Unlike my other timelines (I'm going to finish them, really!) I'm not going to give away the outcome or the idea behind this one up front. The premise however is that the critical period of 1859-1878 period witnessed Four Major European wars (Austro-French war, Danish-German war, Austro-Prussian war, Franco-German war, Russo-Turkish war). Each of them was localized, yet had the potential to expand into a general European war. The sum of those conflicts restructured the multipower balance of Power achieved at Vienna without overturning it completely. Each represents a missed opportunity for some of the continental powers. And unlike later and earlier conflicts in Europe the diplomatic decisions and alliances seem to be dominated by personalities rather than large-scale national currents. That said, I'm going to hypothesize the long-term effects of a single small change to one of those personalities on both the new balance of power and the direction of Russian reforms. The personalities: Prussians Fredrick William IV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_William_IV_of_Prussia William I http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_I,_German_Emperor Mantuffel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Freiherr_von_Manteuffel Otto Von Bismarck http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_v...r.C3.A4sident_.28Prime_Minister.29_of_Prussia Russians: Tsar Alexander II http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_II_of_Russia Prince Gorchakov http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Gorchakov Dmitry Milutin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Milyutin French: Napoleon III http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_III Itallians: Cavour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camillo_Benso,_Count_of_Cavour Garibaldi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garibaldi August 1857- Fredrick William IV, King of Prussia by the grace of god, paused in midstep. He felt a slight heaviness in his chest and stopped, taking a series of deep breaths until the dizziness stopped. He resolved to consult with his physician in the evening. Prussia could ill afford to lose his critical leadership at a time when the specter of revolution still threatened. And… this is the POD. OTL Fredrick was incapacitated by a heart attack, de-facto rule of Prussia devolved to his brother a year later and he soon (November 1858) appointed a new cabinet which was less commited to suppressing German nationalism and more committed to riding it. German nationalism is of course ineveitable. A Prussian government attempting to harness it is also ineveitable. But it is not undelayable. TTL Fredrick hangs on to health for another year, maintaining a policy of leaning on his Russian alliance to suppress internal nationalist dissent. Alexander III and his ministers in turn feel more secure on their western borders.