Revanchism (French : Revanchisme, from revanche, "revenge") is the political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement. As a term, revanchism originated in 1870s France in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War among nationalists who wanted to avenge the French defeat and reclaim the lost territories of Alsace-Lorraine.
Revanchism draws its strength from patriotic and retributionist thought and is often motivated by economic or geopolitical factors. Extreme revanchist ideologues often represent a hawkish stance, suggesting that their desired objectives can be achieved through the positive outcome of another war. It is linked with irredentism, the conception that a part of the cultural and ethnic nation remains "unredeemed" outside the borders of its appropriate nation-state.
Revanchist politics often rely on the identification of a nation with a nation state, often mobilizing deep-rooted sentiments of ethnic nationalism, claiming territories outside the state where members of the ethnic group live, while using heavy-handed nationalism to mobilize support for these aims. Revanchist justifications are often presented as based on ancient or even autochthonous occupation of a territory since "time immemorial", an assertion that is usually inextricably involved in revanchism and irredentism and justifies them in the eyes of their proponents.
The instance of revanchism that gave these groundswells of opinion their modern name came in the 1870s. French revanchism was a deep sense of bitterness, hatred and demand for revenge against Germany, especially because of the loss of Alsace and Lorraine following defeat in the Franco-Prussian War.Paintings that emphasized the humiliation of the defeat came in high demand, such as those by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville.
Georges Clemenceau, of the Radical Republicans, opposed participation in the scramble for Africa and other adventures that would divert the Republic from objectives related to the "blue line of the Vosges" in Alsace-Lorraine. After the governments of Jules Ferry had pursued a number of colonies in the early 1880s, Clemenceau lent his support to Georges Ernest Boulanger, a popular figure, nicknamed Général Revanche, who it was felt might overthrow the Republic in 1889. This ultranationalist tradition influenced French politics up to 1921 and was one of the major reasons France went to great pains to woo the Russian Empire, resulting in the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894 and, after more accords, the Triple Entente of the three great Allied powers of World War I: France, Great Britain, and Russia.
French revanchism influenced the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 following the end of World War I, which restored Alsace-Lorraine to France and extracted reparations from the defeated Germany. The conference was not only opened on the anniversary of the proclamation of the "Second Reich", the treaty also had to be signed by the new German government in the same room, the Hall of Mirrors.
A German revanchist movement developed in response to the losses of World War I. Pan-Germanists within the Weimar Republic called for the reclamation of the property of a German state due to pre-war borders or because of the territory's historical relation to Germanic peoples. The movement called for the reincorporation of Alsace-Lorraine, the Polish Corridor and the Sudetenland (see Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia —parts of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary until its dismemberment after World War I). Those claims, supported by Adolf Hitler, led to World War II, with the invasion of Poland. This irredentism had also been characteristic of the Völkisch movement in general and of the Pan-German League (Alldeutsche Verband). The Verband wanted to uphold German 'racial hygiene' and were against breeding with inferior races like the Jews and Slavs.
Ethnographic Lithuania was an early 20th-century concept that defined Lithuanian territories as a significant part of the territories that belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Lithuanians as all people living on them, regardless of whether those people spoke Lithuanian or and considered themselves Lithuanian. The concept was in contrast to those of "historic Lithuania", the territories of the Duchy, and the "linguistic Lithuania", the area in which Lithuanian language was overwhelmingly spoken.
The concept of ethnographic Lithuania clashed with the right for self-determination of people living in that large territory, particularly Poles and Belarusians, who, according to the supporters of the ethnographic Lithuania, were "Slavicized Lithuanians" who needed to be re-Lithuanized. They argued that individuals cannot decide on his ethnicity and nationality and that it is related to not their language but their ancestry.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Poland was trying to reclaim ethnic Polish lands that had been occupied by German, Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires:
Poland counted herself among the revisionist powers, with dreams of a southward advance, even a Polish presence on the Black Sea. The victim of the revisionist claims of others, she did not see the Versailles frontiers as fixed either. In 1938 when the Czech state was dismembered at the Munich conference, Poland issued an ultimatum of her own to Prague, demanding the cession of the Teschen region; the Czech government was powerless to resist.
Sweden lost Finland to Russia at the conclusion of the Finnish War (1808-09), ending nearly 600 years of Swedish rule. For most of the rests of the 1800s there was talk but few practical plans and little political will to reclaim Finland from Russia. Since Sweden was never able to challenge Russia's military might on its own, no attempts were made
During the Crimean War in 1853 to 1856, the Allied nations initiated talks with Sweden to allow troop and fleet movements through Swedish ports to be used against Russia. In return, the Allies would help Sweden reclaim Finland with the help of an expeditionary force. In the end, the plans fell through and Sweden never became involved in the fighting.
The annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation in April 2014, together with accusations by Western and Ukrainian leaders that Russia is supporting separatist actions by ethnic Russians in the secessionist Donbass region, has been cited by a number of prominent media outlets in the West as evidence of a revanchist policy on the part of the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Many Russian nationalists consider Alaska to be Russian territory that must be returned.Alaska was legally sold to the US by Russia in 1867.
The Central Powers, also Central Empires, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria - hence also known as the Quadruple Alliance —was one of the two main coalitions that fought World War I (1914–18).
Nationalism is an ideology and movement that promotes interest of a particular nation especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, ethnicity, geographic location, language, politics, religion, traditions and belief in a shared singular history —and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism.
The Treaty of Verdun, signed in August 843, was the first of the treaties that divided the Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms among the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious, who was the son of Charlemagne. The treaty, signed in Verdun-sur-Meuse, ended the three-year Carolingian Civil War.
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to expand German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded. Some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and merely exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, however, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.
The Treaty of Frankfurt was a peace treaty signed in Frankfurt on 10 May 1871, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War.
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871, after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle department of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east of the Vosges Mountains. The Lorraine section was in the upper Moselle valley to the north of the Vosges.
The Aftermath of World War I saw drastic political, cultural, economic, and social change across Eurasia, Africa, and even in areas outside those that were directly involved. Four empires collapsed due to the war, old countries were abolished, new ones were formed, boundaries were redrawn, international organizations were established, and many new and old ideologies took a firm hold in people's minds. World War I also had the effect of bringing political transformation to most of the principal parties involved in the conflict, transforming them into electoral democracies by bringing near-universal suffrage for the first time in history, as in Germany, Great Britain, and Turkey.
Paul Déroulède was a French author and politician, one of the founders of the nationalist League of Patriots.
Germanisation, or Germanization, is the spread of the German language, people and culture. It was a central plank of German conservative thinking in the 19th and 20th centuries, during a period when conservatism and ethno-nationalism went hand-in-hand. In linguistics, Germanisation also occurs when a word from the German language is adopted into a foreign language.
The Franco-Russian Alliance, or Russo-French Rapprochement, was an alliance formed by the agreements of 1891–94; it lasted until 1917. The strengthening of the German Empire, the creation of the Triple Alliance of 1882, and the exacerbation of Franco-German and Russo-German contradictions at the end of the 1880s led to a common foreign policy and mutual strategic military interests between France and Russia. The development of financial ties between the two countries created the economic prerequisites for the Russo-French Alliance.
The relations between France and Germany form an integral part of the wider politics of Europe with both countries being founder Member states of the European Union and its predecessor the European Communities since its inception in 1958 with the signing of the Treaty of Rome.
Edwin Karl Rochus Freiherr von Manteuffel was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall noted for his victories in the Franco-Prussian War.
Lorraine is a cultural and historical region in north-eastern France, now located in the administrative region of Grand Est. Lorraine's name stems from the medieval kingdom of Lotharingia, which in turn was named for either Emperor Lothair I or King Lothair II. It later was ruled as the Duchy of Lorraine before the Kingdom of France annexed it in 1766.
French–German (Franco-German) enmity was the idea of unavoidably hostile relations and mutual revanchism between Germans and French people that arose in the 16th century and became popular with the Franco–Prussian War of 1870–1871. It was an important factor in the unification of Germany, and World War I, and ended after World War II, when under the influence of the Cold War West Germany and France both became part of NATO and the European Coal and Steel Community.
The Treaty of Versailles of 1871 ended the Franco-Prussian War and was signed by Adolphe Thiers, of the French Third Republic, and Otto von Bismarck, of the newly-formed German Empire on 26 February 1871. This was a preliminary treaty used to solidify the initial armistice of 28 January 1871 between the two states. It was later ratified by the Treaty of Frankfurt on 10 May of the same year. The 1871 Treaty of Frankfurt made the decline of France obvious to the rest of the continent, and at the same time demonstrated the strength of a unified German empire.
The territorial changes of Germany include all changes in the borders and territory of Germany from its formation in 1871 to the present. Modern Germany was formed in 1871 when Otto von Bismarck unified most of the German states, with the notable exception of Austria, into the German Empire. After the First World War, Germany lost about 10% of its territory to its neighbours and the Weimar Republic was formed. This republic included territories to the east of today's German borders.
The early modern era of Polish history follows the late Middle Ages. Historians use the term early modern to refer to the period beginning in approximately 1500 AD and lasting until around 1800.
Nicolas Albert Bettannier, usually known as Albert Bettannier, was a French painter in the era of the French Third Republic.
Marie-Antoinette Lix was a French governess and heroine of the 1863–64 January Uprising against Russia who later fought in the Franco-Prussian War.