Franco-Prussian War

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Franco-Prussian War, war in 1870-1871 lost by France to the German states under the leadership of Prussia. The underlying causes of the conflict were the determination of the Prussian statesman Prince Otto Edward Leopold von Bismarck to unify Germany under Prussian control and, as a step toward this goal, to eliminate French influence over Germany. On the other hand, Napoleon III, emperor of France from 1852 to 1870, sought to regain both in France and abroad the …

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…the French province of Alsace (excepting Belfort) and part of Lorraine, including Metz, were to be ceded to the German Empire, and that France was to pay a war indemnity of 5 billion gold francs ($1 billion), submitting to occupation by German troops until the amount was rendered in full. This heavy obligation was discharged in September 1873, and during the same month, after an occupation of almost three years, France was at last freed of German soldiers.