Europe in 1900


Map Code: Ax02457

Prussian military victories over Austria (1866) and France (1871) reshaped the map of central Europe, spurring the formation of Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867), and the conversion of the German Confederation into an Empire dominated by Prussia and their guileful Chancellor, Bismarck. With Germany and Italy each achieving unification in 1871, the primary focus of instability became the Balkans, as Austria-Hungary and Russia vied for dominance in Serbia, Montenegro and Romania, which were newly liberated from the Ottomans. Russia fostered pan-Slavic movements in its Balkan hinterland, provoking Austria-Hungary’s clumsy annexation of Bosnia (1908), but was humiliated in the East by Japanese naval power (1905). Spain also suffered humiliation by a new world power, losing the remnants of its empire after defeat by the USA (1898), while both Britain and Italy suffered unexpected reverses in Africa, at the hands of the Boers (1899–1902) and Ethiopians (1896) respectively. France rebounded from its defeat by Prussia with the splendour of La Belle Époque symbolized by imperial adventurism, the Eiffel Tower and Moulin Rouge.

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