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Comparative Politics Essay

1078 words - 5 pages

1) When compared to Germany and Russia, Britain’s political development was far more gradual and far less violent. Offer your own explanation of that outcome by analyzing and comparing the three nations.

Nations rise out of the ashes of their traditional pasts primarily because institutions have developed which enabled them to absorb the political participation that has emerged from their political and economic assent. Three European countries developed into modern nation states and followed this path of assent, yet took different paths to development. Britain, Germany and Russian all developed into modern nation states, yet they developed in far different ways.
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Russia had very large class divisions, as well as a monarchy that ruled from the 14th century all the way until 1917. After 1917, the communist movement was implemented by Lenin and later taken over by Stalin which left millions of citizens dead, greatly damaged Russia’s economy, and left many citizens scared by their government. All of this too could have been avoided had they had some type of second party, or parliamentary system to keep these dictators in line.
Industrialization was quite possibly the sole reason why Britain thrived as much as they did, as well as why their political development was much more gradual and much less violent. Britain was one on the first countries to begin industrialization starting in the mid-eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, the rapid economic growth that was a result of industrialization was what really helped transform Britain into the economic superpower that it became. British industry and trade made Britain very wealthy, and this allowed them to lead the second round of European colonization. This wealth also allowed Britain to create a very powerful navy that was more than capable of protecting their boundaries, and even aided in taking over power of other territories. Because Britain was doing so well, it’s citizens were happy with how things were being run and saw no reason for any type of dramatic change. Industrialization and urbanization did lead to a push for expanding voting rights, but Britain complied and this lead to the first political parties creation in the 1880’s. Because Britain was willing to turn over a significant amount of its political power to it’s citizens, there was no need for any type of bloody revolution. Britain was willing to compromise therefore they continued to prosper.
Germany did not begin the process of industrialization until after 1871. Germany and the rest of the world watched as Britain continued to thrive from industrialization, and they decided that they wanted to model after Britain’s great success. Germany decided that they did not want to wait for this great success and they chose to rapidly industrialize and try to play catch up with Britain. By 1900, Germany had also become an industrial superpower...

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