Committees & Agenda Items

Historical Joint Crisis Committee 1 (HJCC)

Agenda item: Franco-Prussian War

Year: 1870


The Franco – Prussian War, was a series of battles between the German Confederation and France, starting in 1870 and ending in 1871. Its results were radical for the belligerents, leading to the fall of the Second French Empire and a civil war ignited by the Commune, followed by the unification of German states as the German Empire under the aegis of Prussia. French hegemony in continental Europe ceased as the balance of power shifted to Central Europe.

After the Seven Weeks’ War was concluded the dispute of leadership over German states, with Prussia claiming victory against Austria, had finally come to an end, therefore threatening French dominance over Europe. Once the candidacy of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen for the Spanish throne came to hand, following the deposition of Queen Isabella II in 1868, Franco–Prussian tensions spiked, as Prince Leopold was related to the Prussian dynasty. The French Empire was highly alarmed and felt threatened, as the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck and Spanish de facto leader Juan Prim persuaded Prince Leopold to accept the Spanish throne in 1870. Even though the candidacy was withdrawn after French diplomatic pressure, King William I of Prussia refused to bow to the French ambassador’s demands to disallow Prince Leopold to be a candidate ever again for the Spanish throne.

Following the involvement of Bismarck in future communications and provocating the French Empire to have a declaration of war upon Prussia, war broke out in July 1870. The participants of the aforementioned conflict within the conference carry heavy duties above their shoulders, as they must both diplomatically and economically surpass the enemy and manage their impressive and modern militaries to their peak performance. After all, the future of European power struggles relies on their minds.