Collective Security

Collective Security

Should the Concert of Europe be viewed as an example of collective security

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The Napoleonic Wars, lasting from 1789 until 1815, were unlike any previously fought on continental Europe. For the first time, it was fought between nations and not just the ruling elites of each state . In addition, the terrible toll in lives lost and damage done was of a previously unthinkable scale. When, therefore, Napoleon was defeated and France was restored to its original (pre-Revolutionary) frontiers, the Great Powers of Europe sought to create a system between them that would ensure a lasting peace. This system came to be known as the Concert of Europe, and acted to sustain a viable peace from 1815 until the Crimean War in 1848. This essay discusses whether this system acted in a way consistent with the theory of Collective Security. This essay will begin by discussing the theoretical framework of Collective Security, its key principles and objectives. Following this, a look at the structure of the Concert of Europe will show its theoretical incompatibility with Collective Security doctrine. The two systems show two clearly different approaches to power among states, and the principles of

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