The Concert of Europe - British
Geopolitical Order (1815-75)
1 Strong evidence for the view that there are alternatives to rules of
1.1 Total anarchy
1.2 Strict hierarchy
2 No one state "laid down the law" for the continent as a whole and an emerging British
economic hegemony in much of the rest of the world.
3.1 World power did not translate into continental hegemony
3.2 After 1875: The concert and British economy hegemony
3.2.1 By 1875 Britain had also turned away from Europe and the
United States towards its empire and those world regions
where its hegemony was apparently more secure. This
provided the impetus for the collapse of the Concert in
Europe and the beginning of a British retreat from its
constitutive role in the international political economy.
3.3 NAVAL POWER
3.4 Britain not only experienced an
Industrial Revolution it also traded with
and invested in other continents on a
much larger scale than other European
3.4.1 The technical innovation and organizational efficiency of
early nineteenth-century British industry produced goods
for export and capital for investment overseas and a
demand for certain raw materials.
3.4.2 Britain acquired a competitive advantage over other
European states in the growing world economy.
3.5 From 1823 to 1840 through the sponsorship and unilateral practice of freer trade,
British leaders created a worldwide network of trade and financial flows that
presented their centrality as a byproduct of the workings of a "world market" that
operated to the benefit of all.
3.5.1 Under British auspices market exchange was effectively globalized as production for
the market replaced the mere trading of goods. The British national economy became the
locomotive of the world economy.
3.6 Internationalization of the British economy
3.6.1 Crucial element in the quickening pace and increasing
spatial scope of the world economy
3.6.2 In the 1870s Britain began to lose its central position within
the Concert of Europe and also to sacrifice its industrial
strength on the altar of free trade.
3.6.3 British concentration on the "old" industrial technologies of the steam
era and its increased commitment to such geographically extensive
activities as commerce and finance put it at a disadvantage relative
to the two massive territorial economies with which it now had to
4 Governance system (19th century):
5 Mainly created to handle revolution
5.1 There was an agreement that this meant preventing a French way of
revenge or the restoration of the regime of Napoleon Bonaparte
5.2 Disagreement over the extent to which this justified
unilateral interventions in small states to suppress
5.3 Certain rules of behavior became widely accepted and unilateral responses were
6 A consensus evolved among the dominant political elites in
6.1 1. No one state in Europe
could predominate within the
6.2 2. Europe-wide wars were best avoided
because of their potential for unleashing
7 One of the most important aspects of the Concert constructed in
1814-15 was its territorial equilibrium of power.
8 The main measure of state
power was maintenance of