By Carine Germond
This book surveys Franco-German kin from the French Revolution to the Nineties, accumulating the most up-tp-date study from zone experts.
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Additional info for A History of Franco-German Relations in Europe: From ''Hereditary Enemies'' to Partners
Michael Rowe, “Resistance, Collaboration or Third Way?
His calculation was successful: On January 28, 1871, the two sides signed an armistice. Ten days earlier, Wilhelm I had been proclaimed “German Kaiser” in the Palace of Versailles. ”27 The military act on the soil of the defeated opponent placed the foundation of the German Empire within the continuity of the Franco-German conflict over foreign domination and national self-determination that had shaped the relations between the two countries since the beginning of the century. During the Wars of Liberation, the German national consciousness developed in opposition to France; the unified “small” German Reich that decades later made a reality of these national hopes had emerged in a new war with France and had solidified the Franco-German opposition for the long term, indeed transforming it into the notion that the two countries were “hereditary enemies,” a conviction that was then passed down from one generation to the next.
That view was unjustified, as was the assumption that Bismarck had been pushing for the Hohenzollern candidacy from the beginning. In fact, he learned of it only in February of 1870 but had forcefully pushed it thereafter against the opposition of his king, since he saw the possibility of further weakening France in Europe and thus keeping its ruler eager for peace. As the candidacy became known in Paris in early July, the populace, frustrated over their nation’s foreign policy failures during the past five years, reacted with indignation.