The three grievances of France and Germany

  France and Germany, two major European powers, have had several grudges and grievances in history, which to some extent had a profound impact on the political economy of the two countries.
  The first refers to the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. As France adopted a policy of preventing German unification, Prussia provoked the war. As a result, France was defeated and ceded two resource-rich provinces, Alsace and Lorraine, and paid 5 billion in reparations. The franc caused France to fall into a state of apparent decline when it entered the imperialist stage.
  The second time refers to the First World War from 1914 to 1918. Although France eventually became the victorious country, the war was always fought on the French side, causing great damage to France. In addition, the end of the war was largely due to the German revolution, not France’s military defeat of Germany. Coupled with the resistance to the “Peace of Versailles”, Germany had a strong sense of revenge against France. Therefore, although France is a victorious country, it has been living in the shadow of fear of Germany and how to prevent German revenge.
  The third time refers to the Second World War from 1940 to 1945, in which France was completely defeated and subjugated in just one month. In the end, France was liberated due to the combined defeat of Germany by the other Allies.
  In general, in the above-mentioned 70-year history, France has long pursued a foreign policy of hostility, prevention and maximum containment towards Germany.
  After the failure of the Franco-Prussian War, both the French government and the military adopted a policy of “revenge” against Germany. For this reason, in addition to actively developing economic and military forces, France also strengthened its diplomatic alliances. Because Britain has always pursued balance of power diplomacy and “honorable isolation”, it forced France to actively unite with Russia, which had sharp contradictions with Germany in the Balkans, and formed the Franco-Russian Entente in the 1890s. By the beginning of the 20th century, because the British “two-power standard” no longer existed, the United Kingdom had abandoned “glorious isolation”, and France took the initiative to repair it with the United Kingdom, forming an Anglo-French treaty against Germany. The alliance with Russia and Britain ensured France’s favorable position in the war against Germany in the First World War, and finally allowed France to defeat Germany and wash away the shame of the Franco-Prussian War.
  After the First World War, in order to prevent Germany’s revenge, at the Paris Peace Conference, France tried to contain Germany as much as possible, and even attempted to dismember Germany. When this kind of plan was frustrated by Britain’s “balance of power diplomacy”, France gathered the small countries around Germany and established the so-called “Little Entente” to prevent and contain Germany. However, due to the British policy of appeasement, which dominated the diplomacy of Western Europe at the time, France ultimately failed to prevent Germany from starting a war, and was defeated disastrously by Germany.
  After World War II, France still adhered to the policy of containing Germany. Although the French army played little role in defeating Germany, it still obtained an occupied area under strong demands. When East and West Germany split, France created a lot of obstacles in the merger of the western occupied areas and the establishment of a complete state. Later, France and Germany achieved reconciliation and joined the European Community together, and the relationship between the two sides became increasingly close. France is no longer the hurdle that Germany had to overcome to complete the unification process in the 1990s.