By Patrick J. Conge
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Extra resources for From Revolution to War: State Relations in a World of Change
Activity against the revolution was activity against the nation. Military setbacks were blamed on those who lacked devotion to the revolutionary cause. In the end, war hastened the overthrow of the monarchy, as neither the royalists nor leading conservatives could withstand the accusations of treason. The Republic in Danger Relations between Austria and revolutionary France deteriorated steadily in the years 1790-92. Conflict arose over rights of the German princes in Alsace, made a province of France by the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648.
The idea is that leaders prefer to reach agreement by peaceful negotiation and thereby avoid the costs of war. Why, then, are forceful means contemplated? One answer is that the option of political compromise may be unavailable. In international politics, states enforce their own agreements. Thus, state leaders reject any settlement that will undermine national power. The great fear is of being exploited tomorrow should a compromise be made today. The Distribution of Power A key element in the calculation of war is uncertainty about the outcome on the battlefield.
The motive to cooperate is to be most effective against the common enemy. If external war is to improve internal cooperation, however, several conditions must be met. People must: I. Want to preserve the nation as an independent entity 2. Perceive an outside threat to national security 3. View force as the most efficient way to preserve security (or minimize its loss)5 Desire for national security is not synonymous with agreement about the means to attain it. To maximize agreement on the use of force, a common threat to security is indispensable.
From Revolution to War: State Relations in a World of Change by Patrick J. Conge