Three Emperors' League

Three Emperors' League, informal alliance among Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia, announced officially in 1872 on the occasion of the meeting of emperors Francis Joseph, William I, and Alexander II. The chief architects of the alliance were Julius Andrássy, Otto von Bismarck, and Prince Gorchakov. The aims of the league were to preserve the social order of the conservative powers of Europe and to keep the peace between Austria-Hungary and Russia. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 shook the alliance (see Berlin, Congress of). Although the agreement was secretly renewed in 1881, it was disrupted again in 1885 as a result of the Balkan flareup. However, it remained in force until 1887, when it was eclipsed by the German-Austrian alliance of 1879, which after the adherence of Italy (1882) became the Triple Alliance. From 1887 to 1890 all that remained of the Three Emperors' League was a Russo-German reinsurance treaty. The German chancellor Graf von Caprivi refused to renew even this in 1890, thus opening the way for the Franco-Russian rapprochement and the creation of the Triple Entente (see Triple Alliance and Triple Entente).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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