Bismarck consolidating german empire

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The consequences of this struggle have affected Europe for centuries and are still at the heart of many underlying issues in Europe.

TL; DR: You could take an entire college course on this question.

Their rule also claimed the entire New World until other powers joined them in the hunt for Empire.Power led states to rise and fall and the state and ruler held legitimacy through the divine right of kings, not popular suffrage.Rulers tried to rule the largest and richest area, not the most ethnically uniform. Legal claims and power were more important than the language or cultures of the people that the the King or Queen ruled.Marriages brought several large, non-German, areas under Habsburg control including parts of modern day Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary and Croatia.It also included other parts of the Holy Roman Empire, such as the Low Countries (today's Belgium and The Netherlands), which were at the time largely considered ethnic Germans (although...

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