Hitler took office in 1933 and within a few years most of Europe trembled before him. By the middle of March 1938 when the Third Reich seized Austria, the victors of World War One lost their last chance of averting that Nazi-Soviet realignment which, as it lulled German fears of a war on two fronts, precipitated the Second World War. Gone, too, as events were to show, was any hope of preserving the European balance of power. After the Second World War, if free societies were to keep rivals at bay, only a global balance would do. But that, apart from global exigencies, also generates within the West itself frequent crises of its own.
KeywordsFree Hand Global Balance Collective Security European Power French System
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