The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur
The Sudetenland is the historical German name for the northern and western areas of former Czechoslovakia which were inhabited by Sudeten Germans. These German speakers had predominated in the border districts of Bohemia and Czech Silesia from the time of the Austrian Empire; the word "Sudetenland" did not come into being until the early part of the 20th century and did not come to prominence until over a decade into the century, after the First World War, when the German-dominated Austria-Hungary was dismembered and the Sudeten Germans found themselves living in the new country of Czechoslovakia. The Sudeten crisis of 1938 was provoked by the Pan-Germanist demands of Germany that the Sudetenland be annexed to Germany, which happened after the Munich Agreement. Part of the borderland was annexed by Poland; when Czechoslovakia was reconstituted after the Second World War, the Sudeten Germans were expelled and the region today is inhabited exclusively by Czech speakers. The word Sudetenland is a German compound of Land, meaning "country", Sudeten, the name of the Sudeten Mountains, which run along the northern Czech border and Lower Silesia.
The Sudetenland encompassed areas well beyond those mountains, however. Parts of the now Czech regions of Karlovy Vary, Olomouc, Moravia-Silesia, Ústí nad Labem are within the area called Sudetenland; the areas known as the Sudetenland never formed a single historical region, which makes it difficult to distinguish the history of the Sudetenland apart from that of Bohemia, until the advent of nationalism in the 19th century. The Celtic and Boii tribes settled there and the region was first mentioned on the map of Ptolemaios in the 2nd century AD; the Germanic tribe of the Marcomanni dominated the entire core of the region in centuries. Those tribes built cities like Brno, but moved west during the Migration Period. In the 7th century AD Slavic people were united under Samo's realm. In the High Middle Ages Germans settled into the less populated border region. In the Middle Ages the regions situated on the mountainous border of the Duchy and the Kingdom of Bohemia had since the Migration Period been settled by western Slavic Czechs.
Along the Bohemian Forest in the west, the Czech lands bordered on the German Slavic tribes stem duchies of Bavaria and Franconia. In the course of the Ostsiedlung German settlement from the 13th century onwards continued to move into the Upper Lusatia region and the duchies of Silesia north of the Sudetes mountain range. From as early as the second half of the 13th century onwards these Bohemian border regions were settled by ethnic Germans, who were invited by the Přemyslid Bohemian kings — by Ottokar II and Wenceslaus II. After the extinction of the Přemyslid dynasty in 1306, the Bohemian nobility backed John of Luxembourg as king against his rival Duke Henry of Carinthia. In 1322 King John of Bohemia acquired the Imperial Egerland region in the west and was able to vassalize most of the Piast Silesian duchies, acknowledged by King Casimir III of Poland by the 1335 Treaty of Trentschin, his son, Bohemian King Charles IV, was elected King of the Romans in 1346 and crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1355.
He added the Lusatias to the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which comprised large territories with a significant German population. In the hilly border regions German settlers established major manufactures of forest glass; the situation of the German population was aggravated by the Hussite Wars, though there were some Germans among the Hussite insurgents. By Germans settled the hilly Bohemian border regions as well as the cities of the lowlands; the city of Prague had a German-speaking majority from the last third of the 17th century until 1860, but after 1910 the proportion of German speakers had decreased to 6.7% of the population. From the Luxembourgs, the rule over Bohemia passed through George of Podiebrad to the Jagiellon dynasty and to the House of Habsburg in 1526. Both Czech and German Bohemians suffered in the Thirty Years War. Bohemia lost 70% of its population. From the defeat of the Bohemian Revolt that collapsed at the 1620 Battle of White Mountain, the Habsburgs integrated the Kingdom of Bohemia into their monarchy.
During the subsequent Counter-Reformation, less populated areas were resettled with Catholic Germans from the Austrian lands. From 1627 the Habsburgs enforced the so-called Verneuerte Landesordnung and one of its consequences was that German according to mother tongue became the primary and official language while Czech declined to a secondary role in the Empire. In 1749 Austrian Empire enforced German as the official language again. Emperor Joseph II in 1780 renounced the coronation ceremony as Bohemian king and unsuccessfully tried to push German through as sole official language in all Habsburg lands. German cultural in
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria. The state was founded by one of the polytheistic Baltic tribes from Aukštaitija; the Grand Duchy expanded to include large portions of the former Kievan Rus' and other Slavic lands, including what is now Belarus and parts of Ukraine and Russia. At its greatest extent, in the 15th century, it was the largest state in Europe, it was a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, with great diversity in languages and cultural heritage. Consolidation of the Lithuanian lands began in the late 12th century. Mindaugas, the first ruler of the Grand Duchy, was crowned as Catholic King of Lithuania in 1253; the pagan state was targeted in the religious crusade by the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. The multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state emerged only at the late reign of Gediminas and continued to expand under his son Algirdas.
Algirdas's successor Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo in 1386, bringing two major changes in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: conversion to Catholicism and establishment of a dynastic union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The reign of Vytautas the Great marked both the greatest territorial expansion of the Grand Duchy and the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, it marked the rise of the Lithuanian nobility. After Vytautas's death, Lithuania's relationship with the Kingdom of Poland deteriorated. Lithuanian noblemen, including the Radvila family, attempted to break the personal union with Poland. However, unsuccessful wars with the Grand Duchy of Moscow forced the union to remain intact; the Union of Lublin of 1569 created a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the federation, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania maintained its political distinctiveness and had separate government, laws and treasury; the federation was terminated by the passing of the Constitution of 3 May 1791, when there was supposed to be now a single country, the Commonwealth of Poland, under one monarch and one parliament.
Shortly afterward, the unitary character of the state was confirmed by adopting the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. However, the newly-reformed Commonwealth was invaded by Russia in 1792 and partitioned between the neighbours, with a truncated state remaining only nominally independent. After the Kościuszko Uprising, the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria in 1795; the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania have the complete name of the state as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Samogitia. The title of "grand duchy" was applied to Lithuania from the 14th century onward. In other languages, the grand duchy is referred to as: Belarusian: Вялікае Княства Літоўскае German: Großfürstentum Litauen Estonian: Leedu Suurvürstiriik Latin: Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae Latvian: Lieitija or Lietuvas Lielkņaziste Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė Old literary Lithuanian: Didi Kunigystė Lietuvos Polish: Wielkie Księstwo Litewskie Russian: Великое княжество Литовское Ruthenian: Великое князство Литовское Ukrainian: Велике князiвство Литовське The first written reference to Lithuania is found in the Quedlinburg Chronicle, which dates from 1009.
In the 12th century, Slavic chronicles refer to Lithuania as one of the areas attacked by the Rus'. Pagan Lithuanians paid tribute to Polotsk, but they soon grew in strength and organized their own small-scale raids. At some point between 1180 and 1183 the situation began to change, the Lithuanians started to organize sustainable military raids on the Slavic provinces, raiding the Principality of Polotsk as well as Pskov, threatening Novgorod; the sudden spark of military raids marked consolidation of the Lithuanian lands in Aukštaitija. The Livonian Order and Teutonic Knights, crusading military orders, were established in Riga in 1202 and in Prussia in 1226; the Christian orders posed a significant threat to pagan Baltic tribes and further galvanized the formation of the state. The peace treaty with Galicia–Volhynia of 1219 provides evidence of cooperation between Lithuanians and Samogitians; this treaty lists 21 Lithuanian dukes, including five senior Lithuanian dukes from Aukštaitija and several dukes from Žemaitija.
Although they had battled in the past, the Lithuanians and the Žemaičiai now faced a common enemy. Živinbudas had the most authority and at least several dukes were from the same families. The formal acknowledgment of common interests and the establishment of a hierarchy among the signatories of the treaty foreshadowed the emergence of the state. Mindaugas, the duke of southern Lithuania, was among the five senior dukes mentioned in the treaty with Galicia–Volhynia; the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle, reports that by the mid-1230s, Mindaugas had acquired supreme power in the whole of Lithuania. In 1236, the Samogitians, led by Vykintas, defeated the Livonian Order in the Battle of Saule; the Order was forced to become a branch of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, making Samogitia, a strip of land that separated Livonia from Prussia, the main target of both orders. The battle provided a break in the wars with the Knights, Lithuania exploited this situation, arranging attacks towards the Ruthenian provinces and annexing Navahrudak and Hrodna.
Belarusian historians consider that Mindаugas was invited to rule Navahrudak and that the union was peaceful. In 1248 a civil war broke out be
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
The Franco-Russian Alliance, or Russo-French Rapprochement, was an alliance formed by the agreements of 1891–93. The strengthening of the German Empire, the creation of the Triple Alliance of 1882, the exacerbation of Franco-German and Russo-German contradictions at the end of the 1880s led to a common foreign policy and mutual strategic military interests between France and Russia; the development of financial ties between the two countries created the economic prerequisites for the Russo-French Alliance. The history of the alliance dates to the beginning of the 1870s, to the contradictions engendered by the Franco-Prussian War and the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871; the Russian government had supported France during the war scare of 1875 when Russian and British protests forced Germany to stop threatening an attack on France. In 1876, the German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, attempted unsuccessfully to obtain from Russia a guarantee to preserve the territory of Alsace-Lorraine as part of Germany in exchange for unconditional support by Germany for Russian policy in the East.
In 1877, during the new Franco-German war scare, Russia maintained friendly relations with France. However, after the Berlin Congress of 1878, French diplomacy, in aiming at a rapprochement with Great Britain and Germany, assumed a hostile position vis-à-vis Russia. France’s alienation from Russia and her policy of colonial seizures lasted until 1885 when the Franco-German contradictions became heightened after the French defeat in Annam. Early in 1887, new complications arose in Franco-German relations. France appealed to the Russian government for aid. In concluding the so-called Reinsurance Treaty with Germany in 1887, Russia insisted on maintaining for France the same conditions that Germany had stipulated for its ally, Austria. At the end of the 1880s, Russo-German economic discrepancies grew stronger; the Russo-French political rapprochement contributed to the influx of French capital into Russia. At the end of the 1880s and the beginning of the 1890s, Russia received a number of large loans from France.
The deterioration of Russo-German relations, the resurrection of the Triple Alliance in 1891, the rumors that Great Britain would join the alliance laid the grounds for the conclusion of a political agreement between Russia and France. During a visit by a French squadron to Kronstadt in July 1891, the agreement of 1891 was concluded in the form of an exchange of letters between the ministers of foreign affairs. France was interested more than Russia in a military alliance and endeavored to supplement the 1891 agreement with military obligations; as a result of the negotiations, the representatives of the Russian and French general staffs signed a military convention on August 5, 1892, which provided for mutual military aid in the event of a German attack. By an exchange of letters between December 19, 1893, December 23, 1893, both governments announced their ratification of the military convention; this formalized the Russo-French military-political alliance. It was a response to the formation of a military bloc headed by Germany.
In Europe, two opposing hostile imperialist blocs had formed. Relying on Russian support, France intensified its colonial policy. After the Fashoda Incident of 1898 with Great Britain, it endeavored more to strengthen the alliance with Russia; the alliance with France facilitated the tsarist government’s expansion into Manchuria in the 1890s. During the preparatory period and the first years of the existence of the Russo-French Alliance, the determining role was played by Russia, but in time the situation altered. By receiving new loans from France, Russian tsarism fell into financial dependence on French imperialism. Prior to World War I, the cooperation of the general staffs of both countries assumed closer forms. In 1912 a Russo-French naval convention was signed. Russia and France entered the war united by the treaty of alliance; this had a significant effect on the course and outcome of the war since it forced Germany from the first days of the war to fight on two fronts. This led to the defeat of Germany the battle of the Marne, to the collapse of the Schlieffen Plan, to the defeat of Germany.
The Russo-French Alliance was nullified by the Soviet government in 1917. Causes of World War I Foreign alliances of France French entry into World War I Historiography of the causes of World War I International relations of the Great Powers Triple Entente Albrecht-Carrié, René. A Diplomatic History of Europe Since the Congress of Vienna Hamel, Catherine. La commémoration de l’alliance franco-russe: La création d’une culture matérielle populaire, 1890-1914; the fateful alliance: France and the coming of the First World War online free to borrow. Keiger, John F. V.. France and the origins of the First World War. Macmillan. Keiger, J. F. V. France and the World since 1870 Mansergh, Nicholas; the Coming of the First World War. London: Longmans Green and Co. Rich, Norman. Great power diplomacy, 1814-1914 pp 216-62, 391-407. Taylor, A. J. P; the struggle for mastery in Europe, 1848-1918, pp 325-345 The original text of the agreement
Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. Within the hall, the German Empire was declared in 1871 and the Treaty of Versailles signed by the victorious powers of World War I in 1919; as the principal and most remarkable feature of King Louis XIV of France's third building campaign of the Palace of Versailles, construction of the Hall of Mirrors began in 1678. To provide for the Hall of Mirrors as well as the salon de la guerre and the salon de la paix, which connect the grand appartement du roi with the grand appartement de la reine, architect Jules Hardouin Mansart appropriated three rooms from each apartment as well as the terrace that separated the two apartments; the principal feature of this hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Each arch contains twenty-one mirrors with a total complement of 357 used in the decoration of the galerie des glaces; the arches themselves are fixed between marble pilasters whose capitals depict the symbols of France.
These gilded bronze capitals include the Gallic cockerel or rooster. Many of the other attributes of the Hall of Mirrors were lost to war for financial purposes, such as the silver table pieces and guéridons, which were melted by order of Louis XIV in 1689 to finance the War of the League of Augsburg. In the 17th century, mirrors were among the most expensive items to possess at the time. In order to maintain the integrity of his philosophy of mercantilism, which required that all items used in the decoration of Versailles be made in France, Jean-Baptiste Colbert enticed several workers from Venice to make mirrors at the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs. According to legend, in order to keep its monopoly, the government of the Venetian Republic sent agents to France to poison the workers whom Colbert had brought to France; the Hall of Mirrors' dimensions are 73.0 m × 10.5 m × 12.3 m and is flanked by the salon de la guerre and the salon de la paix. Construction on the galerie and its two salons continued until 1684, at which time it was pressed into use for court and state functions.
The ceiling decoration is dedicated to the political policies and military victories of Louis XIV. The central panel of the ceiling, Le roi gouverne par lui-même, alludes to the establishment of the personal reign of Louis XIV in 1661; the present decorative schema represents the last of three that were presented to Louis XIV. The original decorative plan was to have depicted the exploits of Apollo, being consistent with the imagery associated with the Sun-King, Louis XIV. However, when the king learned that his brother, Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, had commissioned Pierre Mignard to decorate the ceiling of the grande galerie of his brother's residence at Château de Saint-Cloud, Louis XIV rejected the plan; the next decorative plan was one in which the exploits of Hercules — as allegories to the actions of Louis XIV — were to be depicted. Again, as with the first plan, the Hercules theme was rejected by the king; the final plan represents military victories of Louis XIV starting with the Treaty of the Pyrenees to the Treaty of Nijmegen.
In a departure from the decoration of the ceilings in the grand appartement du roi, Le Brun has depicted Louis XIV directly, has ceased to refer to the king in allegorical guises. In this way, themes such as good governance and military prowess are rendered with Louis XIV himself as the key figure. During the 17th century, the Hall of Mirrors was used daily by Louis XIV when he walked from his private apartment to the chapel. At this time, courtiers assembled to watch the king and members of the royal family pass, might make a particular request by intoning: "Sire, Marly?". This was the manner in which one was able to obtain a much sought-after invitation to one of the king's house parties at Marly-le-Roi, the villa Louis XIV built north of Versailles on the route to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. However, of all the events that transpired in this room during the reign of Louis XIV, the Siamese Embassy of 1685–1686 must be cited as the most opulent. At this time, the galerie des glaces and the grands appartements were still appointed with silver furniture.
In its heyday, over 3,000 candles were used to light the Hall of Mirrors. In February 1715, Louis XIV held his last embassy in the galerie des glaces, one in which he received Mehemet Reza Bey, ambassador of the Shah of Persia. In the successive reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI, the Hall of Mirrors continued to serve for family and court functions. Embassies and marriages were fêted in this room, it was during this costume ball that Louis XV, dressed as a yew tree, met Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson d'Étiolles, costumed as Diana, goddess of the hunt. Jeanne-Antoinette, who became Louis XV's mistress, is better known to history as the Marquise de Pompadour. In the 19th century, at the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussian king, William I, was declared German emperor — thus establishing the German Empire — on 18 January 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors by Bismarck and the victorious German princes and lords; this was seen as a victory with heavy symbolism for the Germans and a stinging insult for the defeated French.
French Prime Minister Clemenceau chose the Hall of Mirrors as the location wherein was signed the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I on 28 June 1919. The Hall of Mirror
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Third French Republic, the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded; some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.
On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on Prussia and hostilities began three days when French forces invaded German territory. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more than the French and invaded northeastern France; the German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology 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 French Emperor Napoleon III captured and the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated. A Government of National Defence declared the Third French Republic in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months. Following the Siege of Paris, the capital fell on 28 January 1871, a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in the city 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; 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, 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; the causes of the Franco-Prussian War are rooted in the events surrounding the unification of Germany. In the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussia had annexed numerous territories and formed the North German Confederation; this new power destabilized the European balance of power established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon III the emperor of France, demanded compensations in Belgium and on the left bank of the Rhine to secure France's strategic position, which the Prussian chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, flatly refused. Prussia turned its attention towards the south of Germany, where it sought to incorporate the southern German kingdoms, Bavaria, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt, into a unified Prussia-dominated Germany. France was opposed to any further alliance of German states, which would have strengthened the Prussian military. In Prussia, some officials considered a war against France both inevitable and necessary to arouse German nationalism in those states that would allow the unification of a great German empire; this aim was epitomized by Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's statement: "I did not doubt that a Franco-German war must take place before the construction of a United Germany could be realised." Bismarck knew that France should be the aggressor in the conflict to bring the southern German states to side with Prussia, hence giving Germans numerical superiority.
He was convinced that France would not find any allies in her war against Germany for the simple reason that "France, the victor, would be a danger to everybody – Prussia to nobody," and he added, "That is our strong point." Many Germans viewed the French as the traditional destabilizer of Europe, sought to weaken France to prevent further breaches of the peace. The immediate cause of the war resided in the candidacy of Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a Prussian prince, to the throne of Spain. France feared encirclement by an alliance between Spain; the Hohenzollern prince's candidacy was withdrawn under French diplomatic pressure, but Otto von Bismarck goaded the French into declaring war by releasing an altered summary of the Ems Dispatch, a telegram sent by William I rejecting French demands that Prussia never again support a Hohenzollern candidacy. Bismarck's summary, as mistranslated by the French press Havas, made it sound as if the king had treated the French envoy in a demeaning fashion, which inflamed public opinion in France.
French historians François Roth and Pierre Milza argue that Napoleon III was pressured by a bellicose press and public opinion and thus sought war in response to France's diplomatic failures to obtain any territorial gains following the Austro-Prussian War. Napoleon III believed. Many in his court, such as Empress Eugénie wanted a