Giers, Nikolai Karlovich

Giers, Nikolai Karlovich

(nyĭkəlī` kär`ləvĭch gēyĕrs`), 1820–95, Russian statesman. Appointed deputy foreign minister in 1875, he increasingly took over the duties of the elderly foreign minister Aleksandr GorchakovGorchakov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich, Prince
, 1798–1883, Russian diplomat. After serving (1854–56) as ambassador at Vienna, he became Alexander II's foreign minister and chancellor (1867). His wit and oratorical gifts made him known as a brilliant diplomat.
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, whom he succeeded in 1882. He sought to preserve the Three Emperors' LeagueThree 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.
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 with Germany and Austria-Hungary. This policy, however, conflicted with the expansionist desires of all three powers, particularly those of Austria-Hungary and Russia in the Balkans, and in 1887 Czar Alexander IIIAlexander III,
1845–94, czar of Russia (1881–94), son and successor of Alexander II. Factors that contributed to Alexander's reactionary policies included his father's assassination, his limited intelligence and education, his military background, and the influence
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 refused to renew the league. Nevertheless, Giers was able to maintain a limited alliance with Germany through the Reinsurance treaty (1887). In 1890, however, Germany refused to renew the Reinsurance treaty and Giers reluctantly negotiated (1891–94) a Franco-Russian alliance, which became the nucleus of the Triple Entente (see Triple Alliance and Triple EntenteTriple Alliance and Triple Entente
, two international combinations of states that dominated the diplomatic history of Western Europe from 1882 until they came into armed conflict in World War I.
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).
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