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Bismarck Napoleon III and the Outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War

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Bismarck Napoleon III and the Outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War Bismarck, Napoleon III, and the Outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War The unification of Germany threw all of Europe off its axis. With the formation of this new power there were now five major powers instead of four. This would work to unsettle age-old alliances and confuse the entire European continent for more than twenty years. Not least among the nations swept of their proverbial feet was France. France was a rival with the German alliance long before it merged into one state, but the new stability of a unified Germany made it a much more powerful entity. France scrambled to try and establish a sense of security, immediately demanding compensation in the form of…show more content…
It seemed that the Germans were using the same tactic that they would use almost fifty years later, goading their enemies into an irrevocable stance and into war. Ducrot urged the French that a pre-emptive strike across the Rhine would catch Germany off guard and they could march all the way to Berlin. However, the French military heads had no plan in effect for a possible altercation with Germany and did not until the war was eminent. They toyed with the idea of a possible alignment with Austria-Hungary, but their government was wary of such an arrangement but agreed to a triple alliance that included Italy. This would, the Archduke estimated, create a force of nearly one million allied troops against a force of roughly half-a-million Germans (Hwd 47). Finally, the event that would spur the war came to pass. The Hohenzollern candidature for the Spanish crown had come open following the revolution against Queen Isabella in 1868. The crown was initially refused by Prince Charles Anthony and then offered to his son Leopold with the influence if William I. Leopold reluctantly accepted the Spanish crown out of respect and servitude to Germany (Hwd 48). The acceptance of the Spanish crown and the lack of anyone to announce it until considerable time had passed outraged the French and most of the remainder of Europe. France took it as a slap to the
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