For six decades after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Great Britain was able to underwrite a liberal world order based on freedom of navigation and free trade. The unification of Germany in the early 1870s threatened this system. Although Great Britain was willing to accommodate Germany, Germany did not wish to be accommodated. Instead, it followed a mercantilist trade policy and sought to challenge Great Britain at sea.
The resulting tensions arising from Germany’s trade policies and its decision to build a navy capable of challenging the Royal Navy set the world on the path to the Great War of 1914…
To read more visit Providence Journal.
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