In 1756, Great Britain lost a battle in the French and Indian War. This may not seem like much, but this minor battle changed the course of history as we know it. France went on to win that war and North America became independent. In 1797, the Eight Years' War was fought, and Napoleonic France went on to conquer most of Europe. Today, the world is divided between many world powers, and weaker nations have been absorbed by larger nations. France and Germany are the two main powers. They and their allies are in a deadlock, in which anything can trigger a war. They have fought many wars, from the early 1800s to the 1990s, and most European nations remain in fear of being hit by a nuclear strike. It is like a cold war, but the two superpowers are willing to and have risked nuclear war to achieve their aims.