Railways and International Politics: Paths of Empire, 1848-1945, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Railways and International Politics

Paths of Empire, 1848-1945, 1st Edition

Edited by T.G. Otte, Keith Neilson


256 pages

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This new study brings together leading experts to show how the modern world began with the coming of the railway. They clearly explain why it had a greater impact than any other technical or industrial innovation before and completely redefined the limits of the civilized world.

While the effect of railways on economic development is self-evident, little attention has been paid to their impact on international relations. This is unfortunate, for in the period from 1848 to 1945, railways were an important element in the struggle between the Great Powers. This took many forms. Often, as in East Asia, the competition for railway concessions reflected the clash of rival imperial interests. The success or failure of this competition could determine which of the European Powers was to dominate and exploit the markets of China and Siam. Just as often, railways were linked with military matters. Prussia’s success in the wars of German unification depended on its strategic railways just as much as on the strength of its armies, and the rail links remained a vital aspect of German military thinking before the First World War. So, too, did they for the Russians, whose vast Empire required rail links capable of moving the Tsarist army quickly and competently. Just as importantly, railways could be vital for Imperial defence, as the British discovered on the North-West frontier of India.

This book will be of much interest to students of international history, military history and strategic studies.

Table of Contents

1. "Railpolitik": An Introduction Keith Neilson and T.G. Otte 2. Railroads, the Prussian Army, and the German Way of War in the Nineteenth Century Dennis E. Showalter 3. "The Most Catastrophic Question": Railway Development and Military Strategy in Late Imperial Russia Anthony J. Heywood 4. The Sanjak of Novibazar Railway Project F.R. Bridge 5. The Railway-Oceanic Era, the India-China and India-Singapore Railway Schemes, and Siam Nigel Brailey 6. "The Baghdad Railway of the Far East": The Tientsin-Yangtze Railway and Anglo-German Relations, 1898-1914 T.G. Otte 7. Lord Curzon and British Strategic Railways in Central Asia before, during and after World War I John Fisher 8. The Baghdad to Haifa Railway: The Culmination of Railway Planning for Imperial Defence East of Suez Keith Neilson 9. Managing the Hajj: Indian Pilgrim Traffic, Public Health, and Transportation in Arabia, 1918-1930 Martin Thomas 10. Barometer of War: British Views of Imperial Security in the Far East, Russo-Japanese Relations and the Chinese Eastern Railway, 1929-1935 Greg Kennedy 11. Swiss-Transalpine Railway Lines: Strategic Railways and the Strategy of Deterrence Neville Wylie Index

About the Series

Military History and Policy

This series publishes studies on historical and contemporary aspects of land power, spanning the period from the eighteenth century to the present day, and will include national, international and comparative studies. From time to time, the series will publish edited collections of essays and ‘classics’.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security