Israel and Iran  are also mentioned in the context of the great powers. The world has become much smaller because long-distance travel and communication have improved considerably. Each decade, there have been more ships, more destinations, faster routes and lower passenger fares, and lower prices for goods. This has facilitated international trade and international organization.  After fifteen years of war in Crimea, Germany and France, Europe began a period of peace in 1871.   With the founding of the German Empire and the signing of the Treaty of Frankfurt (10 May 1871), Otto von Bismarck became, from 1871 to 1890, a defining figure in European history. He retained control of Prussia and the foreign and domestic policy of the new German Empire. Bismarck had forged his reputation as a warmaker, but turned into a peacemaker overnight. He skilfully used the balance of power to maintain Germany`s position in a Europe that, despite many differences and fear of war, remained at peace. For historian Eric Hobsbawm, it was Bismarck who, after 1871, “remained for nearly twenty years the undisputed world champion of the failures of multilateral diplomacy and devoted himself exclusively and successfully to the maintenance of peace between the powers.”  Historian Paul Knaplund concludes that political scientist, geostrategist and former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski assessed the current reputation of the major powers in his 2012 publication Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power. As for the great powers, he pointed out that the German navy was not strong enough to face the British during the First World War; a great naval battle of Jutland failed to end British control of the seas or break the crushing blockade. Germany turned to the submarine war.
The laws of war required efforts to allow passengers and crew to board lifeboats before sinking a ship. The Germans did not respect the law and, in 1915, in the most dramatic episode, sank the Lusitania in a matter of minutes. In early 1917, Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff (1853-1919), head of state of the Admiralty, successfully claimed the resumption of attacks and starved the British. The German high command realized that the resumption of the submarine war was synonymous with war with the United States, but felt that American mobilization would be too slow to stop a German victory on the Western Front.   In 1859, Prime Minister Lord Palmerston and Earl Russell, after another short-lived Conservative government, settled their differences, and Russell agreed to serve as minister of foreign affairs in a new cabinet at Palmerston.