/ The Westphalian system. The collapse of the Westphalian system and the emergence of a new world order

The Westphalian system. The collapse of the Westphalian system and the emergence of a new world order

The Westphalian system is the order of referenceinternational policy, established in Europe in the XVII century. It laid the foundations of modern relations between countries and gave impetus to the formation of new national states.

Prerequisites of the Thirty Years' War

Westphalian system of international relationswas formed as a result of the Thirty Years' War of 1618-1648, during which the foundation of the previous world order was destroyed. In this conflict, almost all the states of Europe were dragged, but the opposition of the Protestant monarchs of Germany and the Catholic Holy Roman Empire, supported by another part of the German princes, was at the heart of it. At the end of the 16th century, the rapprochement between the Austrian and Spanish branches of the Habsburg house created the preconditions for the restoration of the empire of Charles V. But the independence of the German Protestant feudal lords, approved by the Ausburg world, was a hindrance to this. In 1608, these monarchs created the Protestant Union, supported by England and France. In contrast to her in 1609, the Catholic League was created - an ally of Spain and the Pope.

The course of military operations of 1618-1648.

After the Habsburgs strengthen their influence in theCzechia, which in fact leads to a violation of the rights of Protestants, an uprising is taking place in the country. With the support of the Protestant Union, a new king was elected in the country - Friedrich of Palatinate. From this moment begins the first period of the war - the Czech. It is characterized by the defeat of the Protestant troops, the confiscation of the king's lands, the transfer of the Upper Palatinate to the power of Bavaria, and the restoration of Catholicism in the state.

Westphalian system of international relations

The second period is Danish, which is characterized byinterference of neighboring countries in the course of hostilities. Denmark was the first to enter the war in order to seize the Baltic coast. During this period, the troops of the anti-Habsburg coalition suffer significant losses from the Catholic League, and Denmark is forced to withdraw from the war. With the invasion of North Germany, King Gustav's troops begin a Swedish campaign. The radical change begins at the last stage - Franco-Swedish.

The Westphalian world

After France's entry into the war, the advantageThe Protestant union became evident, this led to the need to seek a compromise between the parties. In 1648, the Westphalian Peace was concluded, which consisted of two treaties prepared at congresses in Münster and Osnabrück. He fixed a new balance of power in the world and authorized the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire into independent states (more than 300).

Westphalian system

In addition, since the conclusion of the Westphalianthe main form of the political organization of society is the "state-nation", and the dominant principle of international relations is the sovereignty of countries. The religious aspect in the treaty was considered as follows: in Germany there was an equation in the rights of the Calvinists, Lutherans and Catholics.

Westphalian system of international relations

Its basic principles began to look like this:

1. The form of political organization of society is a national state.

2. Geopolitical inequality: a clear hierarchy of powers - from the powerful to the weaker.

3. The main principle of relations in the world is the sovereignty of national states.

4. System of political equilibrium.

5. The state is obliged to smooth economic conflicts between its subjects.

6. Non-interference of countries in each other's internal affairs.

7. Clear organization of stable borders between European states.

8. Non-global nature. Initially, the rules that set the Westphalian system, operated only in Europe. Over time, they were joined by Eastern Europe, North America and the Mediterranean.

The new system of international relations has putthe beginning of globalization and the integration of culture, marked the end of the isolation of individual states. In addition, its establishment led to the rapid development of capitalist relations in Europe.

Development of the Westphalian system. 1st stage

The multipolarity is clearly tracedWestphalian system, as a result of which none of the states could achieve absolute hegemony, and the main struggle for political advantage was conducted between France, England and the Netherlands.
During the reign of the "sun king" of Louis XIVFrance is stepping up its foreign policy. It was characterized by the intention to obtain new territories and constant interference in the affairs of neighboring countries.

Development of the system of international relations

In 1688 the so-called Greatan alliance, the main position in which the Netherlands and England occupied. This union directed its activities to reducing France's influence in the world. A little later, other rivals of Louis XIV joined the Netherlands and England - Savoy, Spain and Sweden. They created the Augsburg League. As a result of the wars, one of the main principles that the Westphalian system proclaimed was a political balance in international relations was restored.

Evolution of the Westphalian system. 2 nd stage

The influence of Prussia is increasing. This country, located in the heart of Europe, has entered into a struggle for the consolidation of the German territories. If Prussia's plans were translated into reality, this could undermine the foundations on which the Westphalian system of international relations rested. At the initiative of Prussia, the Seven Years and the War for the Austrian Heritage were unleashed. Both conflicts undermined the principles of peaceful regulation that emerged after the end of the Thirty Years' War.
In addition to strengthening Prussia, Russia's role in the world increased. This was illustrated by the Russo-Swedish war.

In general, with the end of the Seven Years' War, a new period begins, in which the Westphalian system entered.

The third phase of the Westphalian system

After the Great French Revolution beginsthe process of forming national countries. During this period, the state acts as a guarantor of the rights of its subjects, affirms the theory of "political legitimacy". Its main thesis is that a national country has the right to exist only when its borders correspond to ethnic territories.

After the end of the Napoleonic wars in ViennaCongress in 1815 first talked about the need to abolish slavery, in addition, issues related to religious tolerance and freedoms were discussed.

At the same time,the principle that the affairs of the subjects of the state are purely internal problems of the country. This was illustrated by the Berlin Conference on Africa and the congresses in Brussels, Geneva and The Hague.

Versailles-Washington system of international relations

This system was installed after the end ofThe First World War and the regrouping of forces in the international arena. The basis of the new world order was the treaties concluded as a result of the Paris and Washington summit meetings. In January 1919, the Paris Conference began its work. The basis for negotiations between the United States, France, Britain, Japan and Italy was laid "14 points" by Wilson. It should be noted that the Versailles part of the system was created under the influence of the political and military-strategic goals of the victorious states in the First World War. At the same time, the interests of the defeated countries and those that just appeared on the political map of the world (Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc.) were ignored. A number of treaties authorized the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the Russian, German and Ottoman empires and laid the foundations for a new world order.

Washington Conference

The Versailles Act and treaties with the German alliesbasically concerned the European states. In 1921-1922 the Washington conference was working, which solved the problems of postwar settlement in the Far East. A significant role in the work of this congress was played by the United States and Japan, and also took into account the interests of Britain and France. Within the framework of the conference, a number of agreements were signed that determined the fundamentals of the Far Eastern subsystem. These acts formed the second part of the new world order called the Washington system of international relations.

Washington System of International Relations

The main goal of the US was to "open the doors" of Japan andChina. They succeeded in the conference to achieve the elimination of the union of Britain and Japan. With the end of the Washington Congress, the phase of the formation of a new world order was over. There were centers of power, which managed to develop a relatively stable system of relationships.

Basic principles and characteristics of international relations

1. Strengthening the leadership of the United States, Britain and France in the international arena and discrimination against Germany, Russia, Turkey and Bulgaria. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the war of individual victorious countries. This predetermined the possibility of revanchism.

2. Removal of the US from European politics. In fact, the course for self-isolation was proclaimed after the failure of V. Wilson's program "14 points".

3. The transformation of the US from a debtor to European states into a major creditor. Particularly clearly the degree of dependence of other countries on the US demonstrated the plans of Dawes and Jung.

Versailles-Washington system of international relations

4. The establishment in 1919 of the League of Nations, which was an effective tool for supporting the Versailles-Washington system. Its founders pursued personal interests in international relations (Great Britain and France tried to secure for themselves a pre-eminent position in world politics). In general, the League of Nations did not have a mechanism to monitor the implementation of its decisions.

5. The Versailles system of international relations was of a global nature.

Crisis of the system and its collapse

The crisis of the Washington subsystem manifested itself already in20-ies and was caused by Japan's aggressive policy towards China. In the early 30-ies was occupied Manchuria, where the state was a puppet. The League of Nations condemned the aggression of Japan, and she withdrew from this organization.

The crisis of the Versailles system predeterminedStrengthening of Italy and Germany, to power in which fascists and Nazis came. The development of the system of international relations in the 1930s showed that the security system created around the League of Nations is absolutely ineffective.

The concrete manifestations of the crisis were AnschlussAustria in March 1938 and the Munich conspiracy in September of the same year. From this time, the chain reaction of the collapse of the system began. 1939 showed that the policy of appeasement is absolutely ineffective.

The Versailles-Washington system of international relations, which had many shortcomings and was absolutely unstable, collapsed with the outbreak of World War II.

System of relations between states in the second half of the 20th century

The foundations of a new world order after the war1939-1945 were worked out at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences. Leaders of the countries of the Anti-Hitler Coalition took part in the congresses: Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt (later Truman).
In general, the Yalta-Potsdam systeminternational relations was characterized by bipolarity, since the US and the USSR occupied the leading position. This led to the formation of certain centers of power, which most influenced the character of the international system.

Yalta Conference

The participants of the Yalta Conferencethe goal was to destroy German militarism and create guarantees of peace, since the discussions took place in the conditions of war. At this congress, the new borders of the USSR (along the line of Curzon) and Poland were established. The zones of occupation in Germany were also divided between the states of the anti-Hitler coalition. This led to the fact that the country for 45 years consisted of two parts - the FRG and the GDR. In addition, there was a division of spheres of influence in the Balkan region. Greece passed under British control, in Yugoslavia was established the communist regime of IB Tito.

Yalta system of international relations

The Potsdam Conference

At this congress it was decided todemilitarization and decentralization of Germany. Domestic and foreign policy was under the control of the council, which included the commanders-in-chief of the four victorious states in the war. The Potsdam system of international relations was based on new principles of cooperation between European states. The Council of Foreign Ministers was established. The main result of the congress was the demand for the surrender of Japan.

Potsdam system of international relations

Principles and characteristics of the new system

1. Bipolarity in the form of a political-ideological confrontation between the "free world" led by the United States and the socialist countries.

2. Confrontational nature. Systemic confrontation of leading countries in political, economic, military and other spheres. This confrontation reached its apogee during the Cold War.

3. The Yalta system of international relations did not have a definite legal basis.

4. The new order developed during the proliferation of nuclear weapons. This led to the formation of a security mechanism. A concept of nuclear deterrence emerged based on the fear of a new war.

5. The creation of the UN, on the basis of which the entire Yalta-Potsdam system of international relations was based. But in the postwar period, the organization's activities consisted in preventing an armed conflict between the US and the USSR at the global and regional levels.


In modern times there were several systemsinternational relations. The Westphalian system proved to be the most effective and viable. The subsequent systems were of a confrontational nature, which predetermined their rapid decay. The modern system of international relations is based on the principle of power balance, which is a consequence of the individual security interests of all states.

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