure like railways, and naval power.

Despite early Confederate successes, the disparities in size and economic strength eventually took their toll. The Union could continually replenish and expand its forces and production, while the Confederacy struggled with lack of skilled workers, factories, and critical war materials. Union blockade and control of inland rivers strangled the South.

Confederate strategy relied on a long war of attrition to wear down Northern support, but this played into Union hands by allowing even greater mobilization over time. As the Southern economy collapsed under inflation and shortages, its military forces dwindled, leaving surrender inevitable against the Union’s unrelenting pressure and campaigns across multiple theaters. The Civil War established an “American way of war” through massive industrial-technological resource deployment.

  • The Habsburg army was weaker than France’s, and their leadership under General Gyulai was indecisive. However, military effectiveness is relative - the Habsburgs were still able to defeat the Italians on land and sea in 1866, even if they couldn’t defeat larger powers like France or Prussia.

  • The outcome of future conflicts would depend on factors like leadership, technology, and industrial strength on each side, not any automatic superiority.

  • The 1860s saw the first impacts of the Industrial Revolution on warfare through new weapons like breech-loading rifles and mobile artillery. It was unclear which would be more important, and the effects of new technology like railways depended on circumstances.

  • Prussia implemented sweeping military reforms in the 1860s centered around a short-service conscription system, the creation of a powerful General Staff led by Moltke, careful planning, and coordinated independent army corps. However, their system was not perfect and had weaknesses.

  • These reforms contributed to Prussia’s swift defeat of Austria in 1866, taking advantage of diplomatic isolation, concentric attacks, and Austria’s weaknesses. This strengthened Prussian dominance in Germany.

  • However, France still appeared stronger than Prussia in population and military experience going into the 1870s. But Prussia’s superior system led to their decisive defeat of France in 1870-71, overturning expectations and assumptions of French power.

  • The Prussian tactic of pushing forward quick-firing artillery often neutralized any advantages of the French mitrailleuse machine gun. Marshal Bazaine’s leadership of French forces was lethargic and incompetent.

  • In contrast, Prussian general Moltke was able to deftly rearrange plans to exploit opportunities, maintaining momentum of the invasion until French forces cracked. Though republican forces resisted for months, the German grip around Paris and northeast France tightened inexorably.

  • Prussia-Germany’s victory was a triumph of its superior military system, which effectively mobilized manpower. Behind this was Germany’s larger population, more rail lines, growing industry and production, advanced education system, and research institutes.

  • Germany’s rise dominated Europe for decades under Bismarck’s leadership. All roads now led to Berlin. Germany had to examine and reform areas like education, science, railroads, and military to try to regain parity.

  • The decade after 1871 involved a search for stability as countries adjusted. Germany was now the most powerful state in Europe in place of a previously weaker Prussia. Italy was also a new power but remained economically backward.

  • With France isolated and Austria-Hungary subdued, the chief checks on Germany were Russia and Britain. Bismarck assured them Germany was now satiated to avoid conflict and isolation. Germany remained within post-1871 boundaries for the time being.

  • The Eastern Crisis of 1876-1878 involving Bulgarian Christians and Russia’s military response against the Ottoman Empire shifted international attention from Europe to the Balkans and Black Sea region.

  • While Russia’s military performed well against the Ottomans, the crisis revealed weaknesses in Russia’s post-Crimean War military reforms. Russia was eventually compelled to accept compromise due to threatened British and Austrian intervention.

  • Bismarck skillfully brokered negotiations at the Congress of Berlin to achieve a peaceful resolution, reinforcing Germany’s central and stabilizing role in Europe.

  • The crisis strengthened Germany’s relative position through subsequent alliances tying Austria and Italy closer to Germany and away from France.

  • It reemphasized the longstanding rivalry between Britain and Russia in the Near East and Asia, further turning attention from Alsace-Lorraine and increasing reliance on Germany for neutrality.

  • These events highlighted the emergence of a “New Imperialism” and colonial conflicts outside of Europe that emphasized Germany’s growing diplomatic influence within the continent during this period of relative peace among European powers under Bismarck.

  • By the late 19th century, many observers sensed that the dynamics of world power were shifting away from Europe towards larger countries like the US and Russia. There was a growing belief that only the largest nation-states would remain truly independent.

  • Germany, hoping to be one of the future “world powers” like Russia, Britain, America, and itself, pushed to rapidly build up its navy. France also believed it had to advance to maintain its status against these new challenges.

  • Countries like Britain, France, and Austria-Hungary, which had long been established powers, faced maintaining their positions amid these changes. Newer powers like Germany, Italy, and Japan aimed to break through to what was called “world-political freedom” before it was too late.

  • Industrial productivity and internal development were increasingly seen as vital for countries to enhance their state power and survive in this competitive global environment dominated by the largest states. Geographic factors like location and vulnerabilities also greatly impacted countries’ fortunes.

  • Many of these forecasts of a more competitive, industrialized world dominated by the largest nation-states played out over the following decades, culminating in the transition to a bipolar world order by 1943.

  • There are three levels of causality that need to be considered in analyzing the shift to a bipolar world and the crisis of middle powers: 1) Changes in military-industrial capabilities as some states became more powerful, 2) Geopolitical, strategic and sociocultural factors influencing how each state responded, and 3) Diplomatic and political changes affecting success in wars.

  • By the late 19th century, technological advances like telegraphs, steamships and railways meant breakthroughs could spread more quickly, potentially shifting balances of power faster than before.

  • While economic strength doesn’t always equal military power, in an era of industrialized warfare the link was tightening. To understand shifts in balances of power, economic data on industrialization, population, steel production, energy consumption need to be examined.

  • Comparative data showed significant differences growing between strong and weak powers over time. Some like Germany, Russia and Japan industrialized rapidly in certain periods. Others like Britain and France grew more slowly.

  • Mere economic statistics don’t tell the whole story - factors like societal cohesion, strategic positions, diplomatic skills also impacted a nation’s effectiveness as a great power.

  • Newer powers Italy, Germany and Japan emerged in the late 19th century but showed significant differences in actual strength and grand strategic effectiveness despite some similarities like building naval forces and allying with older powers.

  • Italy had newly unified in the late 19th century but faced significant economic weaknesses, including a large rural illiterate population and reliance on British coal imports. While it gained status as a Great Power, its industrial and economic strength was modest compared to other powers.

  • Italian society also lacked national cohesion and unity. Loyalties remained local and regional rather than national. North-South divisions persisted, and the Catholic Church was hostile to the state. Recruitment and deployment of armed forces was challenging.

  • Militarily, Italy had performed poorly against Ethiopia in 1896 and financially disastrously in Libya in 1911-1912. Its army and navy, while sizable on paper, raised doubts about effectiveness.

  • Diplomatically, Italy’s alliance with Germany gave it protection but its interests conflicted with Austria-Hungary as well. By 1914 it had moved closer to Britain and France out of ambivalence towards Germany and distrust of Austria-Hungary.

  • In summary, Italy remained a weaker and less reliable Great Power due to economic backwardness, societal divisions, and strategic-military weaknesses, though its participation was still viewed as preferable to its opposition.

  • Japan underwent major reforms to modernize based on the Prussian/German model, including legal, educational, calendar, and dress changes.

  • The military and navy were also modernized with help from Britain and Prussia, and Japanese officers received foreign training. Infrastructure like railways and shipping were developed.

  • The government encouraged industry like iron, steel, shipbuilding and textiles through subsidies and exports boomed. Behind this was a goal of a “rich country with strong army.”

  • However, most Japanese still worked in agriculture by WW1 and literacy/industrialization lagged other powers. Geography isolated Japan while its culture fostered nationalism and militarism.

  • These factors, combined with victories over China and Russia established Japan as a regional power, though it relied on foreign loans and alliances.

  • Germany’s rise directly impacted Europe’s power balances. By WW1 it had surpassed all powers in population, education, industry and military strength through explosive growth, making it the most powerful state in Europe and challenging its position.

  • Germany experienced significant industrialization and economic growth in the late 19th century, particularly in coal, steel, chemicals, dyes, electrical industries, and manufacturing. It became the dominant economic power in Europe.

  • German agriculture also modernized through advanced techniques like chemical fertilizers, increasing crop yields above other major powers. Tariff protections supported farming.

  • This economic success strengthened Germany’s industrial and military capabilities. It built the second largest merchant marine and navy after Britain. Its army was modernized through reserves and technology.

  • However, Germany was geographically surrounded by other major powers threatened by its growth, including France, Russia, and Britain. Its expansion alarmed its neighbors and drove them to align against Germany.

  • While other countries like the U.S., Japan, Britain, France, and Russia could expand their influence internationally, Germany had few opportunities for overseas colonial expansion due to opposition from other colonial powers. This frustrated German nationalism seeking international influence and territory.

  • Bismarck had previously pursued diplomacy to convince neighbors Germany did not seek further territorial gains, but his successors were more nationalist and aggressive in seeking a changed international order that accommodated German power. This damaged German diplomacy and alignments.

  • Imperial Germany had weaknesses in its political system and decision-making process that exacerbated tensions between different state departments and interest groups. There was no overarching authority to set priorities and coordinate policies.

  • The German navy focused solely on confronting England, the army planned to eliminate France, while financiers wanted to expand into the Balkans and diminish Russian influence. This led to Germany challenging others without weakening any, according to Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg.

  • Domestic political fissures in Germany, like tensions between the Junker elite and rising labor movements, also influenced foreign policy aims to divert attention and gain popularity through expansive foreign goals.

  • The Austro-Hungarian Empire, while undergoing industrialization and economic growth, had significant weaknesses like enormous regional economic disparities mirroring ethnic divisions across its territories. It also struggled with nationality tensions among Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian, South Slavic and other groups challenging imperial unity. Despite investments, Austria-Hungary remained relatively less industrialized than other Great Powers. Its diverse population presented major challenges to cohesion.

  • Austria-Hungary faced significant internal divisions due to its multi-ethnic population. Liberal voices called for compromises to address South Slav aspirations, but Hungarian nationalists resisted any changes to Hungary’s status. This opened the door for nationalists to argue threats should be dealt with through force.

  • These internal issues undermined Austria-Hungary’s power in several ways. It was difficult to rely on the loyalty of non-German regiments in some situations. Resources were spent appeasing ethnic groups rather than the military. Defense spending was much lower than other powers.

  • Externally, Austria-Hungary faced threats from multiple neighbors due to its geography and ethnic tensions. It had to plan for potential conflicts against Italy, Russia, Romania, Serbia, and more - an immense challenge. Support from Germany was needed in most major conflicts.

  • By 1914, Austria-Hungary’s strategic position was precarious. It tried to act as a great power but had second-rate resources. Its operational planning reflected the likely collapse of the empire if nationalist tensions continued. This threatened European stability.

This passage discusses several internal constraints on French power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries:

  1. Politics had a negative impact on the navy and army. Frequent changes in government and ministers led to inconsistency in naval strategy and damaged civil-military relations in the army.

  2. The economy grew in some areas like banking, steel, engineering and automobiles. However, France lagged significantly behind Germany industrially. Its GDP, steel production, coal production and other metrics were only around 40-60% of Germany’s.

  3. Agriculture remained a drag, accounting for 40% of the workforce but slowing productivity growth. Tariffs protected inefficient small farms.

  4. Population growth was much slower than Germany’s, giving it less national wealth and tax revenue over time.

  5. As a result, while France mobilized a large army proportional to its population through conscription, it could not keep up militarily with Germany’s greater industrial capacity and manpower potential, leaving it in a “condition of unacceptable inferiority.”

So in summary, politics damaged the military, the economy lagged Germany’s, agriculture inefficient, and slower population growth undermined France’s ability to compete militarily with Germany over the long run.

  • France was psychologically geared up for war after resolving colonial disputes with Britain and improving its international standing through alliances with Russia and the developing understanding with Britain. However, France was not strong enough to oppose Germany alone and needed its allies to have a chance of withstanding Germany in a war.

  • British power appeared immense due to its vast global empire in terms of both territory and population. However, Britain’s relative power had been declining since the 1830s as other nations industrialized and grew stronger militarily and economically. While Britain maintained naval superiority, it faced challenges from rising powers like Germany, the US, and Russia across multiple regions simultaneously.

  • The erosion of British industrial and economic leadership meant its military, naval, and imperial power would gradually diminish over time as well. By the late 19th century, Britain was no longer able to remain strongly preeminent everywhere and had to make strategic tradeoffs of forces between various imperial theaters of operations. Both France and Britain felt more secure due to their respective alliances but acknowledged intrinsic weaknesses vis-a-vis Germany alone.

  • Between 1820-1840, Britain’s productivity grew around 3% annually, but slowed to around 1.5% between 1875-1894, far less than its chief rivals like the US and Germany.

  • This loss of industrial supremacy was felt as British exports were priced out of markets and faced new tariffs, while imported foreign goods flooded the domestic market.

  • By 1880, Britain comprised 22.9% of world manufacturing output, but only 13.6% by 1913. Its share of world trade fell from 23.2% in 1880 to 14.1% by 1911-1913.

  • Imperialists were concerned that relative economic decline would weaken Britain’s power and ability to defend itself in an industrialized war requiring machinery, steel, etc. They advocated tariff reform and closer imperial ties.

  • However, the severity of decline was sometimes exaggerated. Key industries like shipbuilding and textiles remained strong. Britain also had significant wealth from investments and colonies providing resources in war.

  • While land defenses grew difficult, British sea power and island position remained advantageous. Colonies provided bases and reinforcements. Britain had buffers and room for compromise abroad.

  • Strategic reviews led to compromising on less vital issues like disputes with the US, but standing firm on areas like controlling the Nile Valley, reflecting Britain’s global commitments and priorities.

  • In the decades before WWI, Great Britain’s industrial and commercial lead over other powers like the US and Germany diminished, though it remained the strongest naval power and probably the top world power overall. However, maintaining this position created challenges as other countries grew stronger.

  • Britain sought to diplomatically manage rising tensions through efforts like those by Lord Salisbury and Sir Edward Grey to maintain good relations with Germany, while avoiding firm commitments that could draw it into wars. This balanced many interests but also led to ambiguous policies.

  • Russia was also considered one of the great powers due to its huge size, population, and military forces. Its industries and infrastructure like railways expanded rapidly in this period. However, Russia also exhibited significant weaknesses - its industrialization relied heavily on foreign investment and expertise, and most of its people still worked in agriculture rather than industry. Overall, Russia exhibited both growing power and immature development.

  • In 1913, Russia’s level of industrialization and industrial potential per capita was far less than Germany and Britain - only about 1/4 of Germany’s and 1/6 of Britain’s.

  • Around 80% of Russia’s population depended on agriculture. The rapid population growth occurred in rural, backward areas with inefficient farming methods. Crop yields were much lower than in Western Europe.

  • Agricultural output grew only about 2% annually, but population grew 1.5% annually, so gains were eroded. National product per capita grew only about 1% annually, far less than other major economies.

  • Industrialization was state-driven to make Russia a great power but squeezed consumption and taxed peasants heavily. Military spending far outpaced education/health spending.

  • Rapid industrialization outpaced societal modernization. Workers faced poor living/working conditions, fueling unrest. Strikes and protests were on the rise from 1912-1914.

  • Peasant unrest was a constant threat, with frequent uprisings against landlords and rents. Breaking up communes under Stolypin led to more unrest. Troops were used often to quell disorder.

  • Ethnic minorities also resented Russification policies. Overall Russia had a precarious sociopolitical situation on the eve of WWI that a defeat could exacerbate into major conflagrations.

  • Militarily, Russia had shown weaknesses against Japan and its industrial/economic development lagged further and further behind Germany’s intensive growth, casting doubt on its prospects in a major war.

  • The essay argues that while Russia appeared powerful based on traditional military metrics like troop numbers, armaments, etc., a modern war involved much more than just armies.

  • Russia was economically and technologically backward compared to nations like Germany. Its literacy rate was only 30% in 1913.

  • Its military had shortages of trained officers and NCOs. Artillery, machine guns, communications were below standards of nations like Germany.

  • Its railway network was inadequate for the vast size of the empire and mobilizing troops, with underdeveloped infrastructure. Significant logistical challenges in deployment.

  • The political leadership under Czar Nicholas II was weak, ineffective, and not adept at governance, administration, or reforms needed to modernize the state and military.

  • While Russia was growing industrially and militarily each year, it faced challenges that its looming conflict with Germany was coming too early, before it could catch up to more developed nations in areas beyond just troop numbers. Overall military and national power was more questionable than surface-level metrics suggested.

  • The passage discusses the rising power of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It grew rapidly after the Civil War by exploiting vast natural resources and adopting modern technology like railroads.

  • American agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and industries like steel production expanded at unprecedented rates. By 1914, the US surpassed other major powers in many economic indicators like GDP, industrial output, and energy consumption.

  • This rapid growth was facilitated by factors like abundant land, resources, capital investment, lack of foreign threats, and large immigrant workforce. The US combined efficiency, technological prowess, and scale across industries.

  • By 1914, the US was the world’s largest producer of many goods. Its growing economic dominance relative to Europe was evident from national income and GDP per capita statistics. Some predicted it would overtake Europe economically by 1925 without a major war.

  • While foreign trade played a small role in the US economy, its exports of goods disrupted markets elsewhere and stoked trade tensions. Rising American agricultural exports especially threatened European farmers.

  • The US’s enormous trade surpluses also impacted global financial and monetary systems in ways that were not fully understood at the time. Its growing power posed challenges to the European order that had dominated world politics and economics for centuries.

  • The U.S. was running a large trade deficit with Europe, as European investments in U.S. industry totaled around $7 billion by 1914. Some of the capital outflow was reversed by returns on investments and American payments for services, but the overall drain on gold reserves was growing.

  • The U.S. financial system was underdeveloped compared to Europe. Much of its foreign trade was done in sterling and London acted as the lender of last resort for gold. There was no central bank to regulate markets.

  • This made the U.S. economy unpredictable and prone to impacting global financial systems, as demonstrated by the 1907 banking crisis.

  • Growing U.S. industry and trade led to a more assertive American diplomacy focused on expanding markets. This included disputes over borders in Latin America, Canada, and the canal in Panama.

  • Under McKinley and especially Roosevelt, the U.S. became more interventionist globally but still avoided alliances. This included assertions in China and involvement in conflicts like the Russo-Japanese War.

  • Navy expenditures grew substantially to project power abroad in line with Mahan’s naval strategy theories. However, the army remained small and the U.S. spent less than 1% of GDP on defense overall.

  • Despite greater global involvement, the U.S. was not formally part of the European power system due to its isolationist tendencies and separation by oceans.

  • In the early 20th century, the global power dynamics were changing as countries formed rigid alliance blocs for mutual defense in potential future wars. This included the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy countered by the Franco-Russian alliance.

  • This alliance system affected European geopolitics but did not directly involve more distant powers like the US and Japan at the time. Most countries also shifted focus from colonial expansion to tensions in the Balkans and North Sea after 1906.

  • Imperial rivalries indirectly impacted European relations as well, as countries resolved strategic issues through compromises and new alliances. This included Britain settling issues with the US and allying with Japan, improving relations with France, and eventually forming the Entente with France and Russia against Germany by 1904-1905.

  • So while the US remained detached from direct involvement in European affairs in 1913, the evolving global power dynamics and alliance system due to imperial rivalries still challenged pre-WW1 assumptions and drew more countries into the growing tensions that would lead to war.

  • Japan’s victory over Russia in the 1904-1905 war weakened Russia significantly and tipped the military balance in Europe in Germany’s favor. If Germany had attacked France at this time in 1905, the prospects for victory would have been better than in 1870.

  • However, Kaiser Wilhelm was concerned about unrest at home and wanted to improve relations with Russia, so Germany did not pursue war. Instead, they pursued diplomatic victories like forcing Delcasse from office in France.

  • Several events reinforced tensions in Europe, including the 1907 Anglo-Russian entente, the 1908-1909 naval race between Britain and Germany, and Austrian annexation of Bosnia which angered Russia.

  • The two Moroccan crises of 1905 and 1911 further increased tensions and nationalist sentiment in Germany and Britain. Military sizes increased across Europe.

  • The Balkan wars destabilized the region and threatened key interests of the great powers like Austria and Russia.

  • When Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, Austria’s actions against Serbia and the ensuing chain of diplomatic and military responses led to war, fueled in part by pre-existing allied commitments and military mobilization timetables.

  • The alliance system meant that even if one nation was defeated, they could continue fighting supported by allies, making the war prolonged rather than swiftly decided as initially expected. Victory would go to the side with the most resources and ability to outlast the others.

The combination of both military/naval and financial/industrial/technological resources was greatest for the Allied powers coalition, which included Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Japan, and later the United States. Militarily, the Allies had larger armies than the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary at the start of the war. But the Central Powers had stronger industrial resources and technology as shown in the tables comparing indices.

Britain’s entry into the war on the side of the Allies was critical. While Britain’s army was initially small, its vast navy could blockade Germany and the overseas empire provided economic and diplomatic advantages. Britain also had huge industrial capacity and financial resources that could supply loans, munitions, and payments for a growing army on the Western Front. So the addition of Britain meant the Allies had a significant resource superiority over the Central Powers in materials of war, even if not an overwhelming one. However, exploiting this advantage proved difficult due to the nature and geography of the land war in Europe.

The front lines in World War 1 often swayed back and forth without either side able to achieve a decisive breakthrough. Both sides had deep defensive positions and could mobilize reserves and resupply artillery when needed to stalemate the next clash. Late in the war, no army found a way to advance through enemy defenses without heavy counterattacks.

Germany had some specific advantages that prolonged the stalemate. They had seized the high ground in France and Belgium in 1914, forcing the Allies to attack uphill. Germany also had better internal rail lines, allowing them to shift divisions between fronts more easily to compensate for being surrounded by enemies.

The pattern saw massive casualties on both sides but no victory, as the fighting took a huge economic and financial toll but output of arms increased on both sides without breaking the deadlock. Germany was able to hold its position in the west while launching offensives in the easier terrain of the east. The Allies took the main burden early on but could not instantly mobilize to victory. By 1917 the French and Russians were exhausted from the strain, and new British armies alone did not ensure victory in the west. This stalemate could only be broken by economic or political collapse of one side.

  • Russia faced two major challenges in World War 1. First, its army struggled against the more efficient German army. Second, as the war progressed and Turkey joined the Central Powers, Russia became strategically isolated with little ability to secure military or economic aid from its allies.

  • Russia had to greatly expand domestic arms production to make up for rapidly depleting ammunition stocks, straining its inadequate transportation network. Infrastructure issues prevented efficient movement of troops, supplies, and weapons.

  • Militarily, Russia performed credibly at first, but suffered huge losses against Germany that depleted troop quality over time. By late 1916, casualties exceeded 5 million and unrest was growing.

  • France also relied heavily on arms production but could not have sustained this without critical imports of fuel, raw materials, loans, and food from British and American allies. Allied shipping was also vital.

  • France bore the brunt of fighting initially but replacements became harder. British and later American forces progressively relieved French troops on the Western Front from 1916-1918. Coordinated Allied offensives were needed to ultimately defeat Germany.

The British strategists initially imagined sending a small expeditionary force to France to hold off the German offensive until the larger Russian and French armies could advance into Germany. However, the British were unprepared for large-scale continental operations. It took 1-2 years to build up over 1 million British troops in France.

The massive expansion of British munitions production revealed deficiencies that were slowly corrected. Government spending on arms skyrocketed, rising from £91 million in 1913 to over £1.9 billion in 1918.

While the British command of the seas via the Royal Navy was a strategic advantage, they were unprepared for unrestricted German submarine warfare starting in early 1917. Military encounters with the German army in battles like the Somme and Passchendaele proved enormously costly in casualties but did not produce decisive results.

By mid-1917 Britain had assumed leadership of the Allied war effort, though France and Russia still had larger armies. Britain also functioned as the main financier, guaranteeing loans raised by the other Allies. However, this made the Allies increasingly dependent on U.S. financial support as Britain incurred a huge trade deficit supplying the Allies.

Germany displayed formidable military and industrial strength but faced its own mounting issues, like severe manpower shortages, as the war dragged on due to massive casualties on the Western Front.

  • The Hindenburg Program in Germany neglected agriculture to focus on munitions, leading to plummeting agricultural production and rising food prices. This brought Germany close to starvation by late 1918.

  • In early 1917, the tide seemed to be turning in Germany’s favor as Russia collapsed into chaos and France/Italy appeared near that fate. Germany still had an overall military advantage.

  • However, America’s entry into the war in 1917 transformed the economic balances greatly in the Allies’ favor. America had unequaled industrial potential and manufacturing output that exceeded Germany’s strained economy.

  • While the US army was unprepared, America could produce immense amounts of supplies, ships, and eventually fresh troops for the Allies. This more than compensated for Russia’s collapse.

  • Ludendorff launched Germany’s final offensive in 1918 with numerical superiority, but it was an “all or nothing” gamble as Germany’s resources were depleted. The offensive achieved initial successes but ultimately failed as Allied resources, including American troops, grew considerably larger than Germany’s depleted forces.

  • By late 1918, Germany was collapsing from defeats at the front combined with internal discontent, ending both the military bid and the old political order in Europe. America’s entry tipped the long-term economic and manpower balances decisively against the Central Powers.

  • The postwar international order after World War 1 saw the breakup of the German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires and the emergence of new nation states in Central and Eastern Europe. Germany also lost territory and faced disarmament restrictions under the Treaty of Versailles.

  • The USA retreated into isolationism after 1920 despite being the most powerful nation. International affairs thus focused on France, Britain, and the League of Nations where they were prominent.

  • France sought security guarantees against Germany through alliances with neighboring states and the Locarno Treaty. Financial issues around reparations and war debts also caused tensions.

  • Underlying the order was fragility as Europe suffered immense population and economic losses from the war totaling tens of millions of casualties. Ongoing conflicts in places like Russia also contributed to instability compared to earlier periods dominated by Austria and Prussia.

  • The human and economic costs of WWI were unprecedented and devastated many parts of Europe. An estimated 60 million people may have died overall from the war and subsequent 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, with Russia, France, Germany and Italy heavily impacted.

  • The material destruction was also immense, with hundreds of thousands of homes and farms destroyed across northern France, Poland and Serbia. Vast areas of land were left unfit for agriculture. Overall wartime economic losses totaled around $260 billion, about 6.5 times all accumulated national debt prior to WWI.

  • While Europe’s economies were badly damaged, countries like the US, Canada, Australia and South America saw their economies stimulated by wartime industrial and resource demands. Global economic balances shifted significantly in favor of these latter regions.

  • Financing the war mostly through government borrowing rather than taxes led to a crisis after the war as debts piled up. Monetary instability and hyperinflation hit parts of Europe hard in the early 1920s. Ongoing disputes over reparations and debts further strained relations.

  • Though stability returned by the mid-1920s, the international financial system was restructured in a way that made it more volatile, dependent on short-term US loans rather than long-term Bank of England-style support for development. This created fragilities that would be revealed in the 1930s.

  • Short-term lending was being used for long-term projects like agriculture, increasing pressure on farm prices. Debts from this were rising quickly since exports couldn’t pay them off, requiring more borrowing to sustain the system.

  • The system started breaking down in 1928 when the US business boom ended and interest rates rose, reducing capital outflows. The 1929 Wall Street crash further reduced lending and credit.

  • Reduced investment and consumption due to lack of credit depressed demand. Producers responded by ramping up supply, collapsing prices and making it hard to buy manufactured goods.

  • Deflation, currency devaluations, trade restrictions and debt defaults impacted the global trade and credit system. Tariffs like Smoot-Hawley made it harder for countries to earn dollars and led to trade-damaging retaliation.

  • By 1932 industrial production and world trade had sharply declined from 1928 levels. The weakened economic situation increased nationalism and raised tensions, politically and internationally. Democracies struggled with these issues.

  • The interconnected global economic system dissolved into factions like currency blocks led by different countries. Countries also turned toward economic nationalism and autarky ahead of rising geopolitical conflicts. Mass public opinion also increasingly shaped international affairs during this volatile period.

  • After WWI, many countries kept large militaries out of continued fear of a powerful Germany reviving. However, public sentiment in these countries favored disarmament and social reform over continued military buildup.

  • The Soviet Union offered an alternative system that supposedly escaped the Great Depression, though it was also widely disliked. Meanwhile, fascist states like Germany, Italy, and Japan were aggressively anti-communist and rejected the post-WWI status quo.

  • Colonial unrest was also increasing as independence movements grew in places like Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Nationalism was on the rise due to factors like exposure to Western ideas, economic exploitation during the war, and propaganda about self-determination.

  • The “German question” remained unresolved after WWI. Germany still possessed significant potential power and nationalist sentiments fueled demands for territorial revisionism. The adjustment of Germany’s place in Europe was complicated by an imbalanced postwar power structure with no clear constraints on German expansionism. France felt especially insecure without strong allies to constrain Germany.

  • France endeavored to turn the League of Nations into an organization dedicated to preserving the status quo of the post-WW1 settlements and resisted suggestions that Germany be allowed to rearm to France’s level. This fueled German resentment and helped right-wing extremism.

  • France also supported the new Eastern European states (Poland, Czechoslovakia etc.) that were created after WW1 to check German expansionism. However, these states were not ethnically coherent and had large minority populations, fueling tensions. Their economic barriers also hindered development.

  • Germany was a more natural trading partner for these states due to proximity and economic ties. This meant Eastern Europe could again fall under German economic dominance. The League of Nations failed to effectively address these political and economic issues.

  • While the postwar settlements aimed to stabilize Europe, the resulting tensions and imbalances would help plunge the continent back into war just 20 years later. The deficiencies of diplomats in the 1930s must be understood in this complex context of lingering postwar issues and new challenges like the Great Depression.

  • The electrochemical industry and production of rayon and artificial fibers progressed in Italy during this time. Automobile production increased as well.

  • Italy’s aeronautical industry was considered one of the most innovative in the world during this period, setting numerous aviation records.

  • Military spending increased significantly during the 1930s under Mussolini, reaching over 10% of national income. New battleships, submarines, and investments in the air force were made to rival other European powers.

  • However, Italy remained economically backward compared to other major powers. Agriculture dominated the economy and productivity was low. Industrialization had not progressed much.

  • Rearmament put strain on the economy and resulted in the armed forces becoming quickly obsolete as technology advanced rapidly. The navy, air force, and especially the army lacked modern equipment by the late 1930s compared to Germany and others.

  • Italy’s economic weaknesses meant it could never hope to defeat a major power in war. Its rapid rearmament programs did not allow time for forces to modernize before conflict erupted. Obsolescence was a major problem hampering Italian military capabilities.

The passage discusses the challenges faced by nations in upgrading their military capabilities during the 1930s due to technological advances. New weapons like radar, early naval and antisubmarine detection equipment significantly increased costs. Nations had to ensure they had the necessary machine tools, industrial capacity, engineers and spare production facilities to switch to improved models. They also had to balance continuing older production lines while testing and adopting new systems.

These dilemmas exacerbated existing economic pressures. Rearmament strained national economies, access to resources, and ability to pay for imports of strategic materials. Table 27 shows the disparities in reported defense spending by major powers from 1930-1938.

Italy struggled due to underinvestment in armaments prior to 1935, then overspending on its campaigns in Abyssinia and Spain from 1935-1937. This drained resources instead of modernizing forces. By 1940, Italy lacked modern tanks, planes, weapons, carriers or radar and was in a far weaker position for war. Leadership, personnel quality and culture did not compensate and instead added to weaknesses. Mussolini further undermined capabilities.

Japan posed a greater challenge due to rapid industrialization and growth since WW1. By 1938, it surpassed France in manufacturing and was catching up to Britain. While economic problems remained, Japan was growing notably stronger militarily if expansion had continued peacefully.

  • In the early 1930s, Japan faced economic difficulties due to rising imports and falling exports. Seeking raw materials and markets, Japan expanded militarily into Manchuria.

  • Despite economic issues, Japan dramatically increased defense spending in the 1930s through borrowing. By the late 1930s, the military consumed over 70% of government spending, more than wealthier democracies.

  • Japan built up large, modern naval and army forces in violation of arms limitations treaties. Both services grew significantly in the late 1930s through conscription and expansion programs.

  • However, military decision making was complicated by factions and civil-military disputes. The army and navy also lacked coordination and had different strategic goals in mind.

  • Japan’s 1937 invasion of China proved inconclusive and very costly. Extensive campaigns drained resources and increased reliance on imports.

  • By the late 1930s, Japan faced shortages of raw materials, fuel, and foreign currency due to the wars in China. This heightened the push to expand south for economic security.

  • While Japan could likely defeat European colonies in Asia, a war with the Soviet Union or United States presented major risks given their much larger military capabilities. Economic sanctions further backed Japan into a corner.

  • The passage discusses Japan’s planning for war with the United States in the lead up to 1941. It notes that Japan’s industrial potential was 7-10 times smaller than the US’s in 1938. Even highly patriotic Japanese like Admiral Yamamoto saw war with the US as folly.

  • It then contrasts Germany in the 1920s as the weakest of the dissatisfied great powers after WWI due to restrictions in the Treaty of Versailles. Though Germany recovered economically in the late 1920s, it was devastated by the Great Depression.

  • Hitler’s rise transformed Germany within years as he exploited opportunities presented by existing circumstances. Germany rearmed tremendously under Hitler’s policy of mobilizing the economy for expansion. However, this placed tremendous strain on Germany’s still recovering economy.

  • By 1938, over half of Germany’s government spending and 17% of its GDP went to arms. It was outspending Britain, France, and the US combined on arms. Rearmament increased the army from 100,000 men to over 100 divisions by 1939 and greatly expanded the air force and navy.

  • This rapid rearmament was chaotic and precarious for Germany’s economy in the short and long term. Competing branches pursued unrealistic expansion targets, straining resources and coordination in the absence of a coherent national plan.

  • Germany imposed strict controls on labor and industry to direct resources towards the arms industry, forcing high investment in weapons through taxation and deficit spending. However, even with government spending reaching 33% of GDP by 1938, demands from the military outpaced available resources.

  • The arms buildup clashed with Germany’s dependence on imported raw materials like oil, iron ore, and rubber. This exacerbated recurrent crises as stockpiles ran low and funds dried up to pay for imports.

  • As a result, Germany’s military power was not as strong as Hitler boasted or enemies feared by 1938-1939. Forces were large but underequipped, with limited reserves and supplies. Air power depended on weak opponents.

  • The rapid rearmament severely strained the economy, pushing Hitler to resort to war to alleviate difficulties and seize resources through conquest. Austria and Czechoslovakia provided economic boosts through territories, industries, gold, and currency reserves.

  • Continued conquest seemed necessary to fulfill Nazi ambitions but risked overextension, especially against major powers. Hitler hoped to limit fighting in 1939 to Poland while preparing for a larger war later. But his escalating demands and megalomania left no room to halt expansion.

  • In the 1930s, both Britain and France struggled economically and socially after World War 1. Their liberal democracies faced pressure from labor movements at home wanting changes.

  • Initially, France seemed stronger economically and diplomatically. But after 1933, its economy steadily declined as it clung to the gold standard while other countries abandoned it, hurting exports. Industry and incomes fell sharply.

  • This economic weakness hindered French rearmament. Defense spending declined even as a percentage of GDP. Production of planes, steel, and other arms lagged far behind the fast rearming Germany.

  • Deeper issues like social divisions over fascism, ideological clashes, and political instability weakened French society. This hurt civil-military relations and national morale as the Nazi threat grew.

  • The French military leadership was aging and resistant to new tactics like tanks and combined arms. Intelligence showed German rearmament but it was dismissed. Overall, France had become ill-prepared to withstand German aggression by the late 1930s due to economic, social, and military weaknesses.

This summary covers multiple points:

  • While French industry produced capable tanks like the SOMUA-35, there was no proper doctrine for their use due to failures in military command and training.

  • France could no longer rely on successful diplomacy and alliances as it had before WWI to overcome weaknesses, as German and Italian actions damaged its strategic position in the 1930s.

  • French strategy came to depend on gaining full British support in a future war with Germany given economic interdependence and need for naval blockade assistance.

  • However, Britain was a weak and uncertain ally due to domestic political/economic issues, public war fatigue, strategic ambivalence over European vs imperial concerns, and a relatively weakened industrial/economic position compared to its 1914 strength.

  • This undermined the logic of French strategic passivism that assumed Germany could be halted and resources would prevail if Britain joined, calling into question whether Britain could help check Germany as effectively as in 1914 given these weaknesses.

So in summary, it describes the deterioration of France’s strategic position diplomatically and militarily in the 1930s, its increased reliance on Britain, and issues questioning Britain’s ability to adequately support France against Germany compared to WWI given domestic realities.

The economic difficulties and vulnerabilities of the 1930s made British politicians acutely aware of the country’s fragile economic situation. While some recovery was beginning by 1934, the Treasury remained worried about Britain’s delicate international credit and balancing government budgets. This led Britain to prioritize paying its way in the world through balanced budgets and limiting spending, including on defense. Like France, Britain cut defense spending in the early 1930s as Germany and other dictator states increased theirs. Full rearmament only began in 1938 due to economic pressures. The British military also felt overstretched, unable to defend against threats from Germany, Italy, and Japan simultaneously with limited resources. This contributed to Britain pursuing a diplomacy of appeasement to reduce threats and find potential allies. However, potential allies like the US, Japan, and Italy had drifted away, leaving Britain and France increasingly isolated. While more could have been done differently, the fundamental economic and strategic problems facing Britain were immense and not easily solved by the late 1930s.

  • The attitudes and actions of the two “offstage superpowers” - the Soviet Union and United States - were major uncertainties for Britain and France as they dealt with fascist aggression in the 1930s.

  • The Soviet Union had been greatly weakened by World War 1 and the revolution/civil war, but was starting to recover economically in the late 1920s.

  • Stalin imposed brutal collectivization policies to rapidly industrialize, prioritizing industry and military over private consumption. This crushed agricultural production in the short-term but allowed huge investments in industry.

  • The policies led to staggering economic growth and industrial expansion under the first two Five-Year Plans, though at tremendous human costs like famine. Military and infrastructure also expanded rapidly through dedicated resources and education programs.

  • While precise output figures are uncertain, the Soviet recovery and growth far outpaced other nations through massive state direction of resources toward industry during the Depression years.

  • However, the attitudes of the USSR and US in confronting German and Japanese aggression remained major uncertainties complicating British and French strategic planning through the 1930s.

  • Soviet industrial output grew rapidly in the 1930s, with coal production increasing over 4x, steel production increasing over 4x, electricity output increasing 7x, machine tools increasing over 20x, and tractors increasing nearly 40x. By the late 1930s, Soviet industrial output had surpassed countries like France, Japan, and Italy, and likely Britain as well.

  • However, Soviet agriculture lagged behind and could not feed the nation or produce exports. Infrastructure like railways remained inadequate. Many industries relied on foreign expertise. Production processes were inflexible. Bottlenecks emerged due to mismatched development of raw materials and skilled labor.

  • Stalin’s purges in the late 1930s severely disrupted the economy by eliminating millions of trained professionals. Innovation and discussion were stifled by the terror.

  • Soviet military production grew tremendously in the 1930s but suffered from an overemphasis on quantity over quality. The purges decimated experienced officers. By 1939, the forces were weaker and less well-equipped despite large investments, leaving the USSR vulnerable.

So in summary, Soviet industrial and military capabilities grew rapidly but remained inadequate and disrupted due to agricultural, infrastructure, and human capital shortcomings, as well as the devastating impact of Stalin’s purges. The country remained threatened on multiple fronts by 1939.

  • In the late 1930s, the Soviet Union was rapidly increasing its military capabilities as tensions rose with Germany. Defense spending increased dramatically and Stalin pushed for faster industrialization to close the economic gap with Western powers.

  • However, defending against a potential threat from Japan in the East stretched Soviet resources thin. When Germany and the USSR agreed to a border truce in 1939, Zhukov’s forces were quickly recalled from Siberia to join the invasion of Poland.

  • In contrast, the United States emerged from WWI as the strongest economic power but declined sharply during the Great Depression of the 1930s. American isolationism also limited its political influence globally.

  • The US was hardest hit by the Depression due to its reliance on exports and foreign trade. Protectionism further damaged the US economy relative to others. As a result, by 1938 the US share of global manufacturing was at its lowest level in decades. This economic weakness reinforced America’s turn inward during this period.

  • This section discusses the unfolding international crises between 1931-1942, focusing on how national interests and domestic difficulties constrained the major powers’ responses.

  • After Japan’s seizure of Manchuria in 1931, Britain was too distracted by economic troubles at home to develop a coherent policy. Other powers like Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union had their own reasons for not challenging Japan.

  • The League of Nations’ investigations only delayed meaningful action while Japan continued its conquest. Reliance on the League alone was ineffective without backing from major powers’ armed forces.

  • National circumstances played a key role. For example, France wanted to cooperate but feared isolation, while Germany saw Japanese “revisionism” as a useful precedent in Europe.

  • The section argues viewing crises through both the broader diplomatic context and domestic pressures of major powers helps explain their often limited or delayed responses to unfolding regional conflicts and acts of aggression in the 1930s buildup to WWII.

  • France was worried about German rearmament but didn’t want complications in the Far East drawing attention and resources away from Germany. While publicly supporting League principles, it privately understood Japan’s concerns in China.

  • The US strongly condemned Japan’s actions as threatening open trade, but Hoover feared entanglements and Britain preferred pragmatism over crusading. This created distrust between the US and UK.

  • Japan’s takeover of Manchuria showed the League couldn’t prevent aggression and the western democracies couldn’t unite. Germany withdrew from disarmament talks without consequences.

  • Growing threats from Germany and Japan put strain on Anglo-French-American cooperation as their economic and military blocs diverged. Both Germany and Japan became less containable.

  • Events like Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia and Germany’s remilitarization of the Rhineland further weakened the League and status quo powers’ ability to check “revisionist” states without threatening war. The fascist states united while potential opponents fragmented.

  • By 1936-37, France was most negatively affected, with a weakening economy, divided politics, and destroyed security system in Europe, as the status quo broke down.

France’s position weakened considerably in the late 1930s. Germany reoccupied the Rhineland, undermining French defenses. The growing axis between Germany and Italy destabilized the region. Plans to fortify France’s northern border were interrupted by Belgium’s isolationism. The Spanish Civil War threatened to create a pro-Axis state near France.

In this difficult context, Britain under Prime Minister Chamberlain pursued an appeasement policy to satisfy Nazi grievances and prevent war. However, Hitler’s territorial ambitions could not be satisfied through small concessions. Germany annexed Austria in 1938 and dismantled Czechoslovakia at Munich, gaining military advantages each time appeasement was chosen over opposition.

By 1939, opportunities to avoid conflict were reduced. Germany’s absorption of Czechoslovakia boosted its military might, while the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact made war over Poland inevitable. Britain and France were tied to defending eastern Europe through guarantees but were now at a strategic disadvantage, lacking eastern allies and facing a Germany that had gainedExperience perfecting blitzkrieg tactics through the invasions of Poland, Denmark, Norway, and particularly the decisive defeat of France in 1940.

Here are the key points made in the summaries:

  • Germany’s quick victories in 1939-1940 against Poland, France, etc. revealed advantages in their military capabilities that seemed to negate Germany’s long-term economic vulnerabilities.

  • By winning decisively, Germany greatly expanded the resources available to its war machine through plundering defeated enemies and securing supply lines.

  • Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 changed the dimensions of the conflict by forcing Germany to fight on multiple fronts, straining their resources.

  • The scale of campaigning deep into Russia undermined Germany’s ability to wage quick, limited wars of maneuver and overwhelmed their logistical capabilities.

  • Japan’s moves south against Western colonies in Southeast Asia in late 1941 were a logical response to Western trade embargoes, but drew the powerful United States into the war on the Allied side.

  • The US entry into the war meant the Allied powers eventually had far superior industrial and material resources than the Axis. Within a year, a bipolar world was emerging as Churchill predicted, with the US and Britain/USSRcounte.

  • In early 1943, German forces were pushing close to Alexandria in North Africa while inflicting heavy losses on Allied convoys in the Atlantic with U-boats. However, Allied strategic bombing of Germany was not achieving its goals and led to high aircrew casualties.

  • Although the Axis powers were sealed after 1941, there was no outward sign they realized defeat was inevitable.

  • Churchill was correct that converting the war to a truly global conflict complicated Britain’s strategy but fundamentally altered the overall balance of forces in favor of the Allies once their newer members were mobilized.

  • The Allies began counteroffensives in the Pacific by blunting Japanese advances at Coral Sea and Midway in 1942, gaining control of naval air power. By late 1943 a huge American naval force supported the Gilbert Islands invasion.

  • In North Africa, the British had decisively defeated Rommel at El Alamein in late 1942 due to vastly superior forces, paving the way for the Allied invasion of North Africa in 1943.

  • U-boats were withdrawn from the North Atlantic in 1943 due to heavy losses against improved Allied antisubmarine warfare supported by intelligence from codebreaking.

  • On the Eastern Front, the Soviets maintained numerical superiority despite immense losses, setting the stage for their ultimate counteroffensive to Berlin supported by the Allies’ opening of a second front in Italy.

  • While the Axis made strategic errors that aided defeat, economic power alone did not determine military outcomes. Political and strategic failures on both the German and Japanese sides squandered advantages and resources.

  • The Germans were very effective tactically and operationally but overstretched their resources by trying to occupy large territories across Europe and North Africa. Their production capacity could not keep up with the growing Allied superiority.

  • Even victories like Midway or U-boat successes in 1942-43 did not alter the fundamental imbalance in productive capacity between the Allied and Axis powers. The Allies were rapidly outproducing losses in ships, tanks, aircraft and other military equipment.

  • By 1944, Soviet production greatly exceeded German levels across all major weapons categories like tanks, artillery and aircraft. Allied air superiority was also overwhelming.

  • The US economy and production, in particular, grew tremendously and ensured the Allies would eventually prevail through sheer material preponderance, even if German operations were very effective for a prolonged period.

  • Overall industrial and economic strength was much more disproportionate between the Allied and Axis sides compared to WWI, dooming Germany and Japan despite their battlefield accomplishments.

  • By 1943, German and Japanese arms production had increased substantially due to leadership changes and a focus on war production, but Allied production - especially American - increased even more.

  • The US saw an over eightfold increase in arms output between 1941-1943, meaning Allied production was over three times that of the Axis by 1943.

  • While new German/Japanese tactics could stall the Allies temporarily, their sheer industrial/military advantage ultimately overwhelmed the Axis.

  • Similarly in the Pacific, the US had the resources to wage large conventional wars as well as develop atomic weapons. Allied bombing, submarine warfare and planned invasions would have compelled Japanese surrender with or without atomic bombs.

  • The successful conclusion of WWII left the US and USSR as the only military superpowers. The global balance of power was totally transformed, with former great powers like France and Britain declining.

  • Economically and militarily, the US emerged enormously powerful compared to any other nation. Its enormous productive capacity, technological resources, military forces and atomic monopoly gave it unparalleled strategic advantages over all other countries as WWII ended.

  • After WWII, the US found itself taking on a more formal and entangling role in various parts of the world, similar to Britain after 1815. This represented the coming of age of the “Pax Americana.”

  • Economically, the US pushed for an open, global economic system to ensure postwar stability and access to key materials. This led to the IMF, World Bank and later GATT/WTO. Countries had to open their economies to participate.

  • However, the system primarily benefited the productive US and hurt devastated nations. Only the Marshall Plan provided substantial relief for Europe’s reconstruction.

  • Militarily, the US also established a global network of alliances and bases that entangled it far more than Britain traditionally was.

  • In contrast, the USSR emerged from WWII as the clear victors over Germany on the Eastern Front. It occupied Eastern Europe and established a “cordon sanitaire” of satellite states behind an “Iron Curtain.”

  • While the USSR’s influence expanded, its economic capacity was damaged by the war. It suffered immense population and infrastructure losses that took decades to recover from.

So in summary, the US took on a more global leadership role economically and militarily after WWII, while the damaged but expansionary USSR consolidated control over Eastern Europe and challenged the new US-led order.

  • After WWII, the Soviet Union reverted to focusing economic growth on heavy industry and transport at the expense of consumer goods and agriculture, as it had done post-1928. This led to strong growth in heavy industry but slumping food output.

  • Militarily, the massive Red Army was reduced by 2/3 after 1945 but still had 175 divisions supported by tanks and aircraft, remaining the largest in the world. The Soviets also began developing new weapons like jets and missiles.

  • Stalin tightened internal controls and discipline similar to the late 1930s through measures like purging military leadership and tightening party control. This contributed to the Sovietization of Eastern Europe.

  • The rise of the Soviet empire seemed to confirm geopolitical theories about controlling Eurasia. However, it would take years for the U.S. to fully abandon ideas of cooperation in favor of a superpower struggle.

  • Germany, Japan and Italy were devastated economically and militarily by the war and Allied policies to ensure they could not threaten peace again. Their economies were a fraction of pre-war levels and dependent on foreign aid for survival.

  • France and Germany were barely distinguishable economically after World War 2. Four years of German plundering and heavy fighting in 1944 had devastated both economies.

  • France’s imports/exports plunged to almost nothing by 1944-1945. Its GDP was half of 1938 levels, which were already low. It had no foreign currency reserves and its currency (the franc) had lost much of its value against the dollar.

  • The economies of Western European states like the UK, France and West Germany were vastly overshadowed by the U.S. and USSR in terms of total GDP, GDP per capita, military spending, and armed forces after WWII. Europe’s share of global manufacturing and population had declined significantly.

  • Despite economic weakness, France and other European powers tried to maintain the appearance of great power status through occupation zones, UN Security Council seats, and holding colonial empires. But they were really dependent on U.S. financial aid and the fact that other rivals were also weak post-war.

The coming of nuclear weapons and long-range delivery systems seemed to emphasize that the strategic landscape had become bipolar rather than multipolar. The atomic bomb demonstrated humankind’s capacity for massive destruction. This put pressure on countries like the UK and France to develop their own nuclear capabilities to maintain great power status, though their arsenals would be much smaller than the superpowers’. Ideology also played a bigger role, as the US and Soviet Union portrayed the Cold War in starkly ideological terms as a struggle between democracy and communism. International affairs were increasingly seen as a Manichean clash between good and evil with no middle ground. This ideological framing deepened mutual suspicion and justified tighter control at home, heightening the conflict in a vicious cycle. The bipolar world was now adjusted to the US-Soviet rivalry playing out globally.

  • The Soviet Union was determined, after German aggressions in the first half of the 20th century and Stalin’s paranoia about security, to prevent any similar threats in the second half.

  • Promoting global communist revolution was a secondary goal for the USSR, as establishing communist allies aligned with Moscow would strengthen Russia strategically and politically.

  • The Soviets’ post-WW2 policy was driven more by these security and influence considerations than any old ambitions for warm water ports.

  • Initially, the Soviets rolled back the territorial settlements of 1918-1922, expanding westward into areas like the Baltic states, Poland, East Prussia, Finland, Hungary, and Romania.

  • More concerning to the West was Russia wanting pro-Soviet regimes in central/eastern Europe, shown by their handling of Poland which established a communist puppet government.

  • The Soviets also wanted influence over Germany’s future, grooming communist exiles to take power there.

  • By late 1940s, tensions intensified as communist influence expanded in eastern Europe and the ideological split between communist East and capitalist West widened.

  • The US policy of containment emerged to resist further Soviet expansion through military support for threatened states and massive economic aid to rebuild Western Europe and Japan.

  • In the late 1940s, tensions increased between the US and USSR as the US pursued a strategy of building up Western allies like Germany and Japan to counter Soviet power. This would make the Soviet Union permanently inferior but would also be viewed with suspicion by Stalin.

  • Key events included the US replacing British support for Greece and Turkey, signaling a new global role for the US. The Marshall Plan provided aid to boost Western Europe’s economy while integrating it into a North Atlantic trading bloc, further dividing Europe.

  • Militarily, NATO was formed in 1949 to provide collective security for Western Europe against the Soviet threat. This deepened the division of Europe into two camps and made German reunification more difficult. Each step by either side increased antagonism and mistrust between the US/Western allies and the Soviet Union during the early Cold War period.

  • After World War 2, there was significant political turbulence and transitions of power globally as traditional colonial regimes lost influence and new nationalist movements emerged. This created opportunities for the US and Soviet Union to try expanding their influence.

  • One of the first post-war disputes between the US and USSR was over Soviet troops withdrawing from Iran in 1946. The USSR’s initial refusal and support for separatist groups troubled the US and reinforced the emerging containment strategy.

  • Decolonization struggles in Asia also raised dilemmas for the US as it attempted to balance support for anti-Communism with not backing repressive regimes. The loss of China to communism in 1949 had a major psychological and strategic impact on the US.

  • By 1950, growing domestic criticism and North Korea’s invasion of South Korea emboldened harder line factions in the US seeking a more aggressive containment policy in Asia. The Korean War resulted in massive US military commitment to the region and significantly shaped American strategy elsewhere in preventing further communist advances.

  • By 1949, many in the Truman administration had lost support for Chiang Kai-shek’s government in China and were thinking of recognizing Mao’s Communist regime, but within a year the US was firmly supporting Taiwan against Communist China.

  • The US also increased aid to fight Communist insurgencies in Indonesia, Malaya, and Indochina. It shifted from relying on America’s moral appeal to using more military force and territorial guarantees to contain communism.

  • An arms race developed between the two blocs. US defense spending surged due to the Korean War then declined under Eisenhower but increased due to crises in Berlin and Cuba. Soviet spending likely increased due to fears of Western attack then decreased under Khrushchev’s diplomacy before increasing sharply in the 1960s due to tensions.

  • The arms race extended to naval powers as well. Both the US and UK navies developed nuclear capabilities while the Soviet fleet expanded massively in size and overseas presence from the 1960s onward, challenging Western maritime dominance.

  • During the post-WWII era, an arms race developed between the US and Soviet Union, focused not just on traditional naval and ground forces but more significantly on new technologies like atomic/nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

  • The US initially had a monopoly on atomic weapons but the Soviets tested their first bomb in 1949, breaking this monopoly. They also developed long-range bombers and ballistic missiles in the 1950s.

  • Both sides committed massive resources to developing more advanced nuclear weapons like hydrogen bombs and delivery systems like ICBMs and submarine-launched missiles throughout the 1950s-60s.

  • Each side also competed to build global military alliances - the US cemented NATO in Europe, treaties in Asia/Pacific, and pacts in the Middle East, committing to defend many countries worldwide.

  • The Soviet Union projected its power to a lesser degree initially due to economic/military limitations but established more influence globally after Stalin, seeking to avoid a purely confrontationist approach.

  • The rapid technological advances on both sides, along with expansive military commitments globally, locked the superpowers in a tense ‘balance of terror’ dynamic relying on nuclear deterrence during the Cold War era.

  • During Khrushchev’s rule in the USSR (1953-1964), he pursued a more outward-looking foreign policy compared to Stalin. He removed Soviet troops from places like Austria and handed back territories to countries like Finland and China.

  • He tried to improve relations with the West, traveling to places like India, Burma and Afghanistan. However, relations with the US remained tense due to events like the U-2 incident and Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • The USSR competed with the US for influence in the developing world, providing aid, trade and military support to newly independent nations in Asia and Africa who were trying to avoid domination by either superpower. This included key allies like India, Egypt and Cuba.

  • However, the developing world came to see itself as the “Third World” distinct from both superpower blocs. Through forums like the Bandung Conference and Non-Aligned Movement led by figures like Nehru, Nasser and Tito, they pushed their own agenda around decolonization at the UN.

  • While still receiving some aid, many Third World countries resisted becoming satellites of either superpower and shaped the global political debate on issues beyond just the Cold War tensions. This multipolar system complicated Soviet and American efforts to gain allies and influence worldwide.

  • Many new states were entering the global arena in the post-WW2 period, and the Soviet Union was eager to court them away from the West. However, the USSR did not have strong understanding of local conditions.

  • This led to both “gains” and “losses” for the USSR diplomatically. They would support one side in a dispute only to lose influence with the opposing side. Examples given include support for India that alienated Pakistan, and aid to Iraq that later led to suppression of communism there.

  • The relationship between the Third World and superpowers was complex and shifting. There were persistently pro-Soviet/pro-US countries, genuinely non-aligned states, and states that leaned towards one but resisted dependence. Revolutions and conflicts in the Third World also created surprises.

  • While Washington and Moscow seemed central due to nuclear capabilities and global rivalry, fissures were emerging by the 1970s. The growing influence and independence of states like China challenged the strict bipolar view. Rivalries in areas like the Middle East and Africa created opportunities for new global players.

Here is a summary of the key points about John Foster Dulles:

  • Dulles served as Secretary of State under President Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959.

  • He pursued a highly ideological foreign policy based on the principle of “massive retaliation” against communist aggression.

  • Dulles took a hard line against the Soviet Union and communism during the early Cold War period. He advocated for a bipolar world divided between the US and Soviet spheres of influence.

  • Key policies and events included diplomatic recognition of Nationalist China rather than Communist China, forming defense alliances like SEATO and CENTO, and advocating for “rollback” of communism rather than coexistence.

  • Dulles helped shape the US response during crises like the Korean War, Indochina conflicts, and Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

  • Overall, Dulles pursued an aggressive anti-communism that relied heavily on nuclear deterrence and saw the world in stark ideological terms during a period of growing tensions with the Soviet Union.

  • In the 1960s, China was urging the US and NATO countries to strengthen their military presence and defenses against Russia. This was a reversal from the 1950s when China criticized the USSR for being too soft on the West.

  • Meanwhile, French President de Gaulle challenged US hegemony over NATO and western Europe. He withdrew France from NATO’s military command structure and closed US bases in France. He sought closer ties with Moscow and an independent European defense.

  • De Gaulle symbolized growing European strength and independence. European militaries grew stronger relative to the Soviet Union and US. Economically, European recovery succeeded thanks to post-war aid programs.

  • Under Willy Brandt in the late 1960s-early 1970s, efforts at East-West reconciliation or “ostpolitik” emerged, with trade and contacts growing across the Iron Curtain. The superpowers accepted this changing dynamic but it posed challenges for Soviet control over Eastern Europe.

  • The US was better positioned than the USSR to adjust to pluralism, as tensions grew between Moscow and Beijing and the USSR faced challenges maintaining its empire. However, the US was preoccupied by escalating war in Vietnam through the 1960s.

The Vietnam War had widespread impacts on the international power system and American psyche. It was the first war the US unequivocally lost, damaging reputations from generals to intellectuals. It coincided with a crisis in American society over goals and priorities, rising protests, inflation, and Watergate. It contradicted notions of America’s role and made the US unpopular globally.

Strategically, the war showed economic/military superiority does not guarantee victory if commitment is unequal. Restrictions meant the US could not use its full force, reducing the war to small battles that negated American advantages. North Vietnam was highly committed to victory in a way South Vietnam was not. Americans increasingly questioned fighting for a corrupt South Vietnam. The war drained resources from other priorities and distracted from the rising Soviet nuclear capability. It hurt US morale, alliances, and global opinion of American methods. In the short term, these effects undermined the US position, though long term it may have produced a needed reassessment of American power and role in the world.

  • The post-Vietnam War debate in the US over what regions it would defend caused issues with allies and encouraged adversaries. The US appeared increasingly isolated at the UN. This marked a shift from earlier assertions of American leadership.

  • Nixon and Kissinger pursued pragmatic diplomacy despite ideological rigidity. Kissinger recognized the Sino-Soviet split and saw an opportunity to shift US policy. His realist approach focused on balances of power rather than ideology.

  • The Nixon-era opening to China disrupted global balances of power. It encouraged Japan and boosted Asian trade. The Cold War in Asia became more complex.

  • Kissinger kept up complex diplomacy to balance powers, but Watergate weakened the US position. Congress curbed executive power over foreign policy. External policies became more erratic in the 1970s as problems mounted.

  • Carter entered with noble goals but faced a resistant world. His inconsistent policies foundered. The hostage crisis hurt him. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan marked another swing in US policy away from détente.

  • Reagan came in with even simpler views but faced complex realities. He pursued ideological views that sometimes saw the world in black-and-white terms.

  • The Reagan administration aimed to steer foreign policy in new directions compared to détente. It promoted an increased arms buildup and was more supportive of “authoritarian governments” compared to prioritizing human rights.

  • However, many of Reagan’s policies faced resistance from Congress and the public. Interventions reminiscent of Vietnam were blocked. The nuclear arms escalation caused unease. Authoritarian allies in Latin America collapsed.

  • The administration struggled to gain support at the UN and isolated the US more internationally. Questions arose about defense spending and strategy given inter-service rivalries.

  • Even as the US rebuilt its military, the geopolitical situation was shifting global power towards Europe, China and Japan economically. The Soviet Union faced increased pressure from the arms race and slowing economy.

  • Long term trends showed unprecedented global economic growth since WWII, increasingly distributed beyond just the US and USSR. Nixon recognized the rise of multi-polar economic clusters that would shape global power politics in the late 20th century.

So in summary, Reagan aimed to shake up foreign policy but faced resistance, while long term economic shifts distributed power among more players on the global stage in a transition from bipolar to multipolar dynamics.

Here is a summary of the key points from Table 39 and the accompanying text:

  • World manufacturing production increased dramatically from 1830 to 1980, growing from an index value of 34.1 in 1830 to 3041.6 in 1980.

  • The annual growth rate increased over time, from 0.8% in 1830-1860 to 2.4% in 1973-1980.

  • The accumulated growth in world industrial output from 1953-1973 was comparable to the entire previous period from 1800-1953, demonstrating very rapid expansion after World War 2.

  • This expansion was driven by the recovery of war-damaged economies, new technologies, shifting from agriculture to industry, industrialization in developing countries, and economic planning in some nations.

  • World trade also grew spectacularly after 1945 compared to the disrupted periods of the two world wars, expanding the volume and share of manufactured goods in global trade.

  • industrial and economic growth was generally faster in developing countries during the 1950s-1960s when industrialized nations were also booming, creating higher demand for raw materials and greater industrialization. However, wealth disparities remained large between and within developing countries.

  • Japan underwent rapid industrialization after World War 2, overtaking major Western industries like watches, optics, and motorcycles. By the 1970s, its steel and auto industries were among the largest in the world. This economic transformation saw Japan rise from around 2-3% of global manufacturing/GNP to around 10%.

  • China also experienced significant economic growth starting in the 1950s, though it began from a much lower base as a very poor, agrarian society. Industrial output doubled by 1957 under the first Five-Year Plan. Growth continued despite setbacks from the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. By 1980, China was a major steel and energy producer.

  • Western Europe saw sustained high economic growth averaging 5.5% annually from 1950-1970, driven by recovered and expanding manufacturing industries. This made Europe the fastest growing global region outside Japan. All European countries benefited, growing their economic output and global share over this period.

  • Europe’s economy recovered strongly after WWII, with services and industrial production rising significantly between 1960-1970. Statistics showed the European Community had a larger share of global GDP than the US, and double the Soviet Union’s.

  • The reasons for recovery were an end to war, occupation, and economic distortions from nationalism/protectionism. The US Marshall Plan also provided crucial financing for cooperative rebuilding. There was determination to correct past mistakes and build new economic structures.

  • Italy experienced a “economic miracle” as growth outpaced other countries. But disparities remained and growth depended on exports. Britain, already advanced, saw relative decline as it preserved old systems and relied on empire rather than reform.

  • Germany and other occupied nations recovered faster through rebuilding and adoption of newer economic models. Britain struggled with balance of payments issues and sterling crises as imports grew and productivity lagged behind Europe. Overall Europe saw huge increases in living standards through industrialization and consumer goods.

  • The British economy struggled with inflation and wage demands outpacing productivity. Efforts to control prices and limit wage increases through legislation largely failed to curb inflation or sustain growth.

  • British industries like automotive, shipbuilding, and consumer electronics steadily lost competitiveness to foreign competitors. Some large companies like ICI remained exceptions, and financial services and retailing held up better, but overall Britain’s industrial base eroded.

  • Joining the EEC exposed British manufacturing to greater competition without providing the hoped-for boost, while North Sea oil revenue appreciated the pound and hurt exports.

  • Statistics show the acceleration of Britain’s industrial decline, with shrinking shares of world manufacturing, trade, and GDP, falling from third largest economy in 1945 to just an ordinary moderate power by the early 1980s.

  • In contrast, West Germany enjoyed strong economic growth and recovery after WWII, dubbed the “Economic Miracle.” Benefiting from its infrastructure, resources, skilled workforce, and focus on commercial success, German industries and exports boomed, making it Europe’s economic powerhouse and the second largest exporter globally.

  • France also saw economic growth but remained less broadly industrialized than Germany. Growth was fueled by peace, US aid, nationalization, a larger market, and high value exports. However, most French firms remained small and prices too high to overtake Germany.

  • Rural areas of France faced pressures of industrial modernization like closing old steelworks, provoking unrest like the 1968 riots.

  • France depended heavily on imported oil and had fluctuations in its trade balance and currency value against the deutsche mark based on world oil prices. Its trade deficit with Germany grew.

  • Despite economic growth, France’s economy had some precariousness, sending bourgeois citizens across the Swiss border with savings during economic shocks.

  • However, France had more international influence than its 4% share of global GDP would suggest, likely due to cultural assertiveness coinciding with declining Anglo-American influence post-WWII. It could lobby the Common Market to adopt its positions.

  • Both Western European states and the Soviet Union saw economic growth in the post-war decades. However, the Soviet Union faced long-term declines in its growth rate, an undercapitalized consumer sector, and chronic agricultural weaknesses, falling further behind the growing economies of Western Europe and Japan over time.

  • Eastern European countries like the Soviet Union emphasized centralized planning, heavy industry, and collectivization of agriculture in their economic models. This led to initial growth but then slowdowns as limitations emerged.

  • The Soviet Union faced constraints on expanding farmland due to climate and geography. Further exploiting raw materials risked inefficiencies. Pumping more money into industry and technology would divert funds from defense or consumer goods.

  • Reforms were an option to address stagnation, like increasing private farming and entrepreneurship, but risked undermining the communist political system, as seen in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

  • The US also faced relative economic decline in the 1960s-1980s as its post-war dominance receded with global growth. Deficits, inflation, and debts eroded competitiveness and the dollar-based international monetary system collapsed in the 1970s. Both the USSR and US struggled with slowing growth as their dominance waned in a growing global economy.

  • In the 1970s, various economic factors like oil shocks and high American interest rates pushed the value of the dollar upwards relative to other currencies like the German and Japanese currencies.

  • However, more significant longer-term trends included declining private sector productivity growth in the U.S., increasing federal deficits that attracted foreign cash and turned the U.S. from a net lender to a borrower, and difficulties for American manufacturers competing with imports.

  • This erosion of the U.S. productive lead was offset to some degree by America’s success in maintaining domestic prosperity, containing Soviet expansionism without war, reviving European/Japanese economies, and transforming old colonies into integrated independent states.

  • Statistically, shares of global GDP shifted from 1960-1980, with a partial recovery of less developed countries, remarkable growth of Japan and China, erosion of the EEC share, stabilization then decline of the USSR share, and faster decline but larger size of the U.S. share.

  • By 1980, figures pointed to a multipolar distribution of global economic balances, with implications for the future grand strategic positions of leading powers. Uneven growth rates among countries/regions historically lead to shifts in relative military-economic strength over time.

The passage argues that material resources, such as economic and technological capacity, have historically determined the outcome of major power wars and the rise and fall of empires and states in the international system. It suggests this trend is likely to continue in the future.

The world remains dominated by competing nation-states in an anarchic system. Technological progress and economic growth will be uneven among states over time, changing their relative power positions. Some broad trends are expected to continue, such as the rising economic power of the Asia-Pacific region, fueled by high productivity, trade, and agricultural growth across many countries in the region.

The escalating costs of newer weapons technologies and international rivalries are also exacerbated the spiraling costs of the arms race among states. The arms industry is increasingly divorced from free market forces and protected by states, driving up costs and divergence from commercial manufacturing. Overall military spending has always increased over time and is likely to continue rising due to more expensive modern weaponry.

The passage discusses two trends that are interacting and impacting national economies: 1) The growth patterns around the world are uneven, with some regions like the Pacific basin growing faster economically. 2) Military expenditures are spiraling upwards, with weapons systems becoming more sophisticated and expensive.

This is leading to a tension between countries seeking strategic security through large military budgets vs economic security through growth and prosperity. Excessive defense spending can divert resources away from productive investments and hurt economic growth. It provides short-term security but risks long-term decline relative to faster-growing competitors.

Most countries face a difficult challenge of balancing military security, social welfare spending, and investment for economic growth. Achieving all three goals is hard given uncertainties in technology, economics and geopolitics. Failing to maintain competitiveness through growth could lead to a decline in power over the long run, as seen with countries like England. How well leading nations can balance these demands will impact their positions heading into the 21st century.

  • China faces competing demands between weapons modernization, social spending, and economic investment, requiring a delicate balancing act.

  • It is strategically isolated and surrounded by potential threats like the USSR, Japan, India, and the US. Its military remains outdated despite recent modernization efforts.

  • Economically, China is still poor compared to other major powers, although reforms under Deng Xiaoping show promise for transforming the country over decades.

  • Reforms include downsizing but professionalizing the military, acquiring new weapons systems, conducting large-scale exercises, and rethinking border defense strategies. The navy is expanding significantly.

  • Nuclear weapons development has accelerated, with ICBM testing demonstrating abilities to reach the US as well as USSR by the early 1980s.

  • Overall, China under Deng has adopted a pragmatic, balanced approach to military, economic, and ideological reforms that aims to develop its comprehensive national power over the long term through balancing competing priorities. Geopolitical constraints require careful calibration of this balancing act.

Here is a summary of the key points about China’s development of rocket and nuclear technology:

  • China has been developing land-based nuclear missiles of medium range as the mainstay of its nuclear forces. It is now joining them with new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

  • Significantly, China has been testing submarine-launched ballistic missiles since 1982 and working to improve their range and accuracy. This establishes a sea-based nuclear deterrent.

  • There are also reports of Chinese experiments with tactical nuclear weapons.

  • China’s nuclear development is backed by large-scale atomic research programs and a refusal to freeze its weapons development through international agreements.

  • However, China still lags behind the US and Russia in terms of numbers of ICBMs and submarines, their payload capacity, and submarines’ stealth and speed capabilities.

  • Overall, while China has made progress, its level of spending and technical capabilities are still below the superpowers, preventing full parity. But its military capabilities have grown substantially compared to previous decades.

  • China has set ambitious but realistic GDP growth targets of 7.5% annually in the future, down from 10% since 1981. This would still double China’s GDP in under 10 years.

  • There are several reasons experts believe China can achieve these growth targets, including high savings/investment rates, opportunities for increased efficiency, and catching up after disruptions from the Cultural Revolution.

  • China is deliberately selecting imports to boost economic growth while maintaining control. Defense spending has declined significantly as a percentage of GDP to focus on the “four modernizations.”

  • Projections show China’s GDP surpassing major Western European countries by 2000-2020 if it maintains 8% annual growth, making it a significant global economic power.

  • China’s growth will increase its trade but it aims to avoid over-reliance on foreign capital/markets. It is determined to maintain independence while accessing international financing. It prefers peaceful relations with neighbors to support its economic strategy.

  • China’s strategy towards the superpowers is to remain equidistant between the US and Russia while also getting them to court China. China engages in both confrontation and accommodation with the superpowers depending on the situation.

  • This unpredictable strategy enhances China’s power and importance on the global stage. It allows China to act independently of the superpowers and resist categorization. China is emerging as a potential superpower in its own right rather than aligned with the US or Russia.

  • While China currently focuses on economic growth over military spending, its growing economy will inevitably increase its military potential over time as economic development strengthens its technological and scientific base.

  • Japan faces a dilemma in balancing its relations with China and the superpowers. Japan’s economic success relies on protection from the US but changes in the international situation threaten this vulnerable position. Japan’s exports also face increasing competition from emerging Asian economies and trade protectionism from Western countries. Japan advocates diplomacy and compromise to slow changes threatening its favorable conditions.

  • The US has large and growing trade deficits with Japan, importing more from Japan than vice versa. This imbalance has increased pressure on the US to take measures to reduce the deficit.

  • Japan is facing challenges like increased competition from other Asian countries, trade restrictions by Western nations, and pressure to appreciate the yen and boost imports. However, Japan still has advantages that support continued faster growth than other major powers.

  • Japan benefits from lower prices of raw materials it imports. Yen appreciation reduces import costs while currency falls boost exports. Japan is also very efficient in energy use.

  • Japan is shifting production away from low-tech goods to focus on higher-tech industries like computing, which it already dominates in areas like semiconductors. It is aggressively pursuing new high-tech fields like supercomputers and software.

  • Structural factors like MITI guidance of industries, high spending on R&D focused on commercial applications, and an emphasis on industry-led R&D give Japan advantages over its competitors. If trends continue, Japan will surpass others in non-military R&D.

  • In summary, while Japan faces challenges, its focus on high-tech and structural strengths support continued faster growth than other major powers going forward.

  • Japan has among the highest national savings rates in the world due to tax systems that encourage private savings over borrowing and spending. This leaves banks and insurance companies with abundant low-interest capital to fund industry.

  • Japanese firms have a virtually guaranteed domestic market due to cultural preferences for Japanese products as well as distribution networks. Even without trade barriers, local demand will likely remain strong.

  • Japan has a highly skilled workforce supported by competitive education and company training systems. It produces many engineers and excel in mathematics and science.

  • Taken together, these five factors - high savings, guaranteed domestic market, skilled workforce, and industrial relations harmony - give Japanese industry significant competitive strengths.

  • In recent decades, Japan has emerged as the world’s largest creditor nation due to high personal savings rates and large trade surpluses. It invests surplus capital overseas, which could impact international finance systems.

So in summary, strong domestic drivers around savings, education, and industrial cooperation have fueled Japan’s manufacturing prowess. More recently, growing overseas investments have increased Japan’s financial and economic influence globally.

  • Japan has become an economic powerhouse, with its economy surpassing Britain’s and nearing half of the US economy in size. It is projected to continue growing faster than other major economies over the coming decades, leading some analysts to predict Japan will have the world’s largest economy by the early 21st century.

  • In contrast to its economic might, Japan maintains a relatively small military. Its defense spending is a fraction of other developed countries like the US, France and Britain. This allows it to shelter under US military protection while focusing resources on its manufacturing economy.

  • If Japan significantly increased defense spending to NATO levels (3-4% of GDP), it would become the world’s 3rd largest military behind the US and China. However, domestic and regional opinion strongly opposes increasing military forces due to Japan’s wartime history.

  • Economically, increased defense spending could slow growth by requiring taxes or additional spending. And militarily, it risks angering neighbors still sensitive to Japan’s past aggression and recent economic dominance. Geopolitically, building up forces could threaten regional powers like Russia, China, and countries previously occupied by Japan.

  • Given these constraints, Japan is likely to maintain minimal defense forces while avoiding actions that promote nationalism or upset neighbors. It will remain an economic rather than military power for the foreseeable future.

The passage discusses the potential and challenges facing the European Economic Community (EEC) in becoming a unified geopolitical power on the global stage by the early 21st century.

While the EEC has significant economic and military capacities comparable to other world powers in terms of population, wealth, industry and armed forces, it suffers from disunity as it is not a sovereign nation-state. There are divisions among member states on issues of economic integration, political and military cooperation, and foreign policy priorities.

Militarily, the armed forces of key EEC members use different weapons, have varying quality, and remain nationally divided. Politically, disagreements between socialist and conservative regimes, as well as the stances of neutral countries like Ireland, hinder unified policymaking. Economically, there are still barriers like customs checks between members and tensions over issues like agriculture policy.

Overall, the EEC has great potential power but its effectiveness is diminished by splits between members. Full integration into a true world power comparable to other sovereign nation-states is complicated by these issues of disunity.

  • The economic slump in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as seen in declines in real GNP growth, seemed to hit the major European economies harder than other parts of the world like the US and Japan.

  • A key concern for European states was the surge in unemployment, which swelled social expenditures and left less for investment. Unemployment rose much higher than postwar levels and declined more slowly compared to job creation in the US and Japan.

  • There were also signs Europe was falling behind the US and Japan in high-technology industries like computers and electronics, painting a picture of “Eurosclerosis.” However, Europe remained competitive in areas like automobiles, aircraft, chemicals and financial services.

  • Two pressing issues were whether Europe could respond swiftly to shifts in employment patterns given its diversity, and whether it could mobilize resources to remain a leader in high-tech given the size gap with US and Japanese companies.

  • Of the major European powers, Germany had the strongest economy but also faced challenges from issues like its aging population, high social security costs from unemployment, and the long-term implications of reunification with East Germany given the realities of the Cold War order.

  • The Soviet Union viewed a unified Germany as a threat and did not want East Germany to gravitate toward West Germany politically or economically. A unified Germany would have over 2 million troops, which the USSR could not tolerate on its western flank given Cold War tensions.

  • However, it was difficult to see why a peacefully unified Germany would need such a large armed forces, and Soviet propaganda about German revanchism was increasingly hard to maintain after Willy Brandt’s chancellorship promoted detente.

  • But the Soviet leadership was also reluctant to withdraw from anywhere due to “congenital dislike” and worried about the political consequences of a reunified Germany, which would be an economic powerhouse close to the USSR’s GDP. Withdrawing from East Germany could also provoke questions about withdrawing from other Eastern Bloc countries.

  • This led to a state of “suspended animation” with growing intra-German trade and cooperation, but each German state remaining loyal to opposing military/economic blocs. The situation’s future was unpredictable and tensions remained.

  • West Germany pursued detente to ease Soviet fears but could not conduct a purely bilateral diplomacy and had to consider American and other reactions, facing difficulties in foreign/defense policy.

  • Britain’s economy has shifted away from manufacturing towards services over the past few decades. However, many services do not earn foreign currency or are very productive. Competition in high-earning services like banking is also intense, and Britain’s share has declined significantly.

  • Even if oil revenues return, it is unclear if manufacturing would revive given scrapped plants, lost markets, and higher labor costs. Britain also faces challenges like relatively immobile labor markets and low private R&D investment compared to competitors.

  • At the same time, Britain maintains extensive global military commitments on a scale that seems disproportionate to its reduced economic power. Defense budgets are rising rapidly.

  • This divergence between military posture and economic resources leaves Britain vulnerable. It faces a choice between cutting defense spending and capabilities, or increasing spending further and reducing productive investment - both are difficult options.

  • France faces similar dilemmas as a mid-sized power with global interests but rising defense costs. Its economic performance has been better than Britain’s but it also shows weaknesses in exports and competitiveness compared to Germany and others.

  • France has had issues with unstable Third World countries not being able to fully pay for large projects like dams or military equipment.

  • France is uncompetitive in many industrial and consumer goods sectors, with higher inflation than Germany leading to a growing trade deficit.

  • Its declining heavy industries like coal, steel, and shipbuilding have scarred the northern landscape, while the auto industry is also struggling.

  • New technologies are unlikely to fully address unemployment and are not receiving sufficient investment to keep pace with rivals.

  • French agriculture faces a crisis from global overproduction, straining budgets if prices are maintained and risking unrest if cut.

  • This economic context informs debates around national defense policy, which aims to project French influence globally but faces constraints from limited resources. While independent nuclear deterrent and interventions project strength, doubts remain about credibility and affordability long-term. Sustained high spending remains challenging given the economy.

  • France has advocated for a distinct “European” position on international economic and defense issues, often taking a lead role in new policies like Franco-German military cooperation and European aerospace and satellite projects.

  • However, some of France’s initiatives have faced skepticism from neighbors regarding French preference for bureaucratic planning and prestige projects, as well as concerns about French companies receiving the majority of EU funding.

  • Europe faces challenges like aging populations and industries, economic disparities between northern and southern countries, and political tensions in places like Belgium and northern Spain.

  • There are also concerns about potential “Finlandization” of countries like Denmark and West Germany becoming too dependent on Moscow, though this is difficult to predict.

  • The most important issues Europe faces are developing a common long-term defense policy and remaining economically competitive against new technologies and global competitors through innovation and investment.

  • If Europe can truly act together, it may improve its position globally in both military and economic spheres. But internal fragmentation could lead to continued relative decline compared to emerging powers.

  • The passage discusses challenges facing Soviet/Russian agriculture and industry in the late 20th century.

  • Soviet agriculture suffered from inefficient collectivization that undermined individual initiative and decision making by farmers. This led to low yields, waste, and an inability to meet domestic food needs despite substantial state investment. Climate issues like droughts and frosts also hurt production.

  • Soviet industry became overly reliant on energy inputs like oil, gas and coal, resulting in huge inefficiencies. Energy production was becoming more difficult and costly as easily accessible resources declined. Meeting increased industrial and energy investment demands was straining the economy.

  • Both agriculture and industry were hampered by centralized bureaucratic planning that didn’t adequately consider market signals, consumer needs, or efficient resource allocation. Reforming these systemic issues away from collectivization and toward market reforms posed challenges for political and economic control.

  • The Soviet Union was falling behind technological advances in areas like computing, robotics, telecom that threatened its military advantages unless addressed. Overall, stagnating production, rising costs, and difficulties in key sectors like energy posed serious problems for continued Soviet economic growth.

The passage discusses some technological and demographic challenges facing the Soviet Union/Russia. On technology, it notes the USSR lags western countries in areas like advanced radar, lasers, and computer/communications technologies used for military and civilian purposes. Catching up requires large resource investments but the centralized system hinders adoption. Demographically, declining birth rates and rising death rates mean a slower growing labor force. Life expectancy has dropped significantly below the West. This aging population will necessitate more spending on healthcare and less on other areas. Combined with slower economic growth reliant on increased labor in the past, these trends concern Soviet planners and show difficulties for continued expansion and maintaining military strength. The passage outlines these issues as context for Gorbachev’s view that accelerating socioeconomic development was key to addressing all problems, though political/ideological obstacles also complicated meaningful reforms.

  • There are two main political obstacles to rapid economic reform in the Soviet Union: entrenched party elites and high defense spending.

  • Party officials, bureaucrats, and other elites enjoy many privileges that cushion them from everyday hardships. They monopolize power and would see reforms like decentralization, economic liberalization, and opening up information as threats.

  • The Soviet Union devotes a significant share of GDP (estimated 11-13% in the 1970s) to defense spending, siphoning resources from the civilian economy. Even if spending slowed, the military draws manpower, scientists, capital, and equipment.

  • High defense spending crowds out other areas like investment, consumer goods production, and social services. This prioritizes security over economic growth and standards of living.

  • Unless dramatic political transformations occur, the Soviet tradition of prioritizing military security over economic needs will likely continue, making its economy different from more consumer-focused powers.

  • The massive Soviet military buildup gives it formidable capabilities, but technological lags and the challenge of new weapons like SDI raise concerns and pressure to constantly modernize at high costs.

  • The proposed SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) system would not make the US completely invulnerable to nuclear attack as it could do nothing against low-flying cruise missiles.

  • However, it may help protect US missile sites and airbases. It would also strain the Soviet defense budget to produce more missiles and warheads to overwhelm SDI.

  • More worryingly, the technologies developed for SDI could potentially give the US an advantage in conventional, non-nuclear warfare by being able to destroy much of the Soviet air force, tanks, and ships. This would compel the Soviet Union to invest heavily in advanced technologies for a “new arms race.”

  • Demographically, declining Soviet birthrates and a rising non-Russian population pose a long-term manpower problem for the Soviet military, as many non-Russian recruits are considered less reliable.

  • Overall, the Soviet leadership faces challenges from economic, technological, and demographic trends that undermine its traditional military advantages in numbers and add to its insecurities.

The passage discusses the nuclear capabilities and arms buildup of the two main superpowers (US and USSR) as well as some regional powers like China, Britain, and France. It argues that while the superpowers possess massive nuclear stockpiles, neither side can realistically use nuclear weapons first due to the risk of catastrophic retaliation and damage. However, the proliferation of nuclear weapons to more volatile regions is a serious concern.

It also notes that the growing nuclear capabilities of China, Britain and France are viewed with increasing worry by the USSR. While the deterrent effect of these countries was previously dubious, improvements in technology now allow them to inflict much heavier damage on Russia. This complicates strategic calculation and arms negotiations.

The passage concludes that conventional military balance between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces appears more even than commonly portrayed. Detailed analyses suggest no side can guarantee victory in a conventional war. European NATO members provide the majority of ready forces and spending, balancing American contributions, unlike the top-heavy USSR-led Warsaw Pact alliance. This balance of conventional forces may not be very reassuring to Soviet military planners.

The passage discusses comparing the military strengths of NATO and the Warsaw Pact alliance. It notes that while the Warsaw Pact may have numerical edges in some categories like ground forces and reserves, the differences are not vast or decisive. NATO’s forces appear sufficiently robust to blunt a conventional Soviet offensive.

The passage then points out significant weaknesses and uncertainties facing the Warsaw Pact. Several Eastern bloc countries showed signs of political unrest and economic troubles, calling into question how reliable their militaries would be for the USSR. Soviet forces would also have to monitor allied troops on the frontlines.

The USSR additionally faced serious security challenges from China, whose military was much larger, as well as potential issues along other borders in Asia. Maintaining forces to deal with multiple threats limited Russia’s flexibility.

In terms of naval capabilities, NATO’s combined forces significantly outnumbered the Warsaw Pact in major surface combatants, naval air power, and submarine strength. This suggests the USSR would not be able to claim command of the seas against Western allies. Overall, the passage presents an analysis questioning how formidable the military balance between the alliances truly was.

  • The Soviet Union had very few forces stationed overseas outside of Eastern Europe and Afghanistan, and its major overseas bases (Vietnam, Ethiopia, South Yemen, Cuba) required large amounts of financial aid, which was increasingly resented within Russia.

  • The USSR’s overseas forces and bases were much smaller and more vulnerable compared to the larger array of American, British, and French bases and forces globally. If smaller pro-Western countries joined in a conflict, the imbalance would look even worse.

  • While economically isolating the USSR from the Third World may not be too damaging, it would further diminish Russia’s status as a global power.

  • The USSR’s own planners recognized vulnerabilities like its reliance on the Trans-Siberian Railway and the need to create naval supply lines via the Indian Ocean. However, establishing reliable sea lines of communication remained very precarious.

  • Maintaining military forces to secure borders against China and others tied up huge resources, yet also induced insecurity in others and had not produced invulnerability for the USSR. Economic issues compounded these challenges.

  • The USSR faced difficult choices between prioritizing military power versus economic development. It was unlikely to abandon its economic system or significantly reduce defense spending, leaving its contradictions hard to escape from.

  • The challenges facing the declining USSR, while serious, did not necessarily mean collapse was imminent. Historically, declining empires only retreated to their core after defeat in war or being severely weakened by war.

  • The possibility of nuclear annihilation has fundamentally changed international power politics. A large-scale nuclear exchange would make considering a country’s “prospects” meaningless.

  • While nuclear weapons pose a mutual threat, they have so far proved mutually unusable, leading countries to invest more in conventional forces instead.

  • The US faces threats abroad to its many widespread overseas interests, which are difficult to defend all at once yet hard to abandon. This is similar to the position of declining powers like imperial Spain or Edwardian Britain.

  • The Middle East is a region of crucial importance to the US due to oil supplies, Soviet influence, Israel ties, instability, and the Afghanistan conflict. It presents many complex challenges.

  • Latin America faces debt crises, economic turmoil, rising populism/radicalism, and threats from Cuba/Nicaragua, complicating US interests in democracy and counteracting Marxism.

  • Mexico’s crisis poses immense challenges right at the US border in security, economic, and drug trafficking issues.

  • East Asia is vital due to its population, trade, potential powers like China/Japan, and existing US treaty obligations across the region which create delicate political situations.

  • Finally, over 50% of US forces are committed to defending Europe via NATO, even as European allies contribute less to defense budgets. This “burden sharing” debate adds further complications.

  • The US sees Western Europe as strategically important given its proximity to Soviet forces and concentration of manufacturing. Withdrawing US forces could undermine NATO defense.

  • However, transatlantic relations face complications. The EEC is an economic rival and Europeans are uneasy about hosting US nuclear weapons. NATO defense remains expensive.

  • The Pentagon warns that current force levels do not match global commitments. Maintaining commitments everywhere is difficult given limited resources.

  • Overstretch is a concern as the US shares of economic and military power decline relative to its large overseas military presence, similar to the situation faced by declining imperial powers like Britain.

  • Doubts exist about the efficiency of the US military system due to issues like inter-service rivalry, wasteful procurement practices, and the challenge of developing and fielding new high-tech weapons within budget constraints.

  • The fundamental dilemma remains balancing extensive global military obligations with increasingly limited resources and manpower, complicating efforts to develop an effective defense policy.

The passage discusses several factors placing strain on the US defense system and ability to implement a coherent grand strategy. These include:

  • Rising costs of weapons making it difficult to sustain defense spending increases above 7.5% of GNP without raising the federal deficit.

  • The wide range of potential military contingencies the US must plan for as a global superpower, pulling resources in different directions depending on the assumed threat scenario.

  • Questions around whether the current decision-making structure allows for a proper grand strategy that coordinates long-term political, economic and strategic interests instead of bureaucratic infighting.

  • Pressures from interest groups, a media focused on audiences over information, and domestic politics like election cycles that make policy changes difficult.

  • Economic challenges like relative industrial decline, falling agricultural exports, and rising protectionist sentiment putting pressure on how resources are allocated between economic and defense needs.

In summary, the passage outlines various strategic, bureaucratic and economic factors that place the US defense system and ability to implement coherent long-term grand strategy under increasing strain.

  • There are complaints in the US about unfair foreign trade practices like dumping below-cost goods on the American market and subsidies to foreign farmers. While some individual complaints are valid, broader protectionist sentiment reflects erosion of US manufacturing supremacy.

  • Along with struggles in manufacturing and agriculture, the US faces unprecedented issues with its finances. Large trade deficits of $160 billion and inability of “invisibles” like financial services to cover the gap has transformed the US from the world’s largest creditor to largest debtor nation in a few years.

  • Budget policies exacerbated this, with large defense spending increases and tax cuts under Reagan producing extraordinary rises in budget deficits and national debt. If continued, interest payments on the debt could reach unprecedented levels by early 21st century.

  • These deficits are interacting with massive and volatile international capital flows, as the US sucks in huge funds from abroad to cover its spending-receipts gap, turning it into the world’s largest debtor.

  • Alarmist views are countered by arguments that some issues are natural and the economy will grow out of problems. Optimism also stems from growth in services jobs, technology investment, and flexible labor markets.

  • However, from a strategic viewpoint, the weakened economic foundation means diminished capacity to carry military liabilities assumed since 1945. In this larger sense, parallels can be drawn to previous declining hegemonic powers.

This passage discusses debates over national efficiency and economic competitiveness in both Edwardian Britain and the modern United States. Some key points:

  • In Edwardian Britain (early 20th century), there was a broad debate among elites over measures to reverse declining competitiveness compared to other advanced nations in areas like industry, education, productivity, incomes, health, and housing. This “national efficiency movement” came from both left and right.

  • Such debates often lead to reforms but also confirm declining status, as a once-dominant nation wouldn’t need to have such discussions.

  • The U.S. faces similar issues today from declines in manufacturing industries, erosion of blue-collar jobs, outsourcing of production abroad. This could harm military productivity and capabilities in a major war.

  • Slow economic growth may undermine the U.S.’s social/political consensus by fueling class divisions and changing demographics. High defense spending also creates tensions with investment and economic competitiveness.

  • The U.S. faces a dilemma - its global military role requires large defense outlays but excessive spending risks debilitating the economy over the long term relative to trading partners like Japan. There are no easy answers balancing these priorities.

  • Historical precedents show that as a country’s relative economic strength declines, it often allocates more resources to the military, squeezing productive investment and leading to a downward spiral of slower growth. This pattern suggests the US cannot maintain its existing dominant position indefinitely.

  • No single society can remain permanently ahead of all others, as global growth rates, technology, and military developments are always changing. However, the US is too large and homogeneous to fully decline like past empires.

  • The US share of global wealth and power rose exceptionally high after WWII due to favorable historical and technical circumstances, but is now ebbing to a more “natural” share of around 16-18% based on its size, population and resources.

  • American statesmen must recognize broad changes are underway and manage affairs to allow the US relative decline to occur slowly and smoothly rather than be accelerated by short-sighted policies.

  • Even as its economic and military strength decline relatively, the US will remain very significant and influential due to its sizable resources, and a key actor in global balances if it adapts sensibly to the changing world order. Maintaining commitments and power remains an ongoing challenge.

Over the past five centuries, international affairs have frequently involved warfare or military preparedness. This consumes resources that could otherwise support public and private economic development. Each era has debated how much national wealth should fund the military versus other priorities. Military strength also affects countries’ prosperity and standing, as economic growth impacts relative power.

The outcomes of major wars show the influence of economic forces. Successful countries often had stronger productive economies, both during and after wars. Territorial shifts reflected longer-term redistributions of power. Post-war peace did not stop changing rankings, as differentiated growth continued among major powers.

Whether power shifts inevitably lead to war is uncertain. Nuclear weapons may check armed conflicts over balances, leaving only proxy wars. However, future conflicts could still be conventional wars. Transformations in balances will accelerate and involve both economic and strategic dimensions. Productive and military shares will shift from the five current major powers to others, though no new “pentarchy” will likely emerge soon.

Economic and military strengths are shifting, with the US, EEC decreasing and Japan, China increasing. The USSR and Japan have roughly equal economic power, with China growing fastest. Only the US and USSR can ensure mutual destruction, but nuclear multipolarity and conventional polycentrism are increasing. Maintaining military strength risks eroding economic strength over the long term, raising enduring challenges for major powers.

  • The passage discusses the challenges facing the major world powers (US, USSR, China, Japan, EEC) in managing geopolitical shifts, technological innovation, rising military costs, and changes in the global balance of power.

  • It refers to the “age-old dilemmas of rise and fall” and needing to “steer with more or less skill and experience” on “the stream of time” which no single state can control or direct.

  • How each of these powers emerges from this period of change depends largely on “the wisdom of the governments in Washington, Moscow, Tokyo, Peking, and the various European capitals” in how they navigate these trends and manage their relative power positions.

  • The analysis aims to suggest the likely prospects for each polity and the great power system as a whole, but acknowledges there is still much depending on the “skill and experience” with which they steer geopolitical developments.

So in summary, it discusses the challenges facing major powers from shifts beyond their control and how their outcomes will be shaped by how skillfully their governments navigate this period of transition and change in the global balance of power.

Here is a summary of the sources cited in the passage:

  • European Expansion 1400–1700 (London, 1965), passim - A book covering European expansion from 1400-1700 in general terms throughout (passim).

  • R. Bean, “War and the Birth of the Nation State,” Journal of Economic History, vol. 33 (1973), pp. 203–21 - An article examining the relationship between war and the rise of the nation state.

  • V. G. Kiernan, “Foreign Mercenaries and Absolute Monarchy,” Past and Present, vol. 11 (1957), p. 72 - An article discussing the use of foreign mercenaries and the rise of absolute monarchy.

  • McNeill, Pursuit of Power, ch. 3 - A chapter from the book Pursuit of Power discussing the growth of national states and power politics.

  • H. Thomas, History of the World (New York, 1979 edn.), ch. 24 - A chapter from the History of the World book covering an unspecified topic.

  • M. E. Mallet, Mercenaries and Their Masters: Warfare in Renaissance Italy (London, 1976) - A book about mercenaries and their role in warfare in Renaissance Italy.

  • J. R. Hale, “Armies, Navies and the Art of War,” NCMH, vol. 2, espec. pp. 486ff; idem, War and Society in Renaissance Europe 1450–1620 (London, 1985), ch. 2 - Articles and a chapter discussing armies, navies, the art of war and its relationship to Renaissance European society.

The passage then cites several other sources on related topics like naval power, siege warfare, economic organization, gunpowder technology and European expansion/colonization in the 15th-17th centuries.

  • Spain’s economy declined in the 17th century due to overextension of its empire and heavy spending on wars, namely the Dutch Revolt and the wars with France. This decline is discussed in several of the cited works.

  • The Austrian Habsburgs also faced economic strains from maintaining large military forces, as discussed in some of the cited works.

  • France experienced fiscal difficulties in the late 16th-early 17th century due to the French Wars of Religion and later wars with Spain and the Habsburgs. This placed strain on French finances.

  • England grew stronger economically and militarily over this period. It adopted a policy of naval power and privateering to weaken Spain while avoiding large land wars. English governments also increasingly financed wars through joint-stock companies and loans.

  • Sweden greatly strengthened and modernized its military and financial systems under Gustavus Adolphus, allowing it to project significant power despite its smaller size. This played a major role in the Thirty Years War.

  • Contributions and taxation of occupied lands helped support the large armies of states like Sweden and the Habsburgs but placed strain on local populations.

So in summary, the cited works discuss the economic and fiscal difficulties faced by the larger empires of Spain, France, and the Austrian Habsburgs in maintaining extensive militaries and commitments, while England and Sweden grew stronger through innovative military and financial reforms.

Here is a summary of the key points about Charles XI from page 233 of Essays in Swedish History:

  • Charles XI ascended the Swedish throne in 1660 at age 5 after the death of his father, Charles X. He was initially under the regency of his mother, Queen Dowager Hedwig Eleonora.

  • During his early reign, Sweden faced a financial crisis and significant losses in territory after the Treaty of Oliva (1660) ended the Northern Wars. The economy was struggling and the currency was debased.

  • When Charles assumed full power in 1672, he initiated widespread administrative, economic, and military reforms to strengthen Sweden. This included reducing the power of the nobility, consolidating farms into larger holdings worked by soldier-tenants, and expanding the army.

  • His reforms helped regain lost prestige and stabilize Sweden’s finances and defenses. By the 1680s Sweden was a formidable military power again in northern Europe under Charles’ assertive leadership. However, the reforms also reduced the autonomy and influence of the nobility over the kingdom.

  • Charles XI is seen as playing an important role in consolidating the absolute monarchy in Sweden and recentralizing state control over the nobility, military, finances, and governance. His reforms laid the groundwork for Sweden’s resurgence as a major power.

Here is a summary of n Bosher’s article “French Administration and Public Finance in their European Setting,” as presented in NCMH, vol. 8, ch. 20:

Bosher examines the French system of administration and public finance within the broader context of other European powers in the 17th-18th centuries. He notes that French public finances were increasingly centralized under the monarchy. A large portion of tax revenues were siphoned off through corruption and tax farming, leaving France with chronic fiscal deficits by the late 18th century as highlighted by Mathias and O’Brien.

Bosher compares the French experience to the growing overseas trades and economies in Britain and its ports as discussed by authors such as Davis, Minchinton, and Calder. He also analyzes the weaknesses in French naval provisions and timber supplies as noted by Barnford and Jenkins. For the Seven Years War period specifically, Bosher draws on detail from Kennet on French military organization and financing challenges outlined in Bosher’s own work on Beaujon, Goossens et compagnie in 1759.

Overall, Bosher situates France’s struggles with fiscal deficits, public debt, and taxation strains in the context of broader European shifts through the late 18th century as discussed by other authors examining trends in Britain, Prussia, the Habsburg Empire, Russia, and more. The chapter aims to provide comparative analysis of Great Power public finances and administrative systems in the early modern period.

Here is a summary of paragraphs 41-72 from the source text:

  • Scholars provide differing figures for the size of early modern European armies, and data varies across sources.

  • Population and military size estimates for European powers in the late 18th century come from several sources, with some amendments based on more authoritative data.

  • The rise of French power under Louis XIV and the associated military reforms are discussed. England expanded its military capabilities in response during this period as well.

  • The Nine Years’ War and War of Spanish Succession represented growing rivalry between France and the maritime powers.

  • The Peace of Utrecht established a balance of power in Europe temporarily. Conflict continued in Eastern Europe involving the Ottoman Empire, Russia, and Austria.

  • Wars in the 18th century generally revolved around trade and colonial interests, including the War of Austrian Succession and Seven Years’ War. Britain emerged as the dominant naval power.

  • The American Revolutionary War challenged British dominance, aided by French entry into the war. Logistical and financial difficulties hampered the British war effort.

  • The peace following the American Revolutionary War led to a temporary rebalancing of European power relationships.

Here are summaries of the recommended sources:

Great Powers, ch. 8 (NCMH vol. 8): Focuses on Catherine the Great’s reign in Russia and reforms/modernization efforts from the 1760s-90s. Examined the roles of nobles, serfs, minorities, and efforts to Westernize while maintaining autocratic rule.

NCMH, vol. 8, chs. 9 and 12: Chapter 9 discusses the influence of Enlightenment ideas on political, social and economic reforms across Europe in the late 18th century. Chapter 12 examines military reforms and developments of professional standing armies.

I. de Madariaga, Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great: A biography of Catherine the Great’s reign from 1762-1796, focusing on her domestic reforms and foreign policy that expanded Russian territory and influence. Examined her absolutist modernization efforts.

Younger Pitt volumes and other sources: Detail Pitt’s financial and administrative reforms as British Prime Minister, comparison of British and French economies in the 1780s, taxation reforms, and impact on ability to wage lengthy wars against France.

Sources on military reforms: Trace developments of professional standing armies, influence of Enlightenment, tactics/strategy modernization prior to French Revolutionary wars, and early Revolutionary War campaigns.

Sources on British policy and strategy: Examine British strategy/goals against Revolutionary France, Pitt’s leadership, roles of foreign aid and naval power, campaigns through the rise and fall of Napoleon.

Sources on Napoleon as general/strategist: Analyze his generalship, innovations and strategies employed across his early campaigns and against various coalitions opposing Revolutionary/Napoleonic France.

Sources on 1798-1801 war: Examine the formation and defeat of the Second Coalition against France led by Britain and including Austria, Russia, Ottoman Empire and others. Strategic/diplomatic aspects.

Here are summaries of the sources you listed:

  • vol. 2, ch. 10 of Blond, La Grand Armée covers the events of the Waterloo campaign and battle in 1815 from the French perspective.

  • H. Lachouque’s Waterloo (1972) provides an in-depth account and analysis of the famous battle.

  • U. Pericoli and M. Glover’s 1815: The Armies at Waterloo (1973) describes the opposing armies and orders of battle for Britain, Prussia, Netherlands and France at the battle.

  • Sherwig’s Guineas and Gunpowder, ch. 14 examines the peace settlements after the Napoleonic Wars in 1814-1815.

  • NCMH, vol. 9, ch. 24 likely covers similar topics.

  • Gulick’s Europe’s Classical Balance of Power discusses the Congress of Vienna settlement and reconstruction of Europe.

  • Webster’s The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1812–1815 focuses on Britain’s role.

  • Nicolson’s The Congress of Vienna provides background on the landmark 1815 conference.

  • Dakin’s paper analyzes the Congress of Vienna and its historical context.

  • Marshall’s 1975 History article gives a historical revision of British expansion in 18th century India.

  • Ingram’s Commitment to Empire likely comments on Marshall’s work.

  • Braudel’s Wheels of Commerce discusses the importance of long-distance trade networks.

  • O’Brien’s 1983 paper examines impact of Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars on long-run British economic growth.

  • Crouzet, Cain and Hopkins, Davis, and Crafts sources cover debates around Britain’s transition to an export-led economy in the late 18th-early 19th centuries.

  • The quote is used in Crouzet’s The Victorian Economy to define a key theme.

  • Glover in Napoleonic Wars discusses British naval strategy post-1815.

  • The Marcus quote emphasizes the Royal Navy’s global role after 1815.

Here is a summary of History of Europe Since the Congress of Vienna (London, 1965 edn.), chapters 1 and 3-4:

  • Chapter 1 provides an overview of the political situation in Europe following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, which established the balance of power after the Napoleonic Wars. It examines the Soviet of Europe put in place by the Congress system and the goal of stability under the leadership of the Austrian foreign minister Metternich.

  • Chapter 3 examines the growth of liberalism and nationalism in the German states in the 1830s-1840s. It discusses the failed liberal revolutions of 1848 and Prussia’s rise as the dominant German power under Otto von Bismarck.

  • Chapter 4 discusses the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. It examines how Bismarck engineered German unification and the creation of the German Empire under Prussian hegemony.

  • It discusses the rise of a bipolar world order between 1885-1918 with Germany and Britain emerging as the two main great powers.

  • The 1884-1885 Berlin West Africa Conference saw the colonial carve up of Africa among European powers.

  • The US also began asserting itself more on the global stage economically and diplomatically in the late 19th century.

  • Germany’s industrialization and growing power led to increased tensions with Britain as the traditional dominant naval power.

  • Germany pursued an aggressive foreign policy under Kaiser Wilhelm II which alienated other European powers and contributed to the outbreak of WWI.

  • The rise of the US and Japan also challenged the colonial dominance of European powers in East Asia in this period.

  • Militarism and alliances grew in Europe, destabilizing the continent and leading to the outbreak of total war in 1914 through a series of miscalculations and misunderstandings between the great powers.

  • So in summary, it discusses the transition to a more bipolar global order dominated by Britain and the emerging Germany between 1885-1918, rising US influence, increased imperial rivalries, an arms race in Europe, and growing instability ultimately culminating in World War 1.

Here is a summary of the key points from the given text:

  • Italy experienced significant industrial growth in the late 19th century, though its economy lagged behind other major European powers. Several factors contributed to Italy’s industrialization, including access to markets in the Balkans.

  • Japan underwent rapid modernization and industrialization following the Meiji Restoration in 1868. This included economic, political, and military reforms to transform Japan into a modern state.

  • Germany experienced impressive economic growth in the late 19th century, becoming a major industrial power by the early 20th century. However, overconfidence in its growing strength and tensions with other powers contributed to rising nationalism and militarism.

  • The Austro-Hungarian Empire experienced moderate economic growth but struggled with ethnic nationalism and economic backwardness compared to other powers. Its dual monarchy system proved increasingly unstable.

  • The rise of navalism and competition in military spending heightened tensions between the European powers in the lead up to World War I. Germany in particular felt strategically vulnerable as its power grew relative to others. Underestimates of military capabilities on all sides increased the risks of war.

  • It discusses the economic and military strength of major European powers in the late 19th/early 20th century prior to WWI, including the Austro-Hungarian Empire, France, Germany, and Britain.

  • It notes the declining power of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and problems with its army. It also describes improving German-Austrian military relations.

  • Regarding France, it discusses its economy, colonialism, naval capabilities, and foreign policy under Delcasse which helped lead to the Entente with Britain. It argues France was more militarily and economically powerful than often believed.

  • For Britain, it covers its navy, imperialism, foreign policy focus on maintaining the balance of power, and growth of economic and military strength despite new challenges from Germany.

  • Overall the passage provides historical context on the military and geopolitical situation in Europe in the buildup to WWI from an economic and realist foreign policy perspective. It aims to counter some nationalist narratives about the causes of the war.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The passage discusses the Russian economy prior to World War 1. It notes that Russia industrialized later than Western Europe, with industry concentrated in certain regions like Central Russia. Agricultural exports remained important and peasants still made up the vast majority of the population.

Foreign investment played a significant role in Russian industrialization. The state also pursued an active policy of industrial promotion from the 1880s onward. However, industry grew from a very low base and Russia remained a predominantly agrarian economy by 1914. Its infrastructure like railroads also lagged Western Europe.

Militarily, the Russian army was large but plagued by poor training and outdated equipment. It relied heavily on conscription and many soldiers came from peasant backgrounds with low education. The officer corps was also criticized for inefficiencies. Overall, while Russia was emerging as a great power, its economic and military capabilities were still backward compared to countries like Germany or Britain on the eve of World War 1. The passage provides significant historical context on Russia’s development leading up to the war.

Here is a summary of the key points from Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power (New York, 1962 edn.):

  • The book examines Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency from 1901-1909 and his role in expanding American influence globally through more assertive diplomacy and the development of U.S. naval power.

  • Roosevelt pursued an “active” foreign policy aimed at making the U.S. a dominant power in the Western Hemisphere and establishing it as a major global player through imperial ambitions and showing naval might.

  • He helped orchestrate the construction of the Panama Canal and asserted a U.S. sphere of influence in Latin America through the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

  • Roosevelt also expanded the U.S. Navy into a formidable force through new battleships and positioning the Navy globally as a symbol of American power projection.

  • These policies marked a shift from isolationism and established the U.S. as an emerging world power, even if the country did not seek to match the territorial empires of European nations at the time.

  • The book examines how Roosevelt helped lay the foundation for the U.S. to play a greater role internationally in the 20th century through more robust uses of American economic and military influence overseas.

The article examines how Nicholas II handled the supreme command of the Russian military during World War I. It draws on sources from Sbornik, vol. 11 (1985), pp. 47–83, which includes analysis of Nicholas II’s role and decisions regarding the military high command.

The passage cites Schmitt and Vedeler, World in the Crucible, pp. 188–99, which provides a quotation from N. Golovine’s Russian Army in the World War (New Haven, 1932), p. 281 regarding casualties. It also references several other sources on the discontent with Russia’s wartime conscription policies and the mutiny crisis of 1917.

Pedrocini’s Les mutineries de 1917 (Paris, 1967) is highlighted as the best study on the 1917 mutiny crisis in the Russian army. McNeill’s Pursuit of Power, p. 322 provides a good synthesis of the literature on this topic.

Ange-Laribé’s L’agriculture pendant la guerre (Paris, 1925) and coverage in Hardach and McNeill are mentioned regarding the effects of the war on Russian agriculture. Casualty figures are cited from Stokesbury’s Short History of World War I, p. 289.

So in summary, the passage examines Russian Tsar Nicholas II’s handling of the supreme military command during WWI, referencing sources that analyze his decisions and also provide context on issues like casualties, conscription problems, agriculture impacts, and the 1917 mutiny crisis facing the Russian army.

Here is a summary of chapter 8 of S. Northedge and A. Wells’s book Britain and Soviet Communism: The Impact of a Revolution (London, 1982):

The chapter examines British fears and perceptions of Soviet communism in the 1920s. After the Bolshevik revolution, the British saw communism as a threat to the international status quo and their global empire. They were particularly concerned that communist ideology could inspire revolutionary movements in Britain’s colonies.

In the 1920s, the British government took steps to isolate and contain the Soviet Union. They did not formally recognize the USSR until 1924. Covert action and propaganda aimed to undermine Soviet communism abroad. At home, new laws were passed to curb communist and socialist movements.

However, public opinion in Britain became more tolerant of Soviet Russia in the mid-1920s as postwar fears subsided. Some on the left advocated peaceful coexistence and trade with the USSR. But the foreign policy establishment remained skeptical of communism and saw the Soviet Union as a disruptive force in international affairs.

Overall, the chapter analyzes how British threat perceptions of and policies toward Soviet communism evolved in the aftermath of the 1917 revolution, from initial alarm to a stance of cautious containment by the later 1920s. It examines the competing views within Britain and the government’s balancing of security concerns with public attitudes.

Here are summaries of the requested chapters:

Japan (New York, 1985), chs. 2 and 4:

Chapter 2 discusses the rise of militarism in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s. The army became more influential politically and sought to expand Japan’s influence in Asia. Chapter 4 analyzes Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and the ensuing conflict with China, which began in 1937. This heightened tensions with the West and further strengthened the army’s role in Japan.

S. Hayashi with A. Coox, Kogun: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War (Westport, Conn., 1978 reprint), ch. 1:

Chapter 1 provides background on the early history and development of the Imperial Japanese Army. It traces the army’s increasing power and autonomy from the late 19th century onwards. The chapter also examines the army’s dominance over the navy and role in driving Japan’s aggressive expansionism during this period. It sets the stage for understanding the army’soutsize influence over Japan’s decision making leading up to and during World War 2.

This summary describes several key aspects of French politics, society, and military in the 1930s leading up to the 1940 defeat against Germany:

  • Discusses some important surveys and works on French politics/society in the 1930s and its relationship to the 1940 defeat.

  • Notes works that provide technical details on the French army, problems it faced in the 1930s, and the development of French military doctrine during this period.

  • Mentions France’s declining diplomatic position and alliances in Eastern Europe in the mid-1930s.

  • Touches on France’s weak economic situation by 1936-1939 and how this impacted foreign policy.

  • Briefly discusses French strategy and diplomacy with Britain in the later 1930s, including the perceptions of a long war and the deteriorating relationship with Britain.

  • Overall it provides a high-level overview of the historical literature on key political, social, economic and military factors that contributed to France’s vulnerability and defeat against Germany in 1940.

Here is a summary of the key points covered in the references:

  • Relative neglect of the Soviet navy during the interwar period is discussed in Mitchell’s History of Russia and Soviet Sea Power.

  • McNeill’s Pursuit of Power provides insight on Soviet military development. Sources like Erickson’s The Soviet High Command and Ziemke’s article in Millett and Murray also analyze this topic.

  • Russian defense expenditures are detailed in Nove’s Economic History and Munting’s Economic Development of the USSR.

  • The best sources on Soviet foreign policy in the 1930s include Ulam’s Expansion and Coexistence, Haslam’s book on collective security, and Hochmann’s book on collective security failures.

  • Hillman’s article provides comparative data on the military strengths of the great powers.

  • Mackintosh’s article and Erickson’s The Soviet High Command discuss the Red Army’s development in the 1920s-1930s.

  • Sources on the Soviet-Finnish War include Mackintosh, Erickson, and Coox’s book on the Nomonhan incident.

  • Erickson covers threat identification by the Soviet Union in various works. Carr provides diplomatic context.

  • Sources address relative economic and military strengths of powers like the U.S. and Germany. Nove, Munting, and Rostow provide economic data on the USSR. Figures are from other sources.

  • Leffler analyzes Soviet expansionist impulses and constraints in the interwar period.

  • Sources summarize American defense policies and preparation in the interwar period.

Here are the summaries of the sources provided:

  • erg, Divided and Conquered: The French High Command and the Defeat of the West, 1940 (Westport, Conn., 1979). This source analyzes the reasons for the Allied inertia and the German decision to attack in 1940.

  • J. Mearsheimer, Conventional Deterrence (Ithaca, N.Y., 1983), chs. 3–4. This source provides a good analysis of the reasons for the Allied inertia and the German decision to attack in 1940, as analyzed in the above source.

  • Knox, Mussolini Unleashed, is best on those repeated Italian disasters; but see also Schreiber et al., Mittelmeerraum, pts. 2–3 and 5. This summarizes sources on the Italian failures and weaknesses in World War II.

  • J. L. Sadkovich, “Minerals, Weapons and Warfare: Italy’s Failure in World War II,” accepted for Storia contemporanea. This provides a more sympathetic account of Italy’s weaknesses.

  • Overy, Air War, p. 28; Kennedy, Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, p. 309. These sources are cited without any context provided.

  • Carr, Poland to Pearl Harbor, pp. 99ff; Reynolds, Creation of the Anglo-American Alliance, pp. 108ff. See also J. Leutze, Bargaining for Supremacy: Anglo-American Naval Relations 1937–1941 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1977). These sources discuss the origins of the Anglo-American alliance.

  • Lukacs, The Last European War; Baldwin, The Crucial Years 1939–41; Carr, Poland to Pearl Harbor, passim. For the German side, Hillgruber, Hitlers Strategie. These sources provide histories of the period from 1939-1941 from various perspectives.

That covers the summaries provided for the sources referenced in the prompt. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

Here is a summary of the key points from the passages:

  • Kennan’s writings in the American Historical Review and Lehrman Institute paper outline the early identification of American interests at the end of WWII and security/containment policy before his famous “Long Telegram.”

  • Sources discuss the economic difficulties and reconstruction challenges facing the Soviet Union, Germany, and other European powers in the aftermath of WWII.

  • Militarily, the Soviet Union rebuilt its armed forces significantly under Stalin postwar.

  • The development of nuclear weapons created new strategic uncertainties and concerns about security for all the major powers.

  • Tensions increased between the West and Soviet Union as Stalin expanded communist influence and control over Eastern Europe.

  • The start of the Cold War is traced to disputes over control of Germany and Eastern Europe as the wartime alliance broke down.

  • Key events like the Berlin Blockade increased confrontation and shaped early Cold War strategies of containment by the US and its allies towards the Soviet bloc.

Here is a summary of the passage “Rotierung der Allierten in Deutschland,” in Foschepoth (ed.), Kalter Krieg und deutsche Frage, pp. 217ff:

The passage discusses the rotation of Allied forces in Germany during the Cold War period and the German question. It argues that the stationing of Allied troops in West Germany was an important part of the containment strategy against Soviet expansionism in Europe. The rotation of American, British, French and other NATO troops in West Germany served to demonstrate the Allies’ commitment to West German security and deter Soviet aggression. It helped reinforce West Germany’s integration into the Western security architecture dominated by NATO and ensured that the country did not drift into neutralism. The passage examines how the rotation of Allied forces was a visible manifestation of the alliance solidarity at the heart of the Cold War confrontation in divided Germany. It played a key role in shaping the geopolitical contours of the Cold War standoff in Central Europe during the early postwar period.

Here is a summary of the references provided:

  • Many of the references discuss the emergence and formation of the Third World, including its rise to self-assertion in the post-colonial era. Works cited include Emerson’s From Empire to Nation and Lyon’s essay “The Emergence of the Third World.”

  • Other references examine the concept of neutralism and non-alignment within the Third World, as well as the coalition and influence of Third World states in international politics. Works include Lyon’s Neutralism and Jansen’s Afro-Asia and Non-Alignment.

  • Additional references analyze Soviet and Western (especially U.S.) relations and influence with Third World states, including in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Works discussed military balances of power.

  • References also assess Sino-Soviet relations and competition/disputes, as well as the impacts on European communist states and relations between communist states more broadly.

  • Works cite French nuclear diplomacy under de Gaulle, European integration developments, and dynamics of detente between Western and Eastern Bloc states.

  • Finally, references discuss U.S. strategy and experience in Vietnam, declining confidence in U.S. role and global leadership, and Nixon/Kissinger’s pursuit of detente and their foreign policy decision-making.

Here is a summary of John Gaddis’s final thoughts in the “Epilogue” to Strategies of Containment:

  • Gaddis reflects on containment as a long-term strategy that successfully prevented Soviet expansionism and helped bring about the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. However, it also led to an unsustainable arms race and growing tensions.

  • He acknowledges containment was far from perfect and created unintended consequences. However, he argues no other strategy offered a realistic alternative at the time given the challenges posed by Soviet power and ideological ambitions post-WWII.

  • Overall, Gaddis views containment as a largely successful American grand strategy that achieved its core goal of preventing Soviet control of Western Europe and other vital regions. But it did so at significant economic, political and human costs over several decades of confrontation.

  • In the end, Gaddis presents containment as a product of its time that dealt reasonably well with the challenges posed by the Soviet Union, but also helped catalyze long-term trends that ultimately weakened and disrupted the Soviet system from within.

Here is a summary of the key sources cited in the passage:

  • Munting, Economic Development of the USSR, p. 133 - Discusses problems in Soviet agriculture.

  • Nove, Economic History of the USSR - Provides overview of Soviet economic history, including agriculture issues and labor productivity issues.

  • Bergson and Levine (eds.), Soviet Economy: Toward the Year 2000 - Includes useful essays on Soviet agriculture.

  • Schooner, “Soviet Agricultural Policies” - Paper on Soviet agricultural policies.

  • CIA, Handbook of Economic Statistics, 1984 - Provides statistics on Soviet agricultural output.

  • Cipolla (ed.), Fontana Economic History of Europe - Covers economic history of Eastern Europe.

  • Spulber, The State and Economic Development in Eastern Europe - Examines economic development in Eastern Europe.

  • Kaser, Comecon - Looks at Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon).

  • Aldcroft, European Economy 1914–1980 - Includes summary of Eastern European economic issues.

  • Goldman, The Enigma of Soviet Petroleum - Analyzes issues with Soviet oil production.

  • Bergson and Levine (eds.), Soviet Economy: Toward the Year 2000 - Discusses problems facing the Soviet economy.

  • Rowen, “Living with a Sick Bear” - Article examining challenges facing the Soviet Union.

  • Goldman, USSR in Crisis - Book on failure of Soviet economic system.

  • Dibb, The Soviet Union: The Incomplete Super-power - Chapter examines Soviet economic issues.

Here is a summary of the key points from ns in the 1980s (New Haven, Conn., 1984), p. 75:

  • China’s economic reforms that began in the late 1970s led to rapid growth and integration into the global economy in the 1980s. The country moved away from a Soviet-style planned economy.

  • Economic growth rates averaged around 10% annually. China became an attractive destination for foreign investment and boosted its exports significantly.

  • However, China still faced many economic challenges, including in developing productive industries and technology. Political and social reforms lagged behind economic changes.

  • China’s economic rise affected regional dynamics. It developed closer economic ties with other Asian countries but political relations were mixed, especially with Japan.

  • China’s growth impacted the global balance of power by increasing its international stature and influence. However, it remained far behind other major economies in GDP and industrial capabilities. Military expenditures also grew.

So in summary, the passage discusses China’s successful yet still limited economic transformation in the 1980s and its growing role in the international system as a result of this period of rapid growth and integration.

Here is a summary of the key points from the referenced sources on European defense and nuclear weapons:

  • The debate around NATO’s nuclear posture, including questions around no-first-use policies and conventional deterrence in Europe. Sources include works edited by Pierre, Bundy et al., and Steinbrunner and Segal.

  • Discussion of West German defense capabilities and policy from sources like the Economist and works by Calleo and Treverton.

  • Analysis of declining British economic power and challenges maintaining defense spending from various Economist articles and works by Gamble, Kirby, Eatwell, Pollard, and Walters.

  • Overviews of French defense policy, including shifts under Mitterrand, from sources like Harrison, Laird, Yost, Lellouche, Rudney, and Schmidt. Discusses France’s stance on NATO, nuclear forces, and conventional presence in Europe.

  • Background on challenges facing the Soviet economy, including failures in agriculture, energy problems, inefficient industrial sector, and demographic issues, drawing from sources like Goldman, Brown et al., Hosking, Millar, Berliner, Campbell, Dienes, Amann et al., and Feshbach.

  • Mentions Gorbachev’s reforms and speeches addressing needed changes in the Soviet system.

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