Three Evolutions : Road from the 1648 to the Present


This paper will examine the three major periods of world politics as briefly. My first argument is about one of the catastrophic events which named as World Wars. The conflicts of the World War I based on the various economic, political, military developments all over Europe.  It’s fair to say, states had many expectations however, these goals had resulted with a huge disappointment. Between 1914 and 1945 the political world was shaken by economic, social and political events.  Politically, balance of power is totally transformed Europe. Western Europe, especially, got suffered in two ways: though peace* settlements and major cost of the war. There was the question of what kind of peace to impose on Germany? At the peace conference held at Versailles, Us President Woodrow Wilson, whose occurrence symbolized America’s growing role as a major power in world politics. Wilson’s country had suffered little from the war, wanted tolerance for Germany along with national self-determination for all nations and offered League of Nations to protect the international peace. However, many leaders had to justify the senseless massacre of the past four years to voters back home who wanted revenge for their sufferings of the past four years. Thus, among much disputing that settled nothing, the dominant attitude emerged was that someone must be made the victim and pay for the war. That someone was Germany. As a result of this, Treaty of Versailles (1919) punished Germany badly. It also put the War Guilt burden over Germany as full responsible of the disasters.  So, it does not seem unrational to get how the situatiion paved the way through Nazism.

World War I had been extremely expensive, both in its direct cost to fight and its long-term effects on Europe’s industries. In addition to selling colonial holdings, the allies had resorted to borrowing heavily, especially from the United States. By the war’s end, European countries owed the United States $7 billion. With the result of World War I, the world finance shifted from London to New York City. However, the economic effects of the war went far beyond borrowing money.  Because of huge war debts, the US became the first economic power of the world, creating a heavy dependency on the American economy. This, combined with German instability, made the world economy susceptible to a worldwide depression when the American economy crashed in the 1930’s. And, as discussed above, that would help lead to the rise of the Nazism and World War II.  As the 1920’s progressed, the world seemed to be settling down to the normality longed for so much since 1914. Russia withdrew into itself to complete its revolution. Germany, supported by American loans, seemed to have stabilized. And Europe overall seemed to have recovered its success and maintained control of its colonies. However, World War I released unnoticed forces that would surface with tragic effect to a worldwide depression and World War II.  The human capacity for self-destruction rapidly increased in World War II. It was world’s largest war in the history of mankind.  It has vital role for the nations by bringing new changes to the world politics in the field of strategy and policy.  Socially, millions of people lost their life during the war. Unfortunately, most of them were identified as civilians, and it led to more dramatize warfare. There were also millions of refugees suffered from warfare. Many people displaced from their house and gathered in the small places. Post-war observer would refer Europe as “half graveyard and half junkyard.”

The Second World War was shaped by two superpowers: United States and Soviet Union.  By 1948, they established their spheres of influence in Western and Eastern Europe, respectively.  The fates of world had been directly determined by these superpowers. Both of them challenged each other in what is known as the ‘Cold War’. Cold War was a period of hostility and competition between US and USSR.  During this period, people were in paranoia of nuclear treatment.  Therefore, nation states sought for partnership with these blocks.  The tension between two blocks was never turned into a hot war; it was mostly based on an ideological reasons.  However, the most important controversy between two blocks was known as a Cuban Missile Crisis on October 1962. It was the closest moment which could bring the world ever to the Third World War. In order to general acceptance, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism has prepared the ground; and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cold War is over.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the cold war era put forward different opinions about what will happen in the new global order. New World Orders was mainly discussed through End of History, the New Middle Ages, and the Opinions of Chaos (Holliday, 1997). Among these, Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations argues had a great impact as the most ambitious vision.  After that, the external threat of system was re-shaped mostly by the Islamic movements. One of them is the 9/11 terror attack which is caused a major breakdown in politics for the whole Islamic community.  According to the book, the first disposal of interest shown and began to decline after the attacks on the United States, however, the world within the framework of re-shaping policies has continued to occupy an important place.

The terrorist organization, Al-Queada, who is responsible for 9/11 attacks decelerated that it was done for Islam. This strengthened clash of civilizations idea even more and caused a huge external threat for Islamic world. But this is too risky. Because, a religion with a civilization, geography and identity as a whole; without any kind of distinction may cause an instability in world. In this framework, the global struggle against terrorism in the country attacks, wars and politics on the basis of friend-foe distinction leads to an understanding of the system has made a distinction between the “religious fundamentalist Islam” and the “moderate Islam”.   Although the first approach accepts as a threat, the other one can assume as a solution.  It’s hard to make the difference between two approaches however; there should be a solution on tangible level as well as possible. In recent years, moderate Islamic movements are increasingly widespread not only on the geography of Islam but also in the US and Europe.  Obviously, US interests mostly based on to support the undemocratic regimes in the Middle East until 9/11 attack. This perception changed a bit since September 11 while maintains a large extent the weight of U.S. foreign policy. For instance, local governments ignored the suppression of democratic forces in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and others have no way but radical movements.

At the first glance, Clash of Civilizations thesis might be think useful to understand the conflicts of world politics. It explains the overall trends, but it does neglect the economical perception.  Worse than that, Huntington suggests that West should act through its own civilization policies, which can be too risky. If American policy-makers consider competing with Islamic world, it may result with more tragic consequences.


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