What am I talking about you might say, and why do I always have such a roundabout way of writing/doing/saying things. Well, that's just my style. But I often label the Crimean War in my head as the war which sets the tone for the next 100 years of power politics, thus encompassing WWI and II. This of course was before Germany existed as a state, so it is quite interesting to see that France and Britain's original cause for cooperation switches from Russia to Germany, without significant breakdown or altering of the Franco-British relationship itself.
What I see as the first steps to WWI others might criticize, since Germany is nowhere to be found in the Crimean Alliances, and the decade before Germany began to aggressively intimidate Britain it often looked as though the two might form an alliance themselves which would exclude France. But the Crimean War proved to both Britain and France that their past rivalry could be put aside for the common good. In the 1850's that common good was stopping Russia, and in the early 1900's the common good became containing Germany. None of the alliances which hoped to do the latter would have been possible, in my opinion, had Britain and France not cooperated in the Crimean War and demonstrated their potential and collective power.
Thanks for reading!