'Despotism was an integral part of the old order which had to be overcome. To this way of thinking the decisive step in establishing the new order was a change in political leadership; the people themselves had to take over control of political life'. (Gilbert 1951: 26) This quotation was related to the French republic, which during the eighteenth century was one of the most prominent and powerful European states; simultaneously, it is impossible to omit the discussion of the diplomacy, which was characteristic to the country until the beginning of the WWI.
It is interesting to look at France as one of the clear representatives of the diplomatic system, which existed before the WWI. The period, which we are here to discuss and consider, is the period of the 'Third French Republic', and the Constitution of 1875, which put the grounds to the diplomatic system of France, in conjunction with the traditions of the state.
Schuman (1931) in his book about French diplomacy before the WWI wrote about the traditions, existing in the political system of France at the end of the 19th century, and which have created the irreversible effects on the course of diplomacy in Europe:
'In France, as in the other States of the Western State System, the control of foreign affairs was traditionally a prerogative of royalty during the formative period of modern international relations. From the earliest times to the Great revolution, the subject matter of diplomacy and international law dealt mainly with the dynastic relations and territorial ambitions of royal families and foreign policy was largely a personal affair of the king'. (p. 94)
It is interesting to closer consider the idea, brought by this citation: on the one hand, the old...
This paper approves that the balance of powers, so actively argued by the diplomats after the end of the WWI, is often seen to be kept at present, with these Powers having more authority in influencing the adoption of the international diplomatic decisions. Thus, the differences between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ diplomacy appear rather vague and unclear, than one has used to take them.
This report makes a conclusion that that the ‘new’ diplomacy does exist, and there is no doubt that the beginning and the end of the WWI has become the turning point for the international conduct of the diplomacy. As the consequence, the pre-war diplomacy due to its secrecy and inability to correctly rule the balance of powers has failed to prevent the beginning of the WWI. Thus, through the end of the WWI the necessity to re-consider the general principles of the international diplomacy has come into surface. Though some of the principles ad features of the pre-war diplomacy, as hierarchy, are still traced through the diplomatic affairs of the present times, it is no doubt that the whole picture of the post-war diplomacy has absolutely changed. The diplomats have the right to debate the existence of the two stages in the development of the diplomatic history, as well as the effectiveness of the measures, implemented after the WWI to make peaceful processes work; but it is evident, that with the development of communication, industrialization and technologies, the process of conducting diplomacy has changed its appearance, having become faster, more personal and closer to public.