Why Did The Franco Prussian War Break Out?

478 Words2 Pages
In this essay I will be considering the reasons for the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. There is not a definite reason for the war, but sources suggest that it was to benefit both sides. There were some long term and some short term reasons that I will be considering. I will start with the discussion of the long term reasons. Firstly there were tensions between France and Prussia from the wars led by Napoleon I. After the defeat of Napoleon the First France lost Rhine and felt resentful about it. This is an example of tension between France and Prussia. This also shows that both countries wanted to be significant powers in Europe, France during Napoleon I and Prussia through the unification of Germany. France might have also been frightenend by the progressing German unification. There were other more politically domestic long term reasons for the war. These were that Bismarck wanted to unify the land that he had won as a result of the Austrian and Prussian war in 1866. Bismarck also used France as a common enemy of Germany all together so that unification could take place much more easily. France thought the war would not only help by stopping Germany’s increase in power. It would also help Napoleon III to regain his popularity after some of his failures after the commencement of his dictatorship, such as the Mexican adventure of 1867. I will now go onto the short term reasons. Firstly, Spain needed a king and Bismarck saw his chance to send Prince Leopold to become king there. France protested because they thought that having German influence on both sides would be too much if conflict would have occured. William the King of Prussia withdrew Leopold but the French still did not let this situation rest at hand. The French influence group led by Empress Eugénie wanted war with Prussia. So they sent a French ambassador to seek William I and ask him to sign papers
Open Document