Europe on the Eve of 20th Century

  • Europe had become one of the most prosperous regions of the world because of industrialization.
  • Colonial rivalry in Africa and China caused clashes between various nations. Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Russia had their spheres of influence in China.
  • German ruler Kaiser Wilhelm II was highly ambitious and loved to indulge in power politics.
  • Austria-Hungary was a combined power of two countries.
  • Both the countries had separate governments, which were under the Emperors from the Habsburg Dynasty.
  • Austria-Hungary suffered from internal friction caused by various ethnic minorities like Slavs and Croats.
  • Austria-Hungary and Serbia fought for control over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Austria-Hungary and Germany formed the Dual Alliance to fight against Russia.
  • Russia was among the great powers.
  • The Czarist government of Russia was declining due to its autocratic system of government.
  • Italy was a new power, which was politically and economically weak.
  • The Catholic Church obstructed Bismarck’s attempts to lead the country constructively.
  • Britain was considered the most powerful.
  • Its colonial possessions spanned across India, China, Malay, Singapore, Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The Czar led a declining autocratic government in Russia.
  • France had been badly defeated by Germany in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71.
  • France had to give away Alsace and Lorraine regions to Germany.
  • The Ottoman Empire spanned across both Asia and Europe.
  • The Empire had control over Albania, Macedonia and Thrace in Europe.
  • Based on its antiquated and medieval society, the Ottoman Empire was called ‘Sick man of Europe’.
  • Sultan Abdul Hamid ruled on the basis of terror, massacre and police repression.
  • Young Turk group was formed by the progressives to depose the Sultan.

 

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