Franco-Prussian War, 1870–71, a war between France and Germany. The opponents of France at the start of the war were an alliance of several confederated and independent German states led by Prussia. The Germans won the war quickly and overwhelmingly. As the Germans neared victory during the last days of the war, the various German states united under Prussian leadership to form a German nation. In France Emperor Napoleon III was overthrown and the Third Republic established. The Franco-Prussian War caused a great shift of political influence and permanently altered the balance of power in Europe.
The history of Europe is the story of many different peoples and cultures. Some peoples lagged behind, while others surged far ahead in the development of social, intellectual, and political institutions and ideas.
Renaissance, in a broad sense, the culturally fruitful period of transition from the medieval era into the beginning of modern civilization in Europe.