Treaty of Versailles (1871)

Treaty Of Versailles (1871)

Treaty of Versailles (1871)

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The Treaty of Versailles of 1871 ended the Franco-Prussian War and was signed by Adolphe Thiers, of the French Third Republic, and Otto von Bismarck, of the German Empire on February 26, 1871. This was a preliminary treaty used to solidify the initial armistice of January 27, 1871 between the two states. It was later ratified by the Treaty of Frankfurt on May 10 of the same year. The 1871 Treaty of Versailles made the decline of France obvious to the rest of the continent, and at the same time demonstrated the strength of a unified German empire.

Paris's governing body, the Government of National Defense, initiated the armistice by surrendering to the Germans after the siege of Paris. Jules Favre, a prominent French politician, met with Otto von Bismarck in Versailles to sign the armistice to be put into effect January 28, 1871. Adolphe Thiers then emerged as the new French leader as the country began reconstructing its government.

Disruption of the French Government

In the first few months of 1871, German forces experienced several great military successes against the struggling French government, including the capture of the current French emperor, Louis Napoleon of the French Second Empire, at the Battle of Sedan. This caused the collapse of Louis Napoleon's empire, which was replaced by the French Third Republic in 1870. The Government of National Defense served as an interim governing body before the Third Republic could hold elections, and received unfavorable...
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