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International Relations: "In my own words" Powerpoint example

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

Red and Yellow: Powerpoint

Purple: Professor's lecture

Green: Lecture put "in my own words"

CH 2


Importance of Knowing Some History

  • Why care about history?

  • Antecedent/context of the present international system

  • Allows us to see how ideas of IR actors emerged and changed over time

  • Difficult to understand the present…

  • ...without historical background

  • Theory and practice of IR is rooted in Europe


  • System of sovereign states

Martin Luther Priest. Born in Germany. Telogen. Caused trouble for the Catholic Church

System of sovereign states: Each state has a government at the head of it. No one is a higher authority than them. 95 Thesis.

  • Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) in Europe

The Westphalian system came in at the end of the 30 year war. a 30 year war was fought in Europe in (1618-48).

  • Dispute over religion

Between Protestant and Catholics. Martin Luther started Protestantism. Free themselves from Pope rule.

  • Protestants fight to free themselves from the authority of the Pope

  • All European powers involved, ex. England

Definition of rich is different. Rich meant you own land, didn’t have money. Feudalism system = you lived on the land and everyone worked your land / village. Worked for an Aristocrat.

  • Protagonists saw “good v. evil”

Murder / ethnic cleansing. We are all catholic under one church.

  • Ends with economic bankruptcy, devastation, and loss of life throughout Europe

  • Church loses

  • Treaty of Westphalia (1648) Ends with...

The Westphalia system emerges through a 30-year war, fought in what is known as Germany today, to free people from the Pope’s control. Martin Luther lights the match with his 95 theses that talked about the Catholic Church's corruption, especially how people had to buy their way into heaven. Martin Luther thought the way to get into heaven was how one acted on Earth, which had nothing to do with payment to the church. The war was fought between the new Protestant / Lutherans, an off branch of the Catholic church that Martin Luther started, to free themselves of the Pope’s control. The war ended with the Catholic church losing through bankruptcy along with devastation and loss of life. A type of genocide occurred. This war ended with the “Treaty of Westphalia.”


  • Middle Ages (400-1000)

Government authority. Government controlled by the church.

  • All governmental authority, IR in Europe controlled by the catholic church

    • Political and economic life decentralized, provincial

People lived in villages. On the land owned by Aristocrats. Europe = who owned the land. All enherated to the first born son. Who was the most powerful.

  • Aristocracy

  • Monarchies = realms

Lands owned by kings / aristocracy. King is the head of the aristocracy. All the money came from the crops that were farmed on the land and sold.

  • Crude technologies, small isolated units of gov.

  • Societies organized by feudalism

Feudalism is a system where one of the villages, their parents were farmers. Didn’t own land, but took care of it. There was no money to buy land. Had to be an aristocracy to buy land. Peasants were loyal to the aristocrat who they worked for. Had to do whatever aristocrate said. Aristicarte fought a lot to take over other lands / takeovers / castles.

Back in the middle ages, everything was run on a feudalist system where the aristocrats owned everything. The King was the main aristocratic ruler that was put in place by the Pope. The feudalist system worked by all the land staying in the Aristocrats' hands that was inherited by the firstborn son. This land had peasants who worked that land - for very little pay - and you were born into the peasantry. Peasants could not buy or own land. Peasants stayed loyal to the Aristocratic family. Peasants had to do whatever the Aristocrat said, including becoming a soldier to help fight and take over another aristocratic property. Money was made by the crops generated and sold on the land that was farmed by the peasants who were tied to that land.


  • Changes in technology, economics

Reason I’m king is because God, was being questioned.

  • Cheaper transportation, gunpowder (1400s): greater reach for commercial activity

= cannons with gunpowder helped war technology. Cheaper transportation with ships sailing further. Reach for commercial activity. Age of exploration.

  • Age of Exploration, 1400-1700

  • First wave of colonialism

South America, Mexico, Purtiage. Making money that is not based on Aristocracy and being tied to the land.

  • Transnational business classes start to develop

  • Emergence of educated, secular class with money and power

Income and wealth is not based on the church = secular. More money to build ships and sail around the world.

  • Need for larger political units with stronger central government

Ideas and technology were changing. Questioning that the king was the king because of god and new technology with the invention of gunpowder that created the cannon to help win wars against weaker rulers. Technology with sailboats that could travel long distances created the age of exploration to reach further worldwide looking for commercial activity. Some of the first places to be visited were South America, Mexico, and Portage. Through the age of exploration, this allowed people who were not aristocratic or part of the church to make money and become wealthy. To help finance these explorations, they needed to become a bigger political unit and a stronger central government to organize the adventures.


  • Writers and scholars enjoy intellectual rebirth

  • The Prince, Machiavelli (1513)

    • No universal morality to guide states

    • Government leaders must act in the national interest…

    • ...and forget about the Church

    • i.e, secular government

    • “...better to be respected than to be loved…”

Wrote during the Renaissance. Wrote how the king or prince should manage resources. How to maintain power. Forget about the church. No such thing as universal morality. Better to be respected than to be loved. Government leaders need to act on nationalism. Be tough. Forget about the afterlife. The government should be secular—power, power, power.


  • Treaty introduces the modern state, “system” of states

The Church loses the war. End of religious rule in Europe. Church used to rule the government, but not after the 30 year war. Protestant can now have their own country that is separate from the Catholic church. They are now secular.

  • End of rule by religious authority in Europe (church = or - legitimacy)

  • Emergence of secular authority

  • European states become “sovereign”

No more pope approval. Secular is that they are not religious. Sovereign means there is no higher authority than the King of that country.

  • Monarchs have ultimate authority in their state / territory…

  • ...including which version of Christianity

  • Right of non interference of other sovereigns (sovereigns are equals)

The King of France has the right not to tell other kings what to do.

  • “State system” later exported to the rest of the world

    • Imperialism, mercantilism, colonialism

The treaty was written after the 30-year war, which the Catholic Church lost; therefore, they could no longer rule over the people. The people can now be secular, with Prodesents having their own country. Europeans now become sovereign states where the king is the highest authority, including saying what version of Christianity the country will follow. Sovereigns also are supposed to respect each other, seeing each other as equal and not telling each other what to do (in theory).


  • French philosopher Jean Bodin (1530-96)

  • Sovereignty means

    • “Absolute and perpetual power vested in a commonwealth”

    • “The sovereign” cannot be subject to the commands of another, for it is he who makes law for the subject, abrogates law already made - amends obsolete law”

    • No higher authority

  • Sovereign power is limited by natural law, constitutions and contract

People have rights.


  • Six dominant states emerge

    • Austria, Russian, Prussia, England, France, United Provinces

    • Size, economies, permanent miliaries

    • The UK, France became “world powers.” other regional

Investing in the navy's.

  • Based on ability to project military force

  • Permanent national militaries

    • Need to tax

    • To centralize political authority

So that they could travel around the world

  • Capitalism emerges in western Europe

After Westphalia, the system consisted of six countries that invested in permanent militaries and had substantial economic and size growth. The UK and France became world powers based on their investment in their navy. This investment created the need to tax people to support the cost. This cost also involved traveling around the world to explore outside their own borders. This growth starts the movement into capitalism in western Europe.

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