How did mosques and Ottoman-built bridges get into South East Europe? Why is it that Austrians brought the glorious architecture to Prague?
This short trip through Europe´s maps explains how borders moved and cultures moved with them.
CONGRESS OF VIENNA
As Napoleon's France surrendered at the battle of Waterloo, the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna of 1815 was redrawing the political map of Europe. The Congress of Vienna created what is known as the balance-of-power system, which despite imminent crisis would persist until the start of World War I in 1914.
Progressively growing in size and power in the 19th Century, Prussia unified the numerous German states under the aegis of Emperor Wilhelm I of Prussia to create the German Empire at the beginning of 1871.
In 1867, following the 1866 defeat in the Austro-Prussian war, the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria signed the Austro-Hungarian compromise creating the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Frustrated in its hope to unify the German States by Prussia's victory; the Austro-Hugarian Emperor hence focused his attention on the Balkans.
Despite its great status, and its victory over the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans in 1878, the Russian Empire lagged economically behind other powers during the 19th Century.
Triggered by the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, World War II would end in Europe on May 8, 1945 when Germany surrendered. Unlike World War I, World War II battlefields extended across the world. (See more here about how the War goes global, June 1941 - 1942). The battles were particularly fierce in Central and Eastern Europe.
Following the end of World War II a new war began - the Cold War - which lasted for the next forty years. The Cold War can be described as the state of political conflict and military tensions between the Soviet Union along with its satellite states- the East and the United States and its allies - the West.