Europes Uncertain Path 1814-1914: State Formation and Civil Society (Blackwell History of Europe)

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Constitutional and nationalist ideas continued to spread throughout Italy, Germany, and the Austrian Empire. Both the emancipation of the serfs in central Europe and greater state attention, facilitating economic growth, accelerated the spread of capitalism and industrialism throughout much of Europe, except for in Russia. Jonathan Sperber, The European Revolutions, How does one explain both the early success and the later failure of most of the revolutions? What tools might the elites use to avoid such disruptions in the future? The disruptions of facilitated the rise of a new generation of statesmen known as recilpolitikers Napoleon III, Count Camillo di Cavour, Otto von Bismarck and engendered a series of national antagonisms and hardening class lines.

Equally important, the Second Industrial Revolution, characterized by steam, steel, heavier producer goods, and more state guidance, strengthened states that were able to use the new technologies. Simultaneously, the s and s saw scientific and materialist explanations capture the European imagination, while Realism replaced Romanticism as the dominant cultural form. The era has a coherence of its own quite different from that of ; many of its components accelerated, at least for several decades after A number of forces seem to explain this substantial change.

The revolutions of had a widespread impact on a number of areas of European life. More important, expanding industrialization began to dramatically affect western and parts of central Europe, especially Germany. As with the changed emphasis from mid th -century to late th -century classicism or Enlightenment rationalism to the Romantic era, another generational mood swing came to predominate in the social sciences and humanities from the s to the s, at least. What, then, are the major components of this epoch?

Perhaps the most important marker is the Second Industrial Revolution. Propelled by new technologies in heavy industry, especially steam and steel, the epoch saw revolutions in urbanization, transportations, communications, capital expansion banking , and so on. Increasingly, governments sought to guide the path of the Industrial Revolution, especially because of the military implications of industrial technology. More and more production took place in larger factories, with obvious implications.

Where industrialism spread, the middle class expanded, as did the increasingly self-conscious proletariat, while artisans, peasants, and even aristocrats needed to adjust somewhat. The second dominant force in this epoch was an expanding and changing nationalism, within countries and between them. The more liberal and tolerant nationalism of the first half of the century became more exclusivist and began to be co-opted by conservative elites in their struggle to maintain power. These changes marked the breakdown of the Concert of Europe and collaborative diplomacy; the era was dominated by new statesmen, such as Napoleon III, Count Camillo di Cavour, and Otto von Bismarck, and a new style of diplomacy, known as realpolitik.

Europe's Uncertain Path 1814-1914: State Formation and Civil Society

Machiavellian and self-satisfied, statesmen made secret treaties and planned for wars, without shame. In place of Romanticism, idealism, philosophy, and history, this was an age of cultural Realism, materialism, and above all, science, all of which reinforced one another and reinforced the changing nature of nationalism and diplomacy.

The Syllabus of Errors. In many areas, this was an age of expanded constitutionalism both liberal and democratic and remarkable economic development. Even tsarist Russia, faced with defeat in the Crimean War, experienced reform from the mids to the mids. The era witnessed the expansion of state action on many levels, as well as a dramatic change in the world balance of power. Supplementary Reading: E. Hobsbawm, The Age of Capital. James A. Winders, European Culture Since , pp.

What seem to have been the major carryovers? Scholars disagree with respect to the causes of this bloody conflict. A more enduring cause of conflict involved the status of the weakened Ottoman Empire, a serious concern for statesmen since the late 18 th century and a particular bone of contention between Great Britain and Russia, as well as for France and Austria versus Russia. When misperception and poor leadership led to war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia and to an Anglo-French siege of the Russian port of Sebastopol on the Black Sea, Anglo-French industrial power forced Russia to accept the humiliating Treaty of Paris in Although the Concert seemingly acted in Paris, guaranteeing the independence of the Ottoman Empire, the forces that gave the Concert reality were undermined, and the path was cleared for adventuresome statesmen.

The Concert of Europe generally functioned until after , because such diplomats as Metternich and British Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sir Robert Palmerston sought to preserve peace and the balance of power. Although the avoidance of war between the great powers during the revolutions of reflected these concerns, the year undermined the Concert in important ways. It raised a number of specific nationalist antagonisms Prussia versus Austria, Prussia versus Russia. It heightened ideological resentments, especially on the part of liberal British and French opinion against Russia.

Given this reality, the Russians wanted as much control over Constantinople as possible and sought exclusive military access through the Straits of the Bosphorous and the Dardanelles, linking the Black and Mediterranean Seas, while the British and French wanted the reverse of these designs, either the status quo or greater influence at the Porte. Russia also had divergent interests with the Austrians in terms of military and economic control of the Danube region.

During the crisis leading to the outbreak of war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in , followed by an Anglo-French coalition war against Russia in , shortsighted, inconsistent, and incompetent diplomacy often prevailed. Tsar Nicholas I sought not only a reversal but the formal right to protect Orthodox Christians throughout the Ottoman Empire; in June , Russian troops occupied the Ottoman provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia Rumania , as hostages.

Receiving conflicting indications from British diplomats, the Sultan declared war against Russia, followed by the Russian destruction of the Ottoman fleet. Outrage in the west, and especially on the part of the British, convinced the tsar to change course and to suggest a compromise agreement to the powers meeting at Vienna in February Anglo-French refusal to accept these offers represents a breakdown of the Concert and the will for peace—and the desire to teach the Russians a lesson. Although the Crimean War was localized, it was bloody and pregnant with consequences.

Although superior western technology allowed their forces to concentrate more effectively than the Russians, lacking adequate railroads, all of the armies performed poorly, although the French performed less poorly. Approximately , combatants died, including large numbers from disease and exposure.

During the course of the war, Prussia, Austria, and Piedmont—the states most affected by — further jockeyed for position and advantage. Austria, though pressed by Britain and France to engage, was unable to get Prussian acquiescence to intervene in the meetings of the Germanic Confederation. Austria, sending an ultimatum to Russia in December , angered Russia without gaining Anglo- French good will.

Although the Peace of Paris, negotiated between February and April , seemed to demonstrate the power of collective European action, this was more apparent than real. Count Camillo di Cavour of Piedmont was given the opportunity to bring the plight of Italy before the powers, to the discomfiture of Austria. Prussia and Austria were concerned about their great-power status and at odds.

Napoleon III, having gained by gamesmanship, was encouraged to play again. Most important, both Britain and Russia, chastened, entered into an era of internal reform, creating a vacuum of power used by realpolitikers in France, Piedmont, and Prussia to redraw the map of Europe. What seem to have been the major causes and consequences of the Crimean War?

What does the war tell us about the functioning of the Concert of Europe, and what impact did it have on this institution? Restoration monarch Louis XVIII had the sense to accept the moderate elements of the revolution, including a limited constitution, the main property changes, and the Napoleonic Code, although his reign still saw the competing claims of liberals and ultra-conservatives. A divine-right monarchist, Charles X claimed to heal illnesses by the laying on of hands. A showdown was hastened by agrarian and urban economic distress from ; Charles brought the issue to a head in July , when he issued decrees that essentially reestablished an absolutist monarchy.

Barricades went up in Paris, supported by liberal and republican elites and the masses, and Charles X fled abroad. Severe agrarian and urban distress in , followed by a quarrel between two factions of the governing elites, led to the outbreak of revolution in February , which saw King Louis Philippe flee. But who would govern France and how would France be governed? Following nearly a year of ferment, climaxed by the violent Parisian June Days, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon, was elected president of the Second Republic for a non-renewable four-year term. A man of sincere humanity but with contradictions and character flaws, Louis outsmarted his opponents, courted the army and masses, named himself president for 10 years in December , and declared himself Emperor Napoleon III in November Among more conservative elements, known as ultras, there was a desire to return to an alliance between throne and altar, to compensate nobles for losses, indeed, to return to the Old Regime.

Favoring landed aristocratic interests to those of the urban liberal bourgeoisie, Charles implemented a series of unpopular policies. Ultras returned to power as his advisers, and aristocrats were compensated for some of their property losses. The alliance between throne and altar became more open, as the church was given further control over education. More censorship was introduced, and the largely middle-class National Guard was abolished.

Equally upsetting was the changed tone of the regime, supported by Romantic conservatives. Following a pitiable harvest in , leading in to a distressed urban economy, more liberals were returned to the Chambers in successive elections, despite repression. Charles abrogated the Restoration Charter of , curtailed the press, reduced the number of voters, and called for elections. Almost immediately, discontent on the part of a spectrum of groups and powerful individuals, including Victor Hugo and the Marquis de Lafayette, led to the overthrow of Charles X.

Although the kingship of Louis Philippe was often uninspired, sometimes repressive, and even corrupt, these were generally good years, a respite between the revolutions of and Following a series of leftist revolts in the early s, relative calm lasted for nearly 15 years. Though suffering an occasional setback, French diplomacy was cautious and France lived within its means.


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Although favoring more conservative liberals, Louis Philippe accepted constitutional constraints. His regime fostered economic development, a modernized infrastructure, and expanded secular education. Still, discontent persisted, especially as a result of the tensions from the s industrial urban expansion, exacerbated by the poor harvests of and the resulting urban depression of Nationalists received little satisfaction from this moderate regime.

Artisans and urban workers were often dissatisfied, while newer elements in the middle class wanted jobs and the vote. Little sensitivity could be expected from the Guizot Ministry. This placed the questions bequeathed by on the table, complicated by the growing industrial, urban change. In play were the moderate and radical ideas of , from limited-suffrage liberalism, to universal- suffrage democracy, to forms of utopian or practical socialism, making Paris the most combustible European city in This became apparent when civil war erupted in Paris in the bloody June Days following the closure of the national workshops; the middle-class National Guard, with peasant military recruits, quashed the rebels, leaving thousands dead and a legacy of class hatred, popularized by Karl Marx in his essay The 18 th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.

Prince Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and a fascinating 19 th -century statesman, was pleased to assume leadership, although almost all groups who voted for him in December got different results than they bargained for. One year later, with another referendum 7. Essential Reading: Jeremy D. Popkin, A History of Modern France , pp. Gordon Wright, France in Modern Times.

Lloyd Kramer, Lafayette in Two Worlds. Why did the Restoration era prove to be so conflict-ridden in France? What were the major changes in French society between or so? Still, on the domestic front, Napoleon III governed France creatively, attempting to improve the lives of the agrarian and urban masses, facilitate economic expansion and modernization which would benefit the middle classes and the wealthy , and maintain the support of Catholics.

During the greater part of his regime, prosperity and growth ensued. In the s, Napoleon III allowed a constitutional regime to develop, including free elections. In foreign policy, the source of his demise, Napoleon III was energetic and temporarily successful, making France the center of European diplomacy from However, his character flaws and risk-taking were catastrophic. Even within the domestic sphere, the regime was composed, at least politically, of two eras, the moderately dictatorial s and the increasingly liberal s.

During the s, Napoleon III ruled dictatorially, using prefect-dominated pseudo-elections with universal suffrage and moderate repression. At the same time, he attempted to be all things to all people, governing on behalf of the French people. He encouraged industry, commerce, railroads, agricultural development, public works, and foreign investment. He encouraged the expansion of credit, establishing a series of semi-public banks and public bond issues railroads up four times in the s , while also expanding free trade with the Anglo-French Cobden-Chevalier Treaty in He encouraged scientific farming, urban renewal, expanded education, hospitals, and other social agencies.

He encouraged the arts. Political prisoners were amnestied and more freedom of the press was allowed. In , workers were allowed to unionize and to strike. Between , freedom of the press and assembly were restored; Parliament obtained expanded powers, including over taxation; and a free election gave Napoleon III a comfortable majority, but with 3.

In foreign policy, source of his demise, it must be remembered that Napoleon III seemed to be dominating the fate of Europe, at least until the Austro-Pmssian War of Again, Napoleon was an activist, from a combination of motives—courting patriotic and Catholic support, seeking legitimacy, supporting the cause of liberal nationalism, and seeking French gain. Even when well intentioned, his policies were often poorly considered, events often got out of his control, and he did not learn from past mistakes. In foreign affairs, he was also playing in a high-stakes game, with such players as Otto von Bismarck being more adept and ruthless.

At least until , this was not apparent to contemporaries; Paris again became the diplomatic capital of Europe. He expanded the concept of free trade whenever possible, most notably with Britain. Although Napoleon must be given responsibility for the events that led to the French defeat in the Franco- Pmssian War , ending his regime, there are mitigating circumstances. After , he was ill and not functioning at his best.

In the final crisis, once Bismarck chose war, Napoleon III was pushed into the conflict by French nationalists and those who had blocked his proposed military reforms. Still, failure is failure; he had the decency to realize the end had come and abdicated, hoping to end bloodshed and preserve the emperorship for his son.

Popkin, A History ofModern France, pp.

UBC Theses and Dissertations

What makes Napoleon III such a fascinating subject for historians? What were his major accomplishments, and what were his major failures? Louis XVI takes the throne in France. Beginning of the American Revolution through Adam Smith writes Wealth of Nations. General Lafayette and his volunteers assist in the American Revolution. Deaths of Voltaire and Rousseau. Kant writes Critique of Pure Reason. Treaty of Constantinople: Russia annexes the Crimea with Turkish agreement.

The Austrian Netherlands is declared a province of the Habsburg monarchy. Assembly of Notables in France. Austria declares war on Turkey. The Bastille is stormed on July The feudal system is abolished, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man is drawn up. The Austrian Netherlands declares independence as Belgium. Denmark becomes the first nation to abolish the slave trade. The Peace of Jassy ends the war between Russia and Turkey. France: The Girondists form a ministry in France; the Tuileries is mobbed; a revolutionary Commune is established in Paris; the Legislative Assembly is suspended; and the royal family is imprisoned.

The French Republic is proclaimed on September The Constitution of is promulgated. Napoleon takes Toulon. War is declared on Britain, Spain, and the Dutch Republic. The Austrians reconquer Belgium. The Louvre becomes a national art gallery. France again regains Belgium from Austria.

Robespierre is executed. The Thermidorian Reaction occurs. France: Third Constitution enacted; the Directory receives power. The bread riots and White Terror take place in Paris. Austria signs an armistice with the French, while the French occupy Mannheim and Belgium. Freedom of worship is granted. Napoleon is appointed the commander-in-chief in Italy. Napoleon takes power in Italy, defeating the Austrians and the Piedmontese. Napoleon leads an army to conquer Egypt and does so at the Battle of the Pyramids. The French capture Rome, Malta, and Alexandria. Napoleon advances to Syria.

Later, he overthrows the French Directory and appoints himself First Consul. The French are defeated in a number of battles with Austria and Russia. The French are chased out of Italy. Napoleon wins some battles for France against the Turks and Austrians. France regains Italy. The British capture Malta. The Act of Union comes into force between Britain and Ireland. Napoleon signs a concordat with the papacy.

Napoleon becomes the president of the Italian Republic, names himself First Consul for life, and annexes Piedmont, Parma, and Piacenza. The Peace of Amiens is signed between Britain and France. War resumes between Britain and France. Napoleon is proclaimed emperor by the Senate and Tribunate in Paris.

The Treaty of St. Petersburg is signed by Britain, Russia, and Austria against France. Napoleon is crowned king of Italy. Prussia declares war on France. Napoleon names his brothers as kings of Flolland and Naples. The slave trade is abolished in Britain. Later in the year, Madrid rebels against the French, and they are forced to flee. War resumes between France and Austria, but after a few battles, Austria is defeated and the Treaty of Schonbmnn is signed.

Seeking an heir, Napoleon divorces his wife, Josephine de Beauharnais. Napoleon annexes the Netherlands and the northwestern coast of Germany, issues the Decree of Fontainebleau requiring the confiscation of British goods, and marries the archduchess of Austria, Marie Louise, producing an heir. The Luddites riot in northern Britain, against industrial change. Austria is bankrupt. Napoleon enters Russia with his army of , but is later forced to retreat; only 40, of his troops return. The United States declares war on Britain. Napoleon is defeated. Prussia declares war on France but is defeated.

Austria declares war on France, and in the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, Napoleon is defeated and forced to give up Germany. The Prussian army begins invasion of France in December. The Allied armies defeat the French and enter Paris. In response, Napoleon abdicates the throne and is exiled to Elba.

Europe's Uncertain Path 1814-1914: State Formation and Civil Society

The First Treaty of Paris is signed and France is given its frontiers. The Congress of Vienna opens. The Treaty of Ghent ends the British-American war. Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo by British and Prussian forces. The Second Treaty of Paris leaves France with its frontiers.

Napoleon abdicates again and is banished to St. The Congress of Vienna closes. At Wartburg, the German Student Organization organizes a nationalist festival to commemorate the Reformation. The Allies evacuate their troops from France. Prussia abolishes its internal customs barriers. Freedom of the press is declared in France. In Germany, the Carlsbad decrees introduce strict censorship and political repression. The Final Act of the Vienna Congress is passed. Revolts break out in Greece and Naples but are put down by Austrian troops. Revolution in Piedmont causes Victor Emmanuel to abdicate.

Napoleon dies. The Turks invade Greece. The Congress of Verona is opened to discuss problems in Europe. Europeans are no longer welcome to form colonial settlements in America, decreed by the Monroe Doctrine. The Combination Acts are repealed, allowing British workers to form unions. Russia declares war on Persia, defeating her in Russia, France, and Britain recognize Greek independence and agree to force an end to hostilities between Greece and Turkey under the Treaty of London.

War is declared on Turkey by Russia. Russo-Turkish war is ended by the Peace of Adrianople, and Turkey finally recognizes Greek independence. In Belgium, revolts against Dutch rule eventually end in Belgian independence. Revolts take place in some German principalities, such as Saxony and Hannover. Poles revolt against Russian rule. War is fought between Egypt and Turkey.

Rebellions continue around Europe in Modena, Parma, and the Papal States, along with uprisings in France caused by abominable working conditions. The great cholera pandemic spreads throughout Asia and Europe, from India in , reaching Scotland in National and Liberal demonstrations held in Hambach, Germany.

The First Reform Act in Britain doubles enfranchised voters. Educational reform takes place in France under Guizot. All German states join the Zollverein; Austria is excluded. Slavery is abolished in Britain and all her territories. The first German railroad line opens between Nuremburg and Furth.

The Chartist movement begins in Britain, marking the first national working-class movement there. Victoria becomes queen ofBritain. Mazzini is exiled to Britain.

Europe: From WWII To Today's European Union

French crisis: Louis Napoleon Bonaparte begins a new conspiracy and is arrested. The London Conference leads to the London Straits Convention, under which the Bosphorous and Dardanelles are closed to warships of all powers and the Black Sea is closed to Russian warships. The Afghan War ends with the surrender of Afghan troops to the British. Riots and strikes occur throughout the industrial areas of northern Britain. French war in Morocco is ended by the Treaty of Tangier. The Great Famine begins in Ireland. The Corn Laws are repealed in Britain, lowering food costs.

Revolts break out in Poland. Louis Napoleon escapes prison and goes to London. The British Factory Act restricts the working day for women and children to 10 hours. Revolutions also occur in Venice, Milan, Berlin, and Parma. Czech revolts are put down by Austrian troops. Revolt occurs in Rome. The Prussian revolution is defeated.

Sardinia declares war on Austria but is eventually defeated and forced to leave Venice, where a republic is proclaimed. Switzerland adopts a new constitution, under which it becomes a federal union. Serfdom is abolished in Austria and Prussia. Hungary is reconquered by Austrian and Russian forces. Venice surrenders to Austria. Prussian war with the Danish ends, and a constitution is decreed in Prussia.

Cavour becomes minister in Piedmont. A limited constitution is adopted in Prussia. The German Confederation is restored. Under the new French constitution, the president is given monarchical powers; two weeks after this grant, Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Emperor Napoleon III, and the reign of the Second Empire begins. The Crimean War begins after the Turks reject the Russian ultimatum. Britain and France enter into an alliance with Turkey and declare war against Russia, entering the Black Sea and beginning the siege of Sebastopol.

The Russians surrender, and Allied troops take over Sebastopol. The Crimean War ends with the Peace of Paris. War begins between Britain and China. France aids Britain in its war against China. Relatively new to the throne. France comes to an agreement with Piedmont to act against Austria after Cavour and Napoleon meet at Plombieres. The German National Association is formed. Garibaldi and his 1, troops of red shirts sail for Sicily and take Sicily and Naples.

The Italian Parliament proclaims Italy to be a kingdom. The Warsaw Massacre takes place in Russian Poland, when demonstrators speak out against Russian rule. Russian serfs are finally emancipated, and other major reforms are enacted. Bismarck becomes prime minister of Prussia. Revolts take place in Poland, protesting Russian rule. Prussia defeats Austria at the Battle of Sadowa. The Second British Reform Bill is passed. Russia sells Alaska to the United States. Garibaldi is taken prisoner during his march on Rome by French and papal troops.

Revolution takes place in Spain, causing Queen Isabella to be deposed and flee. The first Gladstone ministry takes power and rules until The Ollivier ministry rules the French government. Bismarck sends his Ems Telegram. France declares war on Prussia and is defeated in multiple battles; Napoleon III is taken prisoner; Paris is besieged, and the Third Republic is proclaimed. Italian forces enter Rome and declare it their capital. Wilhelm I, king of Prussia, is proclaimed the emperor of Germany at Versailles; Paris capitulates, and the Revolutionary Commune rules Paris for two months.

Thiers is elected president of France. The British Parliament legalizes labor unions. The Kulturkampf begins in Germany. Civil war erupts in Spain. The Ballot Act in Britain introduces voting by secret ballot. A republic is proclaimed in Spain. Disraeli becomes prime minister of Britain. Civil marriage is made compulsory in Germany. The Public Health Act is passed in Britain. Turkish troops massacre Bulgarians.

Serbia declares war on Turkey, with Montenegro. Russia declares war on Turkey, finally defeating Turkey at the Battle of Plevna. The Anti-Socialist Law is enacted in Germany. Austria and Germany form an alliance after the end of the liberal era in both countries. The figure shows a number of qualitative traits, which are summarised into three categories.

These are defined precisely in the methods. The plots are shaded to show whether model qualitatively behaves as Figure 2. The model either matches solid , deviates dense hatching or fails thin shading. The qualitative fit is based on quantitative scores see Methods. The qualitative model is matched if , , and. It deviates if , or. Otherwise the qualitative model fails.

Also shown where possible is the parameter value from Figure 2 vertical line. Although has many important effects Section S1 in File S1 , all values of match the qualitative model. Similarly, all theoretically valid values of the defection penalty also match Section S1. We can take the continuous time limit of our model, which removes intrinsic noise due to discretisation.

We can also take the continuous faction limit, which leads to a Partial Differential Equation model. These models Section S1 in File S1 are not readily solvable but do allow us to understand why our model behaves as it does. During cooperation, the power of each faction departs exponentially from the baseline. Defection cascades occur because:. Later defections have a greater impact than early defections, making a cascade more likely as more factions defect;.

Failed defection cascades erode the power of weaker non-defecting factions most, helping future cascades to succeed. Cooperation: Power becomes concentrated in the leading factions. Weaker factions may defect in an uncoordinated manner. Collapse: Defectors coordinate into a cascade when the cumulative power distribution is everywhere above a threshold.

Defection: Defection continues until power becomes sufficiently diffuse to permit cooperation. The strongest factions may cooperate first in failed state formation attempts. Recovery: A cooperation cascade occurs in much the same way as the defection cascade, when the cumulative power distribution is everywhere below a complex threshold. Additionally, we obtain a bound on the duration of cooperation and defection periods by allowing all non-leading factions to behave identically.

In this case we can obtain closed-form expressions for the duration of cooperation and defection phases. The initial conditions can be very important in determining how close the bound is, from which we conjecture that this model has no general analytic solution, although bounds can be found and special cases solved.

When performing parameter inference using quantitative data, a minimum requirement is to assess how robustly the parameters are inferred via a sensitivity analysis [29]. Here we are instead trying to infer that some qualitative features were created by a general class of model. We attempt to understand the qualitative model space using a model-level sensitivity analysis, i. Resource is distributed unevenly in practice, which we model by replacing the raw resource with for faction.

Figure 3e shows that a resource-weak leader can either persist or be usurped. Periodicity and collapse events persist, and further, Section S2. The political power process is contingent on events outside of complete control of faction leaders. We model this by adding noise normal, with mean ; see Section S2. Figure 3f shows that small levels of noise do not effect the qualitative behaviour.

Moderate levels lead to a leader turnover and uncertain state lifetimes, whilst high levels prevent both coordination of both state formation and collapse Figure S2 in File S1. People are not naive resource optimisers. Decisions may be biased, hard to change, poorly calculated, or made with respect to longer term goals and otherwise unobserved features. Complex decisions can be allowed for by introducing a random function for the decision threshold of each faction. This is determined by two parameters: the magnitude of the fluctuations and their correlation over time.

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Figure 3g and Figure S3 in File S1 show that a range of has no qualitative effect, whilst moderate values lead to unpredictable leader turnover, make both the magnitude of a collapse event and the duration of a stable period uncertain. Figure 3h-i demonstrate that small to moderate levels of noise Figure S4 in File S1 don't effect the dynamics, and further, when decisions are more correlated in time Figure S5 in File S1 then state formation is more stable, even in the presence of high decision noise.

This happens because power has time to equilibrate around the random choice of decision boundary; i. Some political scenarios are best described with a spatial model. For example, factions may be local leaders of villages, or semi-autonomous regions of a larger state. We replace by Section S2. The average , i. The spatial model Figure 3j allows for a variety of different scenarios.

The state grows from the capital Figure S6 in File S1 and collapses as in the non-spatial model. Collapse may be from the outside in, or the inside out. There may be a well defined maximum spatial extent hatched parameter region of Figure 3j. We chose to define Model 1 as an iterated game, which has consequences for the way that noise enters the system.

To address this issue we constructed a modified version of the model in which only a single faction makes a decision at a time using the Gillespie Algorithm [60] with an average timestep of Section S2. Figure S7 in File S1 compares this model with the basic model and shows that there is no qualitative change. Additionally, the continuous time version of the model Section S1 in File S1 matches the qualitative data.

If the penalty for defection decreases with the number of defectors, both defection during cooperation and cooperation during defection are harder. This makes the phenomenon of collapse more likely to occur, as we show numerically Section S2. Leader replacement is also easier under this model, if there is at least some noise. Power and resource are simply related in our model. However, we find that a family of non-linear functions do not effect the qualitative dynamics Section S2. We have not permitted factions to consider politics when making decisions.

Does our model still describe collapse if longer term strategies can be employed? A little game-theory analysis shows that the main phenomena persist, and further, that the game has interesting behaviours of its own.

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The resource payoff in our model takes the form of a simple iterated multiplayer game. Consider the case where there are two factions, and with and having the payoff structure given in Table 1. Until now we have assumed that factions are simple resource maximisers. Whatever does, always obtains more resource from cooperation. Since knows this it should cooperate only if. This is how we derived the behaviour for our factions in Model 1. In this circumstance increases when defects, and decreases when it cooperates.

In Model 1a where decisions are continuous, changes action around the decision boundary and obtains payoff whether cooperating or defecting. However, could attempt to maximise its payoff over all time. There is no reason for not to defect for the power benefit, since only the defection payoff is obtained on average. If were to defect until power is equalised, then it would enjoy a long period of high resource until power became uneven again.

The payoff from becoming the leading faction is even higher. Should agree to cooperate if? If either were willing to take the lower cooperation payoff they would get more over time. Proposition 1 shows that there is a strategy which maximises the long-term resource payoff:. For Model 1a the continuous time model with two players, there exists a defection strategy defined by a power lower bound for a given upper bound with , which when both players use it the resource obtained is for the stronger and weaker players respectively.

For proof, see Methods. The existence of this longer term strategy leads to an interesting extension. We now allow and to use two potential strategies in a long-term meta-game, which both dominate the short term strategies. Passive players use the strategy from Proposition 1, and aggressive players cooperate only as the dominant faction.

We consider the payoff averaged over many cycles, assuming that during each state formation the player with the initially higher power is chosen randomly. The average payoff matrix is given in Table 2. As , this is a form of the prisoners' dilemma. The case of three or more factions can be understood analogously. Consider that factions cannot solve for the optimal thresholds but can choose them empirically. Cooperation first occurs when all factions have equal power to within.

Each defection now occurs at the factions' chosen threshold. As in the simple model, defections reduce cooperators' resource leading to defection cascades. Aggressive factions still do not cooperate unless they are the leader and will not take part in the state. Why do states vary in their susceptibility to stresses, and is state failure likely to occur in the absence of external pressure? Although inequality appears to increase over time under the status quo, clearly this status quo has not continued forever.

Our main result is that inequality redress will typically take place in large scale events and can include complete state collapse. The model should be interpreted as representing a very simplistic form of political state. Factions within the state produce higher resource than those defecting.

This could be because the machinery of the state makes them more efficient, or because there is a cost to not being a part of a state in terms of lost trading opportunities, etc. It does not imply a complex bureaucracy and is therefore appropriate for many groups of people, including states, chiefdoms [61] and potentially more modern concepts such as democratic parties and corporations although we do not explore these links here.

Cooperators in our model do not pay a price for punishing defectors except losing their redistributed resource.

Because we are interested in collapse, not state formation, we chose to make states as robust as possible. To this end, factions that choose to cooperate receive only indirect penalties when others defect. Much work e. However, there is always a marginal benefit to cooperation. A vitally important point is that our model like all models of complex systems is a gross simplification of reality.

External effects including climate variability, long term climate change, conflict with other states, and contingent processes such as a lack of heirs or an objectively poor ruler are all extremely important in determining the time and severity of real political calamities. Although we find that collapse events will occur in the absence of external pressure, our claims do not extend to their duration, nature or proximal cause.

Our interpretation of state collapse means significant internal unrest but further assumptions are required to predict the failure of important institutions, whose survival depends on the severity and duration of the unrest as well as the support of the de-facto leadership. The difficult task of a detailed empirical evaluation of this and related dynamic approaches has been left to future work. Although our model describes an interesting phenomena for long-term social interactions, it is hard to prove historical relevancy.

Compelling validation would require collating the inherently patchy and qualitative evidence into quantitative data from a wide and approximately unbiased range of sources, and interpreting it in a manner that can be agreed on by all researchers. This is a bar is that difficult to reach in social science, although recent efforts towards historical quantification [64] begin the first steps of this process and [65] makes a compelling attempt to validate models with data.

Without widespread exposure to data, all historical models including our own and those we have cited have been selectively and qualitatively validated and can only be disproven by qualitative comparisons. We have made a significant effort to legitimatise the use of a utility function for faction behaviour, by incorporating random time varying functions into the decision process.

Many factors influence decision making, from alternative goals to incomplete knowledge, without a need to address whether the choices are rational. We make the qualitative assumption that the resource difference between defection and cooperation will correlate with the choice a faction makes. Although collapse seems inevitable in our model, real states may use unmodelled options. Deliberately limiting state power to maintain an equitable resource distribution would work in our framework, and is attempted by many modern states. Conflict resolution between the state and disgruntled factions might also be possible.

This can lead to an unexpected defection cascade that will rapidly become impossible to control. Therefore under our assumptions preventing the buildup of political inequality is a better solution for state stability than responding to specific grievances. Conflict is considered as a reduction of resource in our model and so force is used only indirectly e. This may seem unrealistic when many rebellions are put down violently. Internal conflict is difficult to model because factions are fluid concepts and the elimination of defecting factions could cause the remaining factions to splinter.

Our assumptions hold best for political systems that dissuade escalating warfare. Examples are coalitions of city states such as in Ancient Greece, medieval feudal lords who share genealogies and culture, and parties within democratic systems who can slow the implementation of policies of the ruling party at a productivity cost to the state.

We are cautious about the conclusions that can be drawn from our model, but believe it is still valuable for three reasons. Firstly, we provide the intuition that near-stability need not be the default state of affairs despite long stable periods being common throughout human history. This is the most general explanation to date of the apparent contradiction that history's most powerful empires have ultimately and often rapidly failed, frequently despite military and economic advantages.

Secondly, we have examined this process in a logically rigorous mathematical framework. The verbal model makes intuitive assumptions, and whilst our predictions also make intuitive sense post-hoc the mathematical modelling is needed to establish that dissatisfaction does not dissipate in small scale events. Finally, we have explored how this model compares to history and found qualitative evidence that the power dynamics we describe for inequality have been important. The decision to defect if the predicted relative resource obtained from defection , i.

Cooperation, i. The predicted relative resource is given by. Cooperators pool and redistribute resource, , where and. Defectors retain resource with a penalty,. Power changes according to. In the basic model. Power is initialised by giving each faction half the power of the previous one. Figure 3 quantified the match of our model to the qualitative data by use of four indicators.

These crude measures match our intuitive understanding of our model. These measures take as input the second half of a long time step run to ensure that we are observing the long-run behaviour. Specifically: we tabulate the number of timesteps the each number of factions defects. Social change -- Europe -- History.

Europe -- Politics and government -- Europe -- Social conditions. Notes Includes bibliographical references p. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Monash University Library. Open to the public ; Kelvin Grove Campus Library.

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