Prussia and France

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Information about Prussia and France

Published on February 6, 2008

Author: Petronilla


Prussia and France:  Prussia and France The Final Steps to Unification, 1866-71 Tension After 7 Weeks’ War:  Tension After 7 Weeks’ War Nap. shocked by speed of Bis’s victory Bis. excluded Nap. from Prague Treaty negotiations The planned division of Germany was presented to Napoleon as a reward for his neutrality But Nap. was looking for territory as compensation in the Rhineland !! TASK: Build-up to War:  TASK: Build-up to War Read pp. 44-47 of class reader. Take down a list of the events that led to the Franco-Prussian War. Use a table and explain what happened and how this led to growing tensions between Prussia and France. Luxembourg Crisis, 1866:  Luxembourg Crisis, 1866 King of Denmark also Duke of Lux. Part of German Con. Since 1815 Prussia had a right since the Vienna Settlement of 1815 to garrison the fortress Nap. was stiring up anti-Prussia feeling in Lux. with a view to acquiring it. Luxemburg Crisis, 1866:  Luxemburg Crisis, 1866 Bis. talks of Lux. as German Bis. and Nap. – diplomatic battles. King of Denmark offered Nap. Lux. for 5m guilders, but only if King of Prussia agreed – he did not!! London conference decided that Lux. should be declared neutral. Prussian garrison was withdrawn and French failed to gain territory Humiliation for Nap!! Was Bis. trying to provoke Napoleon? Hohenzollern Candidature, 1868-70:  Hohenzollern Candidature, 1868-70 1868, Queen Isabella driven out of Spain by a revolution Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern (nephew of Wilhelm I) approached. Why was Wilhelm so reluctant to agree? Hohenzollern Candidature, 1868-70:  Hohenzollern Candidature, 1868-70 Bis. persuaded Wilhelm and Leopold to accept. Nap. discovered plan Count Benedetti (French Ambassador) went to Ems to meet Wilhelm to seek an explanation. Wilhelm withdrew support for Leopold – wished to avoid war with France. Ems Telegram:  Ems Telegram French ‘clutched defeat from jaws of victory’ – demanded public apology Wilhelm refused – wrote a telegram to Bismarck for the French Ambassador Bismarck then edited the telegram before sending it to newspapers. When Wilhelm saw it he remarked, ‘This is war’. Franco-Prussian War, 1870:  Franco-Prussian War, 1870 Ems Telegram caused fury in France. French public and newspapers demanded war. Nap. declared war on 19 July and Bis. gained the support of all German states by claiming that Nap. was the aggressor Franco-Prussian War, 1870:  Franco-Prussian War, 1870 French mobilisation was chaotic; Prussian swift Nap. had no aptitude for military affairs and Marshall Bazaine – hopeless and found guilty of treason afterwards Moltke led the Prussian forces Franco-Prussian War, 1870:  Franco-Prussian War, 1870 Foreign powers remained neutral Russia promised to fight with Prussia if Austria joined France – both stayed out Italy made too many demands of France for their support British interests were not affected (Bis. had informed Britain that Nap. wished to invade Belgium) Franco-Prussian War, 1870:  Franco-Prussian War, 1870 Prussian technology (especially breech-loading rifle) and tactics were far superior. Prussia used 6 railway lines, France had 2 Major battles occurred at Metz and Sedan Fearing defeat, Nap. rode around at Sedan ‘looking for a bullet’. Sept. 1870, Bis., Moltke and Nap. met to agree the surrender French Surrender:  French Surrender 84,000 French prisoners (inc. 39 generals and the Emperor) Nap. imprisoned at Cassel until 1872 – then exile in Britain – died 1873 Revolution in France replaced 2nd Empire with 3rd Republic. War continued for a further 6 months and was ended in Jan. 1871 when Prussia laid siege to Paris. Treaty of Frankfurt, May 1871:  Treaty of Frankfurt, May 1871 France fined £200m Germany annexed Alsace and Lorraine (buffer-zone – contained fortresses of Metz and Strasbourg + rich in iron ore) Peace terms led to long lasting enmity between Germany and France Von Moltke: “What we have gained by arms in half a year, we must protect by arms for half a century”. TASK: The German Empire:  TASK: The German Empire Read pp. 91-94. Do you agree that Wilhelm was offered the crown by the people and princes of Germany? TASK: The German Empire:  TASK: The German Empire Write a headline and the opening paragraphs to appear alongside this picture (p. 93) in a newspaper of the following countries: 1. Germany 2. Prussia 3. France 4. Britain 5. Austria 6. Russia

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