Where the British and French the sick men of Europe during the 1870-1914 period? (In the growth in the share of global GDP and importance)

Nov 2017
866
Győr
#1
Where the British and French colonial Empires the sick men of Europe during the 1870-1914 period? (In the growth in the share of global GDP and importance)

Article: How Austerity Destroyed the British Empire




Decline of importance of many European powers was rapid due to the rapid growth of USA. The true winners of this economic period were clearly and definite the USA and German Empire.
Even Austria-Hungary could preserve better its position than France and British Empire. And if this long economic trend would continue (Without WW1) , the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been more important than France in the early 1920s.
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,847
US
#2
Thanks for the graph. Looking at the graph, Britain and France, relative to the other nations presented, were only exceeded by the USA and the new German Empire. So, relative to these, perhaps, but not to the world in general or even Europe specifically. Of course wealth is a strong indicator of a nation's health, but there are other consideration. As you may know, traditionally, the Ottoman Empire was referred to as the "Sick Man of Europe" in the period preceding WWI. Not included on this graph, I don't know what their overall wealth was. But I do know that internally, that is politically, they were at their breaking point because of their inability to coalesce their many ethnic members within their empire. Austro-Hungary was in the same position. And Russia, had such internal problems that it lead to a revolution. I see from the graph Russia, too, was in decline, but it is not as noticeable since their wealth was limited.
 
Nov 2017
866
Győr
#4
Thanks for the graph. Looking at the graph, Britain and France, relative to the other nations presented, were only exceeded by the USA and the new German Empire. So, relative to these, perhaps, but not to the world in general or even Europe specifically. Of course wealth is a strong indicator of a nation's health, but there are other consideration. As you may know, traditionally, the Ottoman Empire was referred to as the "Sick Man of Europe" in the period preceding WWI. Not included on this graph, I don't know what their overall wealth was. But I do know that internally, that is politically, they were at their breaking point because of their inability to coalesce their many ethnic members within their empire. Austro-Hungary was in the same position. And Russia, had such internal problems that it lead to a revolution. I see from the graph Russia, too, was in decline, but it is not as noticeable since their wealth was limited.
If you watch the graph closely, you ca see their rapid decline in global scale and global share of economy. Ottoman Empire was on the path of decline since the mid 16th century. But return to the main point of the topic: Why Britain and France were unable to preserve their positions? Austria-Hungary could be more important than France after a decade , if the there wouldn't been WW1.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,847
US
#5
If you watch the graph closely, you ca see their rapid decline in global scale and global share of economy. Ottoman Empire was on the path of decline since the mid 16th century. But return to the main point of the topic: Why Britain and France were unable to preserve their positions? Austria-Hungary could be more important than France after a decade , if the there wouldn't been WW1.
The French decline can be directly correlated to the rise of Prussia/Germany in my opinion. During the Franco-Prussian War, France ceded the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine and had to pay 5 billion francs. The rise of Germany is a primary answer to your question. The U.S., still isolationist, really wasn't impacted the continent. As far as the A-H empire exceeding France without a WWI, I find that difficult to accept. The multi-ethnic patchwork empire was in decline. Serbia gave them more than they could handle in battle throughout the war. It was inevitable there would be some some sort of event like the assassination at Sarajevo, one way or another.
 
Nov 2017
866
Győr
#6
The French decline can be directly correlated to the rise of Prussia/Germany in my opinion. During the Franco-Prussian War, France ceded the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine and had to pay 5 billion francs. The rise of Germany is a primary answer to your question. The U.S., still isolationist, really wasn't impacted the continent. As far as the A-H empire exceeding France without a WWI, I find that difficult to accept. The multi-ethnic patchwork empire was in decline. Serbia gave them more than they could handle in battle throughout the war. It was inevitable there would be some some sort of event like the assassination at Sarajevo, one way or another.
No, we spak about global share of power. The topic is about global scale. And in this sence the biggest factor is the huge and rapid growth of the United states in that era. The importance of German growth is just a marginal effect on Global game, where the huge US economy played enormus part. France was more multi-ethnic n the beginning of the disputed era than Kingdom of Hungary. French started an oppressive political and legal campaign against minorities. (French were only the mothertongue of the minority in France in 1870)

You forget some important facts for the future: The Empire built up the fourth-largest machine building industry of the world, after the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6] Austria-Hungary also became the world's third largest manufacturer and exporter of electric home appliances, electric industrial appliances and power generation apparatus for power plants, after the United States and the German Empire.[7][8]

So where is France on this important list? What happened with it? Why were the ratio agricultural population of France so higher? Why was the ratio of French urban population lower? These are all important factors in the future. Why was the French education so low in STEM subjects? (France had a very low ratio of Nobel awards and various international math awards) per capita. So its educational system was also a huge problem in the future. (Neglect of STEM is always a huge problem)


Serbia lost the war with record speed within 1year, despite the Austro-Hungarian forces could not show up real numerical superiority in Serbian campaign. Numerical superiority would be basic in an offensive war against such hilly country like Serbia. The numbers of the troops of Central powers in Serbia could maintain and remain in paar with the Serbian army only with German intervention. So the Austro-Hungarians had lack of man power against the war in Serbia. Serbian soldiers acted like paper soldiers, they had the highest casuality and death ratios in modern history. We can not call it a great army, when Serbia could show up some short term success with the rapid waste of military personles against an enemy [Austria-Hungary), who had not numberical superiority in an offensive war on the Serbian front. The huge casuality and death ratio of Serbian "paper soldiers" resulted in quick defeat: in the autumn of 1915, the Serbian Army was defeated by the Central Powers, which led to the occupation of Serbia. Near the end of 1915, in a massive rescue operation involving more than 1,000 trips made by Italian, French and British steamers, 260,000 Serb soldiers were transported to Corfu, where they waited for the chance of the victory of Allied Powers to reclaim their country. Corfu hosted the Serbian government in exile after the collapse of Serbia, and served as a supply base to the Greek front. In April 1916 a large number of Serbian troops were transported in British and French naval vessels from Corfu to mainland Greece.

Serbia quickly lost the war, and could return to Serbian territory with allied help and support after the disitegration of Austria-Hungary and the military evacuation of the area.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,847
US
#7
No, we spak about global share of power. The topic is about global scale. And in this sence the biggest factor is the huge and rapid growth of the United states in that era. The importance of German growth is just a marginal effect on Global game, where the huge US economy played enormus part. France was more multi-ethnic n the beginning of the disputed era than Kingdom of Hungary. French started an oppressive political and legal campaign against minorities. (French were only the mothertongue of the minority in France in 1870)

You forget some important facts for the future: The Empire built up the fourth-largest machine building industry of the world, after the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6] Austria-Hungary also became the world's third largest manufacturer and exporter of electric home appliances, electric industrial appliances and power generation apparatus for power plants, after the United States and the German Empire.[7][8]

So where is France on this important list? What happened with it? Why were the ratio agricultural population of France so higher? Why was the ratio of French urban population lower? These are all important factors in the future. Why was the French education so low in STEM subjects? (France had a very low ratio of Nobel awards and various international math awards) per capita. So its educational system was also a huge problem in the future. (Neglect of STEM is always a huge problem)


Serbia lost the war with record speed within 1year, despite the Austro-Hungarian forces could not show up real numerical superiority in Serbian campaign. Numerical superiority would be basic in an offensive war against such hilly country like Serbia. The numbers of the troops of Central powers in Serbia could maintain and remain in paar with the Serbian army only with German intervention. So the Austro-Hungarians had lack of man power against the war in Serbia. Serbian soldiers acted like paper soldiers, they had the highest casuality and death ratios in modern history. We can not call it a great army, when Serbia could show up some short term success with the rapid waste of military personles against an enemy [Austria-Hungary), who had not numberical superiority in an offensive war on the Serbian front. The huge casuality and death ratio of Serbian "paper soldiers" resulted in quick defeat: in the autumn of 1915, the Serbian Army was defeated by the Central Powers, which led to the occupation of Serbia. Near the end of 1915, in a massive rescue operation involving more than 1,000 trips made by Italian, French and British steamers, 260,000 Serb soldiers were transported to Corfu, where they waited for the chance of the victory of Allied Powers to reclaim their country. Corfu hosted the Serbian government in exile after the collapse of Serbia, and served as a supply base to the Greek front. In April 1916 a large number of Serbian troops were transported in British and French naval vessels from Corfu to mainland Greece.

Serbia quickly lost the war, and could return to Serbian territory with allied help and support after the disitegration of Austria-Hungary and the military evacuation of the area.
Ok. Well I don't wish to enter into one of these Balkan disputes that I frequently see on the internet, as I have no dog in that fight . On a "global" scale, the only nations from 1870-1914 worth a mention outside of Europe is the U.S. and Japan. Japan started to come into their own with their victory over Russia in 1905, so they are negligible during your opening question. The U.S. certainly was becoming a world power during this period, but I would not place them as one until after their victory over the Spanish in 1898. Even then, the U.S. exhibited little interest in European matters. Most of their interest was in the hemisphere and somewhat into the Pacific. I am no francophile, but I feel as if this thread is migrating toward "France is bad, A-H is good." I see no way that the A-H would have improved its lot in the years after WWI if that war had not occurred. During the Revolutions of 1848, Austria was forced to give all kinds of concessions to many of the ethnic groups within its empire, the most notable to the Hungarians. In the tri partitioned Poland, A-H had the loosest grip on its people. This was good for the people of Galicia, but I am not sure how good it was for the empire. Really, there was a decline, relatively speaking in Britain, France, Austro-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia during that period in the OP.
 
Nov 2017
866
Győr
#8
Ok. Well I don't wish to enter into one of these Balkan disputes that I frequently see on the internet, as I have no dog in that fight . On a "global" scale, the only nations from 1870-1914 worth a mention outside of Europe is the U.S. and Japan. Japan started to come into their own with their victory over Russia in 1905, so they are negligible during your opening question. The U.S. certainly was becoming a world power during this period, but I would not place them as one until after their victory over the Spanish in 1898. Even then, the U.S. exhibited little interest in European matters. Most of their interest was in the hemisphere and somewhat into the Pacific. I am no francophile, but I feel as if this thread is migrating toward "France is bad, A-H is good." I see no way that the A-H would have improved its lot in the years after WWI if that war had not occurred. During the Revolutions of 1848, Austria was forced to give all kinds of concessions to many of the ethnic groups within its empire, the most notable to the Hungarians. In the tri partitioned Poland, A-H had the loosest grip on its people. This was good for the people of Galicia, but I am not sure how good it was for the empire. Really, there was a decline, relatively speaking in Britain, France, Austro-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia during that period in the OP.
Obviously the power was interpreted as economic power, so plase do not mix it with military potential.

" I see no way that the A-H would have improved its lot in the years after WWI if that war had not occurred. "
private opinion, maybe the lack of deeper knowledge about A-H Empire. The numbers and trends show it otherwise.

Actually Hungary had lesser rights after the Ausgleich than it had before the 1848-49 revolution. (The revolution was surpressed only with Russian help) Do not come up with the false tales of "good Austrians" who give special hithero unknown extra rights for the Hungarians. The Ausgleich was mostly a restoration of the previous rights of Hungary, but only in a bit lesser degree.

I suggest to read about the Ausgleich in this article: Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 - Wikipedia
 
Jun 2017
2,814
Connecticut
#10
The UK was falling from much further up. In a timeline without the world war's, Germany's industrial lead would have continued to grow after catching the UK shortly before the start of the war and Germany would have become the largest economy in Europe but would have continued to be surpassed by the US. France and the rest of the great powers were still a far way off and would remain so. UK's status as the greatest power was finished by the start of the 20th century but her status as a great power was very secure and even in the modern day is a status that hasn't faded(though this is in large part due to outside factors hindering her would be competitors except the US and China). The UK had held it's initial lead due to industrializing first but the UK prior to the industrial revolution had been closer to countries like the Netherlands and Portugal than the great powers and the industrialization of the more populated European mainland was always going to eventually close the gap.

France was a sick man because demographically she was losing people and her situation could be likened to Russia and Japan in the modern era, France throughout most of European history had been the most populous nation(in the 1700s this even included Russia) but she had also been mainly agricultural compared to the UK, Germany having only a few industrial regions(coincidentally the ones devastated by WWI). Even Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire had large industrial bases to couple with their large agrarian economy's. This was made worse by the fact that by the start of WWI France had suffered so badly a sustained demographic loss that the only nation on said chart she had a larger population than was Italy(and by WWII even Italy had surpassed the French) and this isn't counting the fact France was about to lose close to 5% of her population many of which were young men who didn't have a chance to reproduce/or reproduced considerably less than they otherwise would have. France did have a large colonial empire but her hold over it was tenuous and unlike the UK who during colonization usually ended up ceding to political pressure and might have been able to retain much of her empire if the will to fight for it had been there, the decolonization of France's empire was done by force against her will to keep it.

This issue was why France pushed for such a strict Versailles peace because victors or not France's demographic troubles weren't going to go away and the ability of Germany to gain revenge was almost inherent if not excessively kept down. A decentralized Europe with a bunch of small countries was a Europe where France could continue to exert power, whereas the Europe of 1914 was one where she couldn't and this was the main French motive behind supporting Wilson's pro self determination agenda, as it offered a potential solution to many of France's problems(including replacing Russia as an ally). France had only won the first world war by over the course of several decades recruiting almost all the great powers to her side, France had no confidence in her ability to fight another great power (except maybe the Italians) by her lonesome which she was likely to be in the context of 1919. If not for the two world wars incurring massive demographic calamities and destruction on the other great powers, France was on pace to become the smallest of the great powers and eventually not a great power at all, it was only the literal destruction of the rest of the continent(combined with immigration from her lost colonies) that resulted in France retaining it's status as one of the most important nations in Europe today and even this is codified by her role on the UNSC and partly a product of being a nuclear state.
 
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