(1870-1871) Franco-Prussian War. The outbreak of war with France in July 1870 rallied residents of these states to the national cause. Eventually their rulers agreed to join the new German Empire [Reich] when it was proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles on January 18, 1871. The French territories of Alsace and Lorraine were spoils of war that fueled feelings of revanche in France.
A symbolic turning point came in when Aleric, King of the barbarian Visigoth tribe, sacked Rome for the first time in 800 years. It was a psychological blow from which the Western Empire would never really recover.
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