Realpolitik refers to diplomacy or politics based not on idealistic, moral, and ethical principles, but upon practical and material factors.
The classic example of Realpolitik is President Nixon's alliance with China against the Soviet Union in the 1970s, despite China's communist government to which the United States was morally and ethically opposed.
After the collapse of the Italian unification movement of 1848, who were the three key leaders of the drive for unification?
The three key leaders in the drive for Italian unification were King Vittorio Emanuele II of Piedmont-Sardinia, his Prime Minister Camillo Benso (known as the Count of Cavour), and Giuseppe Garibaldi, leader of a band of pro-unification soldiers known as the Red Shirts.
How did Risorgimento change after the collapse of the 1848 Italian unification efforts?
While the nationalistic underpinnings of Risorgimento remained, after 1848 advocates abandoned the movement's romantic underpinnings for the practice of Realpolitik.
Leaders of the Risorgimento were willing to make any political and diplomatic alliance which would drive forward the cause of Italian unification.
What reforms did Sardinian Prime Minister Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour undertake to modernize the Sardinian state?
Cavour undertook a series of liberal reforms designed to curtail the influence of the Catholic Church. He also established a liberal constitution based on the French constitution of 1830 and instituted infrastructure projects to improve and modernize the Sardinian economy.
Cavour's efforts, besides being beneficial to the Sardinian state, were also designed to attract the support of France and Great Britain.
What action did Louis Napoleon take in 1852?
In 1852, Louis Napoleon threw off all trappings of being a democratically elected leader and named himself the Emperor of France, ruling as Napoleon III. The French people supported Napoleon III's actions.
For what purpose did Napoleon III hire Georges Haussmann?
Napoleon III hired Baron Haussmann to lead a vast project to redesign Paris. The medieval city's cramped quarters and tenement housing were replaced with parks, monuments, and (not coincidently) streets that were too wide to barricade.
How did Napoleon III improve France's infrastructure?
Napoleon III financially supported increased railway mileage, loosened trade restrictions leading to a large increase in French exports, and provided means for increased industrialization, benefitting France's bourgeoisie.
The working class benefitted as well, as Napoleon III increased the amount of working class housing and trade unions were allowed to flourish.
Why did Napoleon III involve the French Army in wars in the Crimea (1856), Italy (1859), and Mexico (1861-1867)?
Above all else, Napoleon III sought military glory for France and for himself. Feeling that the Concert of Europe undermined his freedom of action, he attempted at every opportunity to subvert it.
His involvement in Mexico was in derogation of the Monroe Doctrine, and was timed to take advantage of the distractions caused by the American Civil War.
The "Eastern Question" dominated European diplomatic relations from at least the 1770s, becoming acute in the last half of the 19th century. What was the Eastern Question?
The Eastern Question arose as the Ottoman Empire declined in power. Both Austria and Russia sought to take advantage of the power vacuum, while Britain sought to shore up the Ottoman Empire to protect their interests in the region. Meanwhile, France saw it as a means to disrupt the Concert of Europe.
Further, various nationalities, such as the Serbs and Greeks, agitated for independence from the Turks, further exacerbating regional tensions.
How did the Crimean War begin?
The Crimean War began when the Ottoman Sultan granted the French the role of "protector" of the Christian holy places of Palestine in 1852, an arrangement which conflicted with existing agreements between the Turks and the Russians.
In protest, the Tsar occupied the Turkish territories of Moldavia and Wallachia. When the Russians refused to withdraw, the Ottoman Empire declared war, and the British and French followed suit. Almost the entirety of the fighting took place on the Crimean Peninsula.
Why did Sardinia participate in the Crimean War on the side of Britain, France, and Turkey?
Although Sardinia had little interest in the Crimean War's causes or outcomes, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour allied Sardinia with France and Britain under the hope that at the war's end, he could garner their support for Risorgimento and the elimination of Austria from Italian soil.
Although formally unsuccessful at the Paris Peace Conference which ended the war, Risorgimento did attract the support of Napoleon III, the French emperor.
What were the Four Points of Vienna?
The Four Points of Vienna was a statement issued by the French, British, Prussia, and Austria in 1854 stating their war aims. The most important points were that Russia would abandon Wallachia and Moldavia and that no warships would be allowed to pass through the Dardanelles.
Russia felt a keen sense of betrayal that Austria and Prussia had joined in the Four Points, as neither nation was at war with Russia.
What two events caused the Russians to surrender in the Crimean War?
In March of 1855, Tsar Nicholas I died and was replaced on the throne by the more conciliatory Tsar Alexander II. In December, the Austrians sent an ultimatum to the new Tsar, threatening to enter the war on the side of Britain, France, Sardinia, and Turkey. Alexander accepted the Four Points of Vienna and the war concluded.
Although Tsar Alexander II freed the serfs in 1861, he did not allow them to own ______.
The freeing of the serfs only partially allayed their lot; they could not be forced to labor for free, but the lack of any available land severely hindered the serfs' opportunities for advancement.
In 1864, Tsar Alexander II allowed local, popularly elected assemblies called _____ to be formed.
The zemstvos had little power on the national level, but did allow for some local input in government affairs.
Pogroms were attacks on Jews, directed by the Russian state.
Under Russian control, Polish and Eastern European Jews were restricted to certain lands and lacked economic and social opportunities. In the later half of the 19th century, many fled their homes for the United States.
How did Otto von Bismarck heal Prussia's rift with Russia in the wake of the Crimean War?
Russia felt betrayed by Prussia's signature on the Four Points of Vienna, but the rift was healed when von Bismarck committed Prussian troops to assist the Russians in putting down a revolt in Poland in 1863. The Russo-Austrian rift arising out of the Four Points never healed.
In 1858, ______ signed the Plombières Agreement with Sardinia, guaranteeing military aid in the event of a Sardinian war with Austria.
Both France and Sardinia viewed a war with Austria as likely; and in exchange for French support (and the understanding that in the event of victory Sardinia would annex most of Northern Italy), Sardinia agreed to give the French control of the provinces of Nice and Savoy.
What were the results of the Austro-Sardinian War of 1859?
Although Sardinia had significant military victories over the Austrians, the French Emperor Napoleon III signed a treaty with the Austrians without Sardinian knowledge, ending the war.
The treaty provided the Sardinians with Lombardy, but left the Austrians in control of Venetia. After the war's end, Cavour arranged the annexation of Parma, Modena, Romagna, and Tuscany, creating a large Northern Italian state.
In May 1860, Sardinian ally _____ _____ landed in Sicily with his Red Shirts, and by September had conquered most of Southern Italy.
Although Garibaldi wanted a republic, Cavour and Vittorio Emanuele II convinced him that only a constitutional monarchy under the Sardinian king could unite Italy. In February 1861 an Italian parliament declared Vittorio Emanuele II the King of Italy. In Italy, only Venetia and the Papal States around Rome remained outside Vittorio Emanuele's control.
What Prussian Prime Minister stated in 1862 that a unified Germany would only be achieved through "blood and iron"?
Otto von Bismarck
Bismarck was the principle political and diplomatic advisor to Kaiser Wilhelm I. Bismarck's blood and iron speech was given in support of a bill to modernize the Prussian army. In his speech, Bismarck specifically rejected liberalism and suggested that wars (blood) and industrialization (iron) would bring about German unification.
How did Bismarck react to Danish attempts to annex Schleswig-Holstein, two small provinces on the southern border of Denmark?
In 1863, Bismarck arranged a Prussian military alliance with Austria, and the two German nations quickly crushed the Danish forces. In the treaty of Vienna, Austria and Prussia agreed to jointly administer the two territories.
In 1866, Prussia declared war on _____, ostensibly because of difficulties arising out of Schleswig-Holstein, but in practicality out of a desire to dominate the German states.
The newly modernized Prussian forces crushed Austria and her allies among the German states. Prior to the war, Bismarck had engaged in diplomatic efforts to make sure that the major powers remained neutral. The kingdom of Italy joined the war on the Prussian side, opening a southern front against Austria.
In 1867, Bismarck arranged what German alliance?
With Prussian domination of German affairs established with the defeat of Austria in 1866, Bismarck organized the North German Confederation in 1867, with Kaiser Wilhelm I as President.
The Confederation was a formal alliance of all the German states except for the South German nations of Baden, Bavaria, and Württemberg. The later states signed separate agreements with Prussia.
What was the Ems Dispatch?
In 1870, Kaiser Wilhelm sent a telegram from Ems, a German resort, to Bismarck, detailing the French government's request, under threat of war, that the Kaiser not allow his relative to accept the offer of the vacant Spanish throne.
Bismarck leaked the telegram to the German press, which reacted with predictable anger to the French government's effrontery. The heightened tensions led the French government to declare war in May 1870, beginning the Franco-Prussian War.
What were the results of the Franco-Prussian War?
The North German Confederation, allied with the South German states and led by Prussia, destroyed the French armies and captured Napoleon III.
Under the treaty of Frankfurt (1871), France agreed to cede the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to the newly proclaimed German Empire and pay a large indemnity.
How did the Franco-Prussian War lead to the completion of the Risorgimento?
To fight the Prussians, Napoleon III withdrew the contingent of the French Army that was stationed in Rome. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Italians attacked and easily conquered the Papal States.
The resulting agreement between the Pope and Italy allowed the Pope a small mercenary guard (the Swiss Guards) and the small enclave today known as the Vatican City.
In the wake of France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, what group seized power in Paris?
In 1871, the Paris Commune took over the city. The Commune only lasted two months before it was crushed by the regular French Army.
Nevertheless, the socialist government established by the Commune seemed to Communist and Socialist writers such as Marx to presage the beginnings of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
After 1867, Austria was known as the Dual Monarchy or Austria-Hungary. Why?
In 1867, Austria granted the Hungarians' demands for independence. Although Franz Joseph I would rule over both Austria and Hungary (hence the name Dual Monarchy) and the two states would share an army and have a single foreign policy, both nations were administered separately.
Slavic nationalists attempted to call for a Tripartite Monarchy but were rebuffed, leading to widespread discontent.
In the 1880s, Bismarck introduced a number of social welfare programs for the German people, such as old age pensions and health insurance. What was Bismarck's motivation?
Bismarck sought to engender the German workers' loyalty to the new German Empire. In addition, he sought to undermine support for the German Social Democrat Party which had a number of seats in Germany's representative body, the Reichstag.
Between 1879 and 1887, Germany attempted to isolate _____ by signing treaty arrangements with Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia.
France was widely viewed as Germany's most likely enemy in a future conflict, and Bismarck's skillful diplomacy aligned Germany with a country she'd recently fought, Austria-Hungary. Another agreement was struck with Austria-Hungary and Italy, both of whom distrusted each other.
Bismarck's most skillful accomplishment was the League of Three Emperors, between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, uniting the two longstanding foes.
In 1890, a new Kaiser, Wilhelm II, forced German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to take what action?
Wilhelm II forced Otto von Bismarck to resign his post as Chancellor.
Although he would attempt to replicate Bismarck's skillful diplomacy, Wilhelm II's lack of tact would leave Germany isolated; for instance, he let Germany's treaty with Russia lapse, and the Russians became a French ally, encircling Germany with potential enemies on two sides.