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The 19th-Century International System: Changes in the Structure

Paul W. Schroeder
World Politics
Vol. 39, No. 1 (Oct., 1986), pp. 1-26
DOI: 10.2307/2010296
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2010296
Page Count: 26
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The 19th-Century International System: Changes in the Structure
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Abstract

Conventional accounts of the 19th-century international system describe it as a conservative restoration of the 18th-century system and account for the general stability of the 19th century primarily on the basis of the actors' peaceful dispositions. They fail to recognize or explain the profound structural changes in 19th-century politics. Problems that could not be successfully dealt with in the 18th century were solved or managed by the 19th-century statesmen by means of three new systemic arrangements: a system of intertwined guarantees and duties for the great powers; arrangements for shielding European politics from extra-European quarrels; and a network of intermediary bodies, separating and linking the great powers, to serve as buffers and spheres of influence.

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