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The Unification of Italy and Germany
(The Breakdown of the Balance of Power)

The map of Europe took on a different look after 1848. The period of revolutions was over and, from now on, most of the liberals and the nationalists in Europe began to cooperate with their governments rather than trying to overthrow them. In turn, many governments found that by agreeing to certain liberal reforms, and adapting the demands of the nationalists to their needs, they could actually make their states stronger, not weaker, as they previously feared.

The second half of the 19th century saw a Europe dominated by a small number of powerful nation-states. As they were not the same as those which had reshaped Europe at the Congress of Vienna, the balance of power which had prevented war between 1815 and 1854 was upset. The creation of two new states, the growth of international tension, wars and the formation of two of hostile alliances were to set the scene for the greatest and bloodiest conflict the world had ever known - World War 1.

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Shirley Burchill, Nigel Hughes, Richard Gale, Peter Price and Keith Woodall 2014

Footnote : As far as the Open Door team can ascertain the images shown on this page are in the Public Domain.