Luxembourg Crisis

Luxembourg Crisis

Luxembourg Crisis

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The Luxembourg Crisis (, , ) was a diplomatic dispute and confrontation in 1867 between France and Prussia over the political status of Luxembourg. The confrontation almost led to war between the two parties, but was peacefully resolved by the Treaty of London.

Background

Luxembourg City boasted some of the most impressive fortifications in the world; designed by Marshal Vauban, it was referred to as the Gibraltar of the North. Since the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg had been in personal union with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In a concession to Prussia, Luxembourg was to be a member of the German Confederation, with several thousand Prussian soldiers stationed there. The Belgian Revolution had divided Luxembourg into two, and threatened Dutch control of the remaining territory. As a result, William I entered Luxembourg into the German customs union, the Zollverein, to dilute the French and Belgian cultural and economic influence in Luxembourg.

Seven Weeks' War

The Second Schleswig War had further advanced nationalist tensions in Germany, and, throughout 1865, it was clear that Prussia intended to challenge the position of Austria within the German Confederation. Despite potentially holding the balance of power between the two, Napoleon III kept France neutral; the French Emperor (like most of Europe) expected an Austrian victory, but could not...
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