Translated from the Headlines （Toutiao 头条新闻）
Author: A Dou is not stupid（阿斗不傻）
Why is Germany being gang-fought in both world wars? In addition to the struggle for hegemony, what has been overlooked is the struggle for the system
Why was Germany being gang-fought in both world wars? Looking at the attributes of the British, French and American countries, you can understand the key
Since the reunification of Germany, except for the years when Bismarck was in power, Germany has appeared as a spoiler in the world structure.
Unlike the United States, which rose almost at the same time, the United States, where isolationism has prevailed for a long time, did not participate too much in the European hegemony in the era of great development. This of course has something to do with the geographical location of Germany. Germany, in the four European wars, is inevitably crisis-ridden when it is weak, and uneasy when it is strong.
There is no other reason. All its opponents have unique talents, but Germany does not.
Russia has vast territories, Britain and France have endless colonies, and even Italy can cross the Mediterranean to find new ground if they want. Thus, there is Bismarck’s famous saying:
The major problems of this era cannot be solved by speeches and resolutions… These problems can only be solved by iron and blood.
Bismarck, who knows this well, chose to keep a low profile, in order to wait for changes to occur.
So what is it that makes Germany have to be tough? The answer is related to the system dispute.
(The prologue of the new era)
One: The world system before the great nautical era
Before the great nautical era, the two ends of the Eurasian continent were compared.
Compared with the Chinese civilization in the far east and the Arab civilization in the Middle East, European civilization is undoubtedly an existence like a turtle.
In the era of farming, the land of Europe was not the richest land, but the richest China and India in the East.
In order to live a better life in Europe, where the output is barren, it can only do the trade!
Who do you trade with? Of course, it is the rich East.
But there is an Arab civilization in the middle, and if you want to trade, it will definitely make money for the Arab civilization. At that time, on the Eurasian continent, the East produced materials, the Arabs were the middlemen, and the Europeans were the consumers.
In this trade circulation, the Europeans are undoubtedly the most disadvantaged.
From this logic, we can understand the root cause of Europeans’ thirst for wealth, and the answer is: poor.
If you understand this, you can understand why “Marco Polo’s Travels” can cause such a big wave in Europe, and the golden east has become a place that countless Europeans yearn for.
The richness of the east and the poorness of the west under the mainland trading system was a projection of the era of the world’s land power system at that time.
(The World Island is the center of civilization)
Two: The world system after the great nautical era.
The thirst for wealth makes Europeans feel helpless for the Arabs in the Middle East occupying the status of a trade transit, and at the same time, they continue to think of ways.
The invasion of the Mongols caused the Black Death, the epidemic of the Black Death, and gradually loosened religious shady!
Europeans discovered that the Almighty God could not save people in sickness, so they began to reflect on religion.
The subsequent Renaissance originated from the Italian city-states, let the shadow of religion fade, European science and technology gradually awakened, and the germination and development of capitalism also highlighted the strength of individuals.
The Europeans, who had a strong spirit of dual force, began the era of a great voyage.
Wealth is the driving force of everything, trade is the cause of everything, gold and silver treasures are what you think in your heart, plundering and killing are nothing more than means.
Europeans with a bible in the left hand and a musket in the right hand have no disadvantage to the Native Americans, Africans, and Southeast Asians.
They built the earliest global trade network and brought the era into the era of sea power.
With the expansion and improvement of the global trade network, the early colonial countries became richer, more capital developed, more trade demands, and more commodity needs.
Then, the industrial revolution began.
The arrival of the Industrial Revolution has allowed the world’s productivity to achieve a leap. After the leap, the output has increased, the products have increased, and what should we do if we can’t sell them?
For capitalists, the pursuit of profit is the source of motivation. Therefore, opening up markets has become a new proposition following the industrial revolution. In this new proposition, countless major European countries have become pioneers.
(Europe in 1828)
Three: British and French colonial empires and the world market
Owning colonies gave Europe a prerequisite for the industrial revolution.
There are not enough resources, there are colonies, not enough population, and black slaves are oversupplied, all of which have eliminated the constraints that originally restricted the development of Europe.
But after it disappeared, the internal competition in Europe is still great.
In order to further expand the living space, Britain, and France, the two largest European countries, took advantage of their strength and seaport advantages to lead globalization belonging to Europe after expanding their colonies.
In this globalization, the most important thing is undoubtedly the navy.
Maritime trade is the key to obtaining the market, and a strong navy is the guarantee of the market.
Britain and France, with countless markets, combined with a powerful navy, became the two most dazzling countries in the colonial empire.
Britain is a country that implements sea power. Although France still attaches importance to land power, their yearning for sea power allows them to pay equal attention to land and sea.
Where was Germany at that time?
(Fragmented Holy Rome)
Four: The tragedy of Germany’s four wars.
Germany, at the core of Europe, occupies the most core area of Europe, where there are countless coal and iron, enough for industrial development.
But the geographical location in the center of Europe, and the political pull from it, made Germany always a geographical concept rather than a country.
The Holy Roman Empire, the loose political status quo, made this group of divided countries not have much right to speak in the European continent. Even with powerful states such as Prussia and Austria, they are still no better than Britain and France, which have already completed state centralization.
The long history of feudalism brought Germany’s reunification too late.
When the Industrial Revolution flourished among the small states in Germany, Germany had a united internal drive.
Under the guidance of this internal drive, Austria and Prussia respectively devised plans for the unification of Germany, the Big and Small German plans.
A Little German Project with Prussia as its core, and a Greater German Project with Austria as its core.
In the end, it was Prussia, a military country with a stronger centripetal force, that won the victory.
After rounds of dynasty wars and political compromises after the war, the German Empire was born and then began a great leap forward in development.
From the moment it was born in 1871, to 10 years after the reunification in 1881.
Earth-shaking changes have taken place in Germany in the past decade, and the doubling of total industrial output has made Germans more and more appetite.
Germany, which could not suppress impulsive appeals, turned to watch the world market.
But the world at that time was already the era of Britain and France.
The German who looked around and did not return shouted his own slogan: We also demand a site under the sun.
This is a long-standing land-powered country, after it became strong, it shouted to the world.
We are coming.
(The Kaiser is crowned)
Five: Eat and sleep in Germany.
What is the most important thing to find a place under the sun? The answer is the Navy.
As a result, Germany began to expand its navy, as well as the expansion of the world market. Germany’s actions gave Britain a sense of vigilance.
Britain and Germany have started a protracted naval race. If you build ten iron-clad ships, I will build 15 ships, and if you build 30 ships, I will build 35 ships.
With its strong national power, Germany and the United Kingdom competed against each other, making the United Kingdom miserable, and then gave up the once arrogance.
Abandoned arrogant Britain, found his mortal enemy France and said: How about we talk about uniting against Germany?
At that time, France, because of the death in the German War of Reunification and the deliberate suppression of Bismarck, became the iron orphan of Europe. When they were worried about their isolation and helplessness, Britain came to the door. There is no reason for France not to ease relations.
Soon afterward, the death of Bismarck and the radical policies of William II showed the British plan to win over Russia.
France, a usury imperialist country, is getting better and better with Russia because of its borrowing and lending relationship.
Germany gave up signing the “Russian-German Reinsurance Treaty” in 1890, which also gave Britain an opportunity.
The three countries of Britain, France, and Russia formed an alliance in the face of common enemies.
In the Bismarck era, Germany’s good international environment through mediation disappeared, and it had to get closer and closer to its sister country, the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The European countries on the two continents have formed a blood alliance because of their cousins, and jointly confronted Britain, France, and Russia, which are dominated by sea power.
But is the land power country really willing to lose the source of wealth creation? of course not.
Immediately, the First World War began based on the re-division of the vast colony.
Behind a world, hegemony is the battle between the sea power and the land power, in order to divide the world.
After the two sides fought for a few years, another sea power country that was out of the way came out to disrupt the situation. This country is the United States where Ma Han, the author of “On Sea Power” is located.
The three sea powers joined forces to suppress the challenge of the land power.
Germany’s first attempt failed.
The ensuing World War II was a continuation of the First World War. The failure of the first challenge left the Germans frustrated for many years without changing their ambitions.
The United States, a newly-born maritime power, has also watched for a long time the large number of colonies owned by Britain and France because that is the world market he watched.
What the United States wants is the free world market after the extension of sea power, and what Britain and France want is the colonial world market. The conflict of ideas has given them a gap between them, and it has also given the United States a heart of calculation.
So, with the help of the United States!
After the Great Depression, the Soviet Union continued to expand its industrial capacity and became the largest power in Europe.
With the support of the American capital, Germany has returned to the ranks of military powers.
Then was Hitler’s turnout, an iron fist attacked.
The German soldiers pointed out that Poland was annihilated, France was kneeling, Britain was stubbornly resisting, and the Soviet Union was fighting against each other. Behind a devastating world war, there is a new sea power, a global game that has transformed international demands.
After this game, the sea power headed by the United States, Britain, and France defeated the land power, and the world trade sea power headed by the United States defeated the sea power of the colonial empire headed by Britain and France.
The country of origin of “On Sea Power” won the final victory and reaped the world they wanted.
(United States Montana-class battleship)
Epilogue: The World Island returns to the center.
Why did World War I and World War II fight Germany for dinner and sleep? It is the competition between the two major systems of land and sea.
So why the dispute over the land-sea system is essentially related to the displacement of the world island.
The world before the great nautical era, the world island of Eurasia, is the center of civilization and the center of the world.
However, in the era of great navigation and the rise of the Industrial Revolution, the Eurasian continent, which once occupied the center of the world, although still important, is not as important as the regions on both sides of the Atlantic.
The American continent on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the European continent, led the era, and the second came first, which made the world center shift.
Asia and the Middle East, which were originally leading, gradually lag behind the times, allowing sea power to surpass land power and become the protagonist in the historical process.
But this is only one page. Human history has gone through millions of years, and the civilizations that always dominate the protagonist all come from Eurasia.
The vast area, countless population, and splendid civilization bred will eventually be revived.
Today’s world may be a world in which land and sea rights have been reversed once again.
The return of the economic center to the Asia-Pacific is accompanied by the return of the political center to the Asia-Pacific.
When the Eurasian continent realizes the Far East revival, a country with both land power and sea power will regain its confidence in the past and enter a new era.
This time, the tragedy belonging to Germany will certainly not repeat itself.