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 ofBerlin, Congress of,
1878, called by the signers of the Treaty of Paris of 1856 (see Paris, Congress of) to reconsider the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano, which Russia had forced on the Ottoman Empire earlier in 1878.
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). 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 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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