The Franco-Prussian war resulted in two reunifications. In the run-up, French troops were withdrawn from Rome and the Papal states enabling completion of the Italian Risorgimento; a crushing Prussian victory saw the proclamation of the German Empire in the war’s aftermath. Earlier in the decade, Italy had also profited from the Prussian defeat of Austria-Hungary (1866), reclaiming Venetia from the peace negotiations. Defeat in the Crimean War (1853–56) had induced a programme of reform in Russia encompassing the Emancipation of serfs (1861). In Spain, the ‘Glorious Revolution’ (1868) would produce a brief republic before the Bourbon Restoration (1870). Denmark lost its southern province of Schleswig to Prussia (1864) in the latter’s practice conflict for its subsequent steamrollering of France and Austria. Ottoman decline was halted briefly through an internal modernization programme and when the Turks picked the victorious side in the Crimean War. To the west, ‘Britannia ruled the waves’ with its navy and, with the Industrial Revolution at its peak, dominated international trade.
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