The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 was one of the most significant wars of the nineteenth century. It changed the balance of power in Europe and resulted in the relative decline of France and confirmed the rise of a United Germany as the major power on the continent. This was to have great implications for international relations not only in Europe but around the Globe. The Franco-Prussian War was to lay the foundation for the First World War.
In 1870, France was regarded as the most powerful country in mainland Europe. It was ruled by the authoritarian Emperor Napoleon III. He had actively sought to expand French influence in Europe and around the world. Napoleon III inspired by his grandfather Napoleon I, sought to make France the greatest nation in Europe. He had fought wars against the Russian Empire in the Crimea and in Italy against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Emperor was also acquiring colonies in Asia and Africa . Read more at DailyHistory.org.