Anxious as Henry was to avoid being involved in foreign wars, it was not many years before he was committed to a war with France, partly by his desire of an alliance with Spain, and partly by the indignation of his own subjects at the way in which the French were undermining the independence of Brittany.
But undermining forces were already at work: the faults inherent in his unwieldy achievement.
He was the first sultan to share personally in the proceeds of the corruption which was undermining the state, realizing especially large sums by the sale of offices.
The German politicians and the Prussian diplomatists accredited to Rome had worked too openly at undermining the papal hierarchy, and had veiled their sympathies for Piedmont far too lightly to lead the Vatican to expect, after the 10th of September 1870, a genuine and firm intervention on the part of Prussia on behalf of the temporal power of the Holy See.
Biblical criticism, by throwing doubt on the infallibility of the Scriptures, was undermining the traditional foundation of orthodox Protestantism, and most of the Protestant Churches,.