Essay Example on Balance of Powers

Published: 2021-07-05
998 words
4 pages
9 min to read
Harvey Mudd College
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The balance of powers was an idea that developed over centuries ago and has continued to thrive in the modern day era. The concept of the balance of power continues to spike major debates in the contemporary society of the 21st century. The concept was first introduced in the world powers during a period of heated debates. The original concept developed as a result of the intense push to maintain the world peace and stability. Evidently, many countries of the world adopted the basic functionality to preserve peace. In this view, there was the push to instill an international order that widely accepted. The military expansion would be cited as the primary course for the balance of power. During the early centuries (especially the 18th century) many countries of the world have opted to expand their territories given that it would indicate the political might. As such, there was a period in time that Europe established a system that would increase strength for countries at the geographic level. For that matter, there was the quest for expansion and political enmity amongst countries in Europe. A remarkable occurrence of the year 1870 changed the approach and face of Europe. Notably, the Great Britain and Germany agreed on a consolidation forum. As such, they went into a state of balance of power forming an alliance that would gain them popularity in the political atmosphere. The following essay explains the balance of authority status with relevant examples from the Europe Era between the years of 1815-1890.

The balance of power can be defined as the process of engaging in policy between two or more nations. The process is aimed at either protecting the interests of a single or group of countries, matching their political might or with the intention to fight against other nations. Importantly, the balance of power can also be considered as the act of gearing up for an armaments race or as the process of competitive acquisition of given territories. Many of the countries that engage in such acts usually have the mindset to embark on a policy which is justified by the formulation of alliances. For instance, a country that would want to fight an immediate enemy would have to form an alliance with its immediate or distant neighbor that share common interests. This means that the two countries would fight against a common enemy with a single goal. Historically, the Great Britain played a significant role in the Europe eras. For example, it acted as the moderator or balancer among countries given that it did not side with any European country at that time. On the same note, the Great Britain did not identify itself with the common policies of the countries in the European nation. Significant attributes of the Great Britain served to its advantage. For example, it exhibited supreme naval capabilities and virtual immunity from any given foreign invasion. Thus, it had the power of flexibility taking sides whenever necessary.

The balance of power exhibited various components used by different countries in securing their interests. For instance, it was common for some countries to engage others with the thought of creating a kind of balance. For that matter, there was the issue of equilibrium in power related affairs. For example, Germany was an empire that wanted to gain a common ground for competing with countries like the Great Britain. During the 18th century, Germans traded with the English for the sheer factor of the long history and heritage. Under such observation, it would be noted that the Germans were quick to build the relationship with the English with the objective to create a kind of equilibrium. The equilibrium of discussion is the case that they were open to trade and wanted to share a common market. In the same view, the Germans held a long history with the English in the sense that they had a long-standing association between the royal families. Notably, the two countries had legalized marriages among their citizens with kings marrying queens in their countries. At the same time, some members of the British royal families opted to acquire consorts from Germany. An example case that would be cited included Henry V. Importantly; the Germans had been ruled by Richard, the 1st Earl from Cornwall.

The discussion on the intermarriages between the Germans and the English depicts an unstable and temporary nature of the power balance. This is effectively elaborated by the fact that the intermarriages did not last for long. Also, one would consider the thought that the trade between the two countries did not last for a longer period. The other component of power balance is that there was a need for active engagement between the rulers for with the objectivity to realize the power balance among the two countries. In this view, it would be noted that the major component of power balance among the two countries assumed specific approaches. For example, there was the issue of compensation for the stronger parties. For example, weaker subjects were subject to the rule to the victors of the wars. A good example that would further elaborate the process of compensation was the case with the partitioning of Poland in the 17th century. During this time, three xcountrie4s (Austria, Prussia and Russia) came to an agreement to spilt the Polish territory. As a result, it was assumed that Poland was partitioned as a way to weaken its actions that would undermine the power balance. The other aspect of power balance is also seen in the relationship between Germany and Britain during the Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. During such a time, there was disagreement on a treaty formation that would honor the interests of the two countries. The ground for disagreement developed from the case that Britain wanted to retain its position of isolation from other world nations. Thus, it proves the concept of disequilibrium given that it relied heavily on protecting its interests.

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