The unification of Italy and Germany would challenge what in Europe?

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tjbrewer | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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There were many seemingly undesirable consequences of German and Italian unifications in Europe, but the biggest one of all was the Balance of Power. 

The Congress of Vienna had established a balance of power between the Continent's biggest powers: Britain, France, Russia, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. 

German unification interfered with this balance.  The germanic tribes that made up the symbolic "Holy Roman Empire" were a significant military power, but were weakened by squabbling amongst themselves.  Uniting these tribes introduced a powerful military presence into Europe disrupting the balance established by the Congress of Vienna. 

Italian unification also threw a wrench into the balanced structure, as well as being concurrent with several independence movements in the Balkans, weakening Austria-Hungary. 

Ultimately European powers formed a new set of alliances and balances that one observer called "a powder keg." 

 

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