First system. Known as the League of the Three Emperors, this was an alliance between the Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian empires.
    Second system. Bismarck made a bilateral agreement with Austria. Italy later joined the agreement, forming the Triple Alliance.
    Third system. The German chancellor reinforced the Triple Alliance and signed the Reinsurance Treaty with the Russian tsar. Bismarck also signed the Mediterranean Agreements with Great Britain, Italy, Austria and Spain.
  • Suffragism and Feminism

    Suffragism and Feminism
    At the end of the 19th century, there continued to be great inequality between men and women. Although men had achieved the right to vote. Women also earned less than half the wages that men did. They were not allowed to go to university.
    Because of these injustices, women began to form groups calling for gender equality. Later they also began to demand changes to their economic situation, equal opportunities for education and equality before the law.
  • Scientific Development

    Scientific Development
    Many cultural and scientific advances were made in the 19th century. This was caused by the following factors.
    The creation of schools, universities and scientific societies. German universities, for example, had a great influence on the development of the chemical industry.
    Many scientists became well known public figures or were hired by members of the upper class.
    Experimentalism of the new society, always looking for new discoveries or technologies.

    Realist literature was developed by authors such as Honoré de Balzac, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Benito Pérez Galdós.
    Naturalistic writers depicted everyday reality with extreme realism. In naturalistic works, people would change for the better if their living conditions changed. Émile Zola and Emilia Pardo Bazán were important naturalistic writers.
  • The Tension Arises

    The Tension Arises
    This process was called the arms race or armed peace. Two sources of extreme tension inherited from the Bismarckian Systems made the situation worse:
    Between 1905 and 1911, France and Germany were on the brink of war over control of Morocco.
    In 1912, two Balkan Wars began. In the first, an alliance of Balkan countries Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece declared war on the Turks, leading to the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire from Europe.
  • Armed Peace

    Armed Peace
    After Bismarck resigned in 1890, two opposing diplomatic blocs formed in Europe: the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. The Entente meant the end of British neutrality in Europe. In the Triple Alliance, each member promised mutual support in the event of an attack by any other great power, or, in the case of Germany and Italy, an attack by France alone.
  • Women and the Struggle for Voting

    Women and the Struggle for Voting
    Until the First World War, the suffragists achieved very little. Only four Nordic states and New Zealand recognised women’s right to vote.
    The situation would change. The jobs previously done by men then had to be done by women. As huge numbers of women joined the workforce and proved that they could do the tasks required quite efficiently.
    At the end of the war, other nations began to recognise women’s right to vote. However, complete legal and economic equality was not achieved until the WWII.

    The fight for women’s right to vote in Spain did not begin until well into the 20th century. Women’s initial demands were therefore related to motherhood.
    Novelist Emilia Pardo Bazán criticised the political advances made by liberal.
    Writer and activist Concepción Arenal believed that women should not be restricted to the traditional roles of wife and mother.

    Emmeline Pankhurst is considered the most important British feminist. She was an activist and leader of the suffragette movement. She spent years touring, giving speeches and participating in marches. She suspended her activities during the WWI to support the war effort, and after women got the right to vote in Great Britain, she was active in politics and ran for Parliament.