oil on canvas
105 x 82 cm / 102 x 90,5 cm
Condition I - II
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War (German: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg, lit. German-French War, French: Guerre franco-allemande, lit. Franco-German War), often referred to in France as the War of 1870 (19 July 1870 – 10 May 1871), was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. The conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification. Some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck planned to provoke a French attack in order to draw the southern German states—Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and merely exploited the circumstances as they unfolded.
According to some historians, Bismarck adroitly created a diplomatic crisis over the succession to the Spanish throne, then edited a dispatch about a meeting between King William of Prussia and the French ambassador, to make it appear that the French had been insulted. The French press and parliament demanded a war, which the generals of Napoleon III assured him that France would win. Napoleon and his Prime Minister, Émile Ollivier, for their parts sought war to solve their problems with political disunity in France. On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on the German Kingdom of Prussia and hostilities began three days later. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more quickly than the French and rapidly invaded northeastern France. The German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology, particularly railroads and artillery.
A series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, saw the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated (Napoleon III had been captured at Sedan on 2 September). A Government of National Defence declared the Third Republic in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months; the German forces fought and defeated new French armies in northern France. Following the Siege of Paris, the capital fell on 28 January 1871 and then a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in the capital and held it for two months, until it was bloodily suppressed by the regular French army at the end of May 1871.
The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king, Wilhelm I, uniting Germany as a nation-state. The Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871 gave Germany most of Alsace and some parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine (Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen).The German conquest of France and the unification of Germany upset the European balance of power, that had existed since the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and Otto von Bismarck maintained great authority in international affairs for two decades. French determination to regain Alsace-Lorraine and fear of another Franco-German war, along with British apprehension about the balance of power, became factors in the causes of World War I.
Price 2.100,- Euro