History: European/The importance of Balance of Power in Europe term paper 3594

History: European term papers
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B.O.P. essay

Without losers, there would be no winners. Moreover, if there were no evil in the world, then kindness would not exist. This is exactly the way the principle of balance of power in Europe operates. It prevented empires, and helped to aid lesser states in their times of need. The principle of Balance of Power was historically used to preserve the independence of European states, particularly small or weak ones. It was also used on occasion to destroy or partition weaker states; thus creating a true balance in Europe.

First, an aspect of the Balance of Power principle was to maintain the statewide independence. In attempt to preserve the condition of equilibrium, it was necessary for each state to remain independent and not intervene with the other states. During times of war, intervention was only acted upon due to religious, social, or political reasons. "They were held back by no ideologies or sympathies, especially after the religious was subsided, but could freely choose or reject allies, aiming only to protect their own independence or enlarge their own interests," (P + C, 163). Each state had their own stadholder, or ruler to oversee the state, but no ruler or all the land. It varied from state to state as to the powers of the stadholder. However, in every state a balance of power held true. "When foreigners threatened invasion, the power of the stadholder increased," (P + C, 167). Power would increase to aid the state in times of despair, which would only further enforce the importance of keeping the power balanced.

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