View Poll Results: What is the Most Powerful Nation in Europe?

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  • Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany)

    58 45.67%
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    46 36.22%
  • Cinquième République de la France (Fifth Republic of France)

    12 9.45%
  • other

    11 8.66%
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Thread: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

  1. #261
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus Zeebra View Post
    What? We were always ahead, we just had a setback when all of our **** laid in ruin after the second world war. But hey, once again, we are ahead.

    Germany and France is driving all this, and are therefor clearly more powerful than for example the UK who have absolutely less influence than the Netherlands.
    I meant in terms of uniting seperate states into a federation or in your case a loose confederation. But yes Germany is economically stronger then the UK, but in terms of military power and influence in the world they are far inferior.


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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by OxymoronP View Post
    I meant in terms of uniting seperate states into a federation or in your case a loose confederation. But yes Germany is economically stronger then the UK, but in terms of military power and influence in the world they are far inferior.
    Thats only if you dont take into consideration the enourmous influence the EU has in the world and who mostly steer the EU. Thats no the UK, its France and Germany.

    France on the other hand have at least as good a military as the UK and the same military industrial capability and technology. Germany have a less good military than both at the moment, but far superior capability.

    France also in my opinion has a far better economy than the UK, in statistics it would show out about equal, but taken into consideration that France was left untouched by the financial crisis show massive diversity and heavy strenght. The UK was totally crushed by the financial crisis and was shown vulnerable and totally dependent on their financial industry and the city of London. Taken those things into consideration, I prefer the economy of France. Germany of course have a far superior economy to both.
    Taken into consideration those 3 things, Germany and France have far more power in Europe, and globally than the UK does, despite the UK relations with the US and their wars and global havoc and the "English language".

    The cool thing about European global influence is that it just operates, we dont need to talk about it, we just want to feel good about it.

    While the US(and the UK) works under a different motto, it doesnt matter what you do as long as in the end you can gain good credit for it, or it can benefit yourself and the people at home.

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  3. #263
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    UK. It is allied to the US.

    As to the EU, there are many dissenters here who are anti-EU and choices have been made on the level of involvement. It is a hot political issue in the UK.

    UK does not fully commit or submit, as Germany has. UK, for example, does not use the Euro.

  4. #264
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    According to Bismarck's Theory of Great Power (which so far has been proven to be accurate since its inception), there are always five nations on Earth that are roughly within the same ballpark with each-other. There are tons of articles debating left and right what the order of the five most powerful nations on Earth ought to be, but they all agree on one thing: The five today are Britain, France, Russia, China and America. Furthermore the theory goes on to state that an alliance of three of those powers will necessarily overcome the other two. That is, an alliance of France, America and Russia would necessarily overcome China and Britain, or an alliance of Russia, Britain and China would necessarily overcome America and France, and so on.

    On to the point: Two (or three, if one considers Russia to be European) of the nations on that list are in Europe. It is pointless to debate which is the more powerful, because Bismarck's theory correctly posits that neither has an insurmountable lead on the other.

    To that end, nominating France or Britain would be correct, in terms of this poll -- though Germany can not be seen as a legitimate answer, unless we're talking solely about economic might.

  5. #265
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    According to Bismarck's Theory of Great Power (which so far has been proven to be accurate since its inception), there are always five nations on Earth that are roughly within the same ballpark with each-other. There are tons of articles debating left and right what the order of the five most powerful nations on Earth ought to be, but they all agree on one thing: The five today are Britain, France, Russia, China and America. Furthermore the theory goes on to state that an alliance of three of those powers will necessarily overcome the other two. That is, an alliance of France, America and Russia would necessarily overcome China and Britain, or an alliance of Russia, Britain and China would necessarily overcome America and France, and so on.
    This theory sounds a bit dubious. I see no reason why there would always be five nations "within the same ballpark," nor does it sound like that's been the case historically. Moreover, I find it incredibly hard to believe that Britain/France/Russia could overcome China/America.
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    This theory sounds a bit dubious. I see no reason why there would always be five nations "within the same ballpark," nor does it sound like that's been the case historically. Moreover, I find it incredibly hard to believe that Britain/France/Russia could overcome China/America.
    I'm not a geopolitical scientist, and thus I don't know WHY it works that way, but it's a rather easily proven truth that, since "modern" history began, there are always five nations that can claim to stand head and shoulders above the rest. Let's examine the Napoleonic period: We've got France, Russia, Britain, Prussia and Austria. What happens? France, after absorbing Prussia, takes the fight to Austria, Britain and Russia. What results? Napoleon's eventual defeat.

    Or we could go further back, and examine the Seven Years' War -- France, Austria and Russia team up on Britain and Prussia, and the results include French ownership over most of Indochina, Austrain victory against the Prussians, the partitioning of Poland in favour of the Russians.

    Now let's go forward, to the first World War. France, Britain, and Russia fight Austria and Germany -- after a long, grueling war, you know very well that the Entente ends up on top.

    In the Second World War, Bismarck's theory even gets payed homage, as the "Big Three" meet -- the Soviet Union, the UK, and the US, who have met to defeat Germany and Japan.

    Now, with Germany and Japan militarily levelled, they've risen again as economic powers -- but their world-power status is still in the depths, giving rise to the UN Security Council: France, Russia, Britain, America and China.


    As for your second statement, I see no reason why a team of Britain, France and Russia -- three totally modernised military powers -- couldn't defeat the US and China: In fact, for all of the fearmongering that goes on in the US about Chinese militance, China is almost undoubtedly the weakest link of the five major powers, as its military isn't nearly as technologically advanced as the other four's. So, China would in fact be a hindrance to the States, or atleast certainly not enough of a help to shatter Bismarck's theory.

    I really can't envision a current team of two that would necessarily beat the other three -- right now, it's not militarily feasible. I suppose during the height of the Cold War, an alliance of the Soviet Union and the United States would have stood a good chance of defeating Britain, France and China, but the world has since depolarised, and there isn't nearly enough power in specifically two of the five states to precipitate a victory over the other three.

  7. #267
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    I'm not a geopolitical scientist, and thus I don't know WHY it works that way, but it's a rather easily proven truth that, since "modern" history began, there are always five nations that can claim to stand head and shoulders above the rest. Let's examine the Napoleonic period: We've got France, Russia, Britain, Prussia and Austria. What happens? France, after absorbing Prussia, takes the fight to Austria, Britain and Russia. What results? Napoleon's eventual defeat.

    Or we could go further back, and examine the Seven Years' War -- France, Austria and Russia team up on Britain and Prussia, and the results include French ownership over most of Indochina, Austrain victory against the Prussians, the partitioning of Poland in favour of the Russians.

    Now let's go forward, to the first World War. France, Britain, and Russia fight Austria and Germany -- after a long, grueling war, you know very well that the Entente ends up on top.

    In the Second World War, Bismarck's theory even gets payed homage, as the "Big Three" meet -- the Soviet Union, the UK, and the US, who have met to defeat Germany and Japan.

    Now, with Germany and Japan militarily levelled, they've risen again as economic powers -- but their world-power status is still in the depths, giving rise to the UN Security Council: France, Russia, Britain, America and China.
    It sounds like you went about those calculations by deciding on a result and then looking to fill those slots. That's not really the best way to evaluate things like this. If you look at the wiki article that discusses Bismarck's actual quote, it argues that it's quite false.

    Great power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In 1900, there were 8 great powers. In 1939, there were 7. In 2000, there were 7.

    It's quite possible to always come up with a list of the "top 5" powers and call that the great powers. That doesn't mean that each of those five powers are closer to each other than the fifth power is to the next greatest. I think you'd have a very hard time proving that.


    As for your second statement, I see no reason why a team of Britain, France and Russia -- three totally modernised military powers -- couldn't defeat the US and China: In fact, for all of the fearmongering that goes on in the US about Chinese militance, China is almost undoubtedly the weakest link of the five major powers, as its military isn't nearly as technologically advanced as the other four's. So, China would in fact be a hindrance to the States, or atleast certainly not enough of a help to shatter Bismarck's theory.

    I really can't envision a current team of two that would necessarily beat the other three -- right now, it's not militarily feasible. I suppose during the height of the Cold War, an alliance of the Soviet Union and the United States would have stood a good chance of defeating Britain, France and China, but the world has since depolarised, and there isn't nearly enough power in specifically two of the five states to precipitate a victory over the other three.
    Even if you're right that the US and China would be defeated (which I very much doubt), you acknowledge that the US/USSR would have defeated the other three, thus disproving Bismarck's theory (if it was ever really a theory).
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    It sounds like you went about those calculations by deciding on a result and then looking to fill those slots. That's not really the best way to evaluate things like this. If you look at the wiki article that discusses Bismarck's actual quote, it argues that it's quite false.

    Great power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In 1900, there were 8 great powers. In 1939, there were 7. In 2000, there were 7.

    It's quite possible to always come up with a list of the "top 5" powers and call that the great powers. That doesn't mean that each of those five powers are closer to each other than the fifth power is to the next greatest. I think you'd have a very hard time proving that.




    Even if you're right that the US and China would be defeated (which I very much doubt), you acknowledge that the US/USSR would have defeated the other three, thus disproving Bismarck's theory (if it was ever really a theory).
    I said that was the only conceivable situation where I could imagine Bismarck's theory being upset -- but alas, there is always the unwritten clauses of a theory that make it so applicable. I would argue that a good addition to Bismarck's theory would be a clause stating that, in general, the two most powerful nations of the time aren't usually on the same side, thus precluding the possibility of a USSR/USA alliance.

    At any rate, I've seen that wikipedia article many a time, and I don't really know where you got the bit about Bismarck saying the exact opposite of his own theory. Seems a bit daft...

    At any rate, that chart with all the great powers? Take a look at the trends, one more time -- watch how, whenever there are challengers to the original five, like, say, in 1914 Italy trying to muscle its way in -- history promptly rights itself by starting a massive power and reducing at least some of the nations contending for dominance, until there are only... Huh, five left!

    At any rate, on a less abstract note, why exactly do you believe a Chinese-American alliance would overcome Russia, Britain and France? China's only hope to survive such a war would be a massive, pre-emptive strike on their closest foe... Which would be Russia. They have little to no naval capabilities, and as shown in every war China's been in in the last century, their entire strategy centres on sending as many people to the front as possible. So, without naval capabilities, they're force to attempt to invade Siberia (which always goes well), with an army that's already known for its supply logistic problems (AKA getting food and appropriate gear to their troops).

    The States, on the other hand, would be more of a problem -- the States have a large and modern army, if a bit ill-trained, but they absolutely have the transport capabilities that the Chinese lack. Even so, a defensive action on Europe's part would almost conclusively end in American repulsion, when considering the scenarios of the most recent major wars in Europe. Attempting to make landfall in either Britain or France would be disastrously stupid -- the only reason Normandy was a success was because Hitler wouldn't listen to Rommel's pleas to pull troops from the Eastern Front to defend France.

    Furthermore, on the defensive, Britain's got to have the single best alliance network on Earth. They're a part of the EU, which has a military clause, as well as the Commonwealth, which has a military clause, and NATO, which is at its heart a military alliance. An attack on Britain by the States would arouse the support of France, Germany and Italy, if not the rest of the EU, as well as the ire of Canada, South Africa, India and (perhaps) Pakistan. The NATO clause would most likely be destroyed entirely, as one NATO nation attacking another would probably render the alliance void -- but it can be assured that an aggressive US wouldn't receive support from anyone outside of Israel.

    In short, even though this is a ridiculous debate to have in the first place, I can't foresee a Chinese-American alliance succeeding against a British-French-Russian alliance any time in the foreseeable future.

  9. #269
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    I said that was the only conceivable situation where I could imagine Bismarck's theory being upset -- but alas, there is always the unwritten clauses of a theory that make it so applicable. I would argue that a good addition to Bismarck's theory would be a clause stating that, in general, the two most powerful nations of the time aren't usually on the same side, thus precluding the possibility of a USSR/USA alliance.

    At any rate, I've seen that wikipedia article many a time, and I don't really know where you got the bit about Bismarck saying the exact opposite of his own theory. Seems a bit daft...
    That would be daft, but it's not what I said. I said that the article argued that Bismarck's quote was false.

    At any rate, that chart with all the great powers? Take a look at the trends, one more time -- watch how, whenever there are challengers to the original five, like, say, in 1914 Italy trying to muscle its way in -- history promptly rights itself by starting a massive power and reducing at least some of the nations contending for dominance, until there are only... Huh, five left!
    I think you're looking for patterns where there are none. How exactly did history "right itself" after 2000, returning us to 5 great powers?

    At any rate, on a less abstract note, why exactly do you believe a Chinese-American alliance would overcome Russia, Britain and France? China's only hope to survive such a war would be a massive, pre-emptive strike on their closest foe... Which would be Russia. They have little to no naval capabilities, and as shown in every war China's been in in the last century, their entire strategy centres on sending as many people to the front as possible. So, without naval capabilities, they're force to attempt to invade Siberia (which always goes well), with an army that's already known for its supply logistic problems (AKA getting food and appropriate gear to their troops).

    The States, on the other hand, would be more of a problem -- the States have a large and modern army, if a bit ill-trained, but they absolutely have the transport capabilities that the Chinese lack. Even so, a defensive action on Europe's part would almost conclusively end in American repulsion, when considering the scenarios of the most recent major wars in Europe. Attempting to make landfall in either Britain or France would be disastrously stupid -- the only reason Normandy was a success was because Hitler wouldn't listen to Rommel's pleas to pull troops from the Eastern Front to defend France.

    Furthermore, on the defensive, Britain's got to have the single best alliance network on Earth. They're a part of the EU, which has a military clause, as well as the Commonwealth, which has a military clause, and NATO, which is at its heart a military alliance. An attack on Britain by the States would arouse the support of France, Germany and Italy, if not the rest of the EU, as well as the ire of Canada, South Africa, India and (perhaps) Pakistan. The NATO clause would most likely be destroyed entirely, as one NATO nation attacking another would probably render the alliance void -- but it can be assured that an aggressive US wouldn't receive support from anyone outside of Israel.
    Who said that China and the US would be the aggressors? Last I checked, the US was part of the same alliances as the UK, so if the UK were the aggressor, the allies would (theoretically) come to the aid of the US.

    Either way, there's no point in bickering about what would happen in this fantasy world. The point is that incredibly simplistic "theories" like the one that Bismarck threw out are rarely if ever true.
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    Re: What is the most powerful nation in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    That would be daft, but it's not what I said. I said that the article argued that Bismarck's quote was false.



    I think you're looking for patterns where there are none. How exactly did history "right itself" after 2000, returning us to 5 great powers?



    Who said that China and the US would be the aggressors? Last I checked, the US was part of the same alliances as the UK, so if the UK were the aggressor, the allies would (theoretically) come to the aid of the US.

    Either way, there's no point in bickering about what would happen in this fantasy world. The point is that incredibly simplistic "theories" like the one that Bismarck threw out are rarely if ever true.
    I misunderstood what you said about the article -- apologies. Still, I'm a firm believer in accepting theories that have not yet been proven wrong, even if I need a few grains of salt thrown into the equation. So, I suppose what I'm saying is, Bismarck's theory looks sound in retrospect, and it has not yet been disproven unilaterally, so I'll accept it with the ability to see that it could be very flawed.

    Anyway, about the situation in 2000: I would argue that 2001 would be a much more apt year for another "righting" in history of the power balance -- by 2001, Putin had begun the process of rebuilding Russia to 'world power' status that it has today, and at the same time, in the US, the 9/11 attacks (arguably) started the downward spiral the country is heading in. And so, if you believe in such things as geopolitical determinism, and history's tendency to balance itself out, 2001 uplifted one nation to "Bismarckian power" status, and also dealt a blow to another, to keep it from breaking the balance.

    Now, I can accept a different view of history, or of AD 2000, or of the entire theory writ large -- and you may very well disagree with it, and I'd like to hear why. But to me, it sounds like Bismarck's theory is further reinforced by recent events, not cast into a dubious light by them.

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