HOME
The Info List - Triple Entente


--- Advertisement ---



The Triple Entente
Triple Entente
(from French entente [ɑ̃tɑ̃t] "friendship, understanding, agreement") refers to the understanding linking the Russian Empire, the French Third Republic, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente on 31 August 1907. The understanding between the three powers, supplemented by agreements with Japan
Japan
and Portugal, was a powerful counterweight to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. However, Italy did not side with Germany and Austria during World War I and joined the Entente instead in the Treaty of London (1915). Historians continue to debate the importance of the alliance system as one of the causes of World War I. At the start of World War I
World War I
in 1914, all three Triple Entente
Triple Entente
members entered it as Allies against the Central Powers: Germany and Austria-Hungary.[1] However, the Triple Entente, unlike the Triple Alliance or the Franco-Russian Alliance, was not an alliance of mutual defense. Thus, Britain felt free to make its own foreign policy decisions in the 1914 July Crisis.

Contents

1 Background

1.1 Franco-Russian Alliance 1.2 Entente cordiale 1.3 Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907

2 Britain 3 France 4 Russia 5 See also 6 References 7 Sources

Background[edit] Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
planned to isolate France diplomatically; he feared that France's revanchist aspirations might make it attempt to regain its losses suffered in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War.[2] The alliance also served to fight against progressive sentiments, which the conservative rulers found unsettling, such as the First International.[3] However, the League faced great difficulty with the growing tensions between Russia and Austria-Hungary, mainly over the Balkans, where the rise of nationalism and the continued decline of the Ottoman Empire made many former Ottoman provinces struggle for independence.[4] The situation in the Balkans, especially in the wake of the Serbo-Bulgarian War
Serbo-Bulgarian War
and the 1878 Treaty of Berlin, which made Russia feel cheated of its gains made in the Russo-Turkish War, prevented the League from being renewed in 1887.[5] In an attempt to stop Russia from allying with France, Bismarck signed the secret Reinsurance Treaty with Russia in 1887. The treaty assured that both parties would remain neutral if war broke out.[6] The alliance between Russia and France and Bismarck′s exclusion of Russia from the German financial market in 1887 prevented the treaty from being renewed in 1890. That ended the alliance between Germany and Russia.[7] Franco-Russian Alliance[edit] After the Reinsurance Treaty was not renewed in 1890,[8] Russian leaders grew alarmed at the country's diplomatic isolation and joined the Franco-Russian Alliance
Franco-Russian Alliance
in 1894.[7] Entente cordiale[edit] In 1904, Britain and France signed a series of agreements, the Entente cordiale, mostly in solving colonial disputes. That heralded the end of British splendid isolation and was partly a response to growing German antagonism, as expressed in the expansion of the Kaiserliche Marine
Kaiserliche Marine
(Imperial Navy) to become a battle fleet that could threaten the supremacy of the British Royal Navy. The Entente, unlike the Triple Alliance and the Franco-Russian Alliance, was not an alliance of mutual defence and so Britain was free to make its own foreign policy decisions in 1914. As British Foreign Office Official Eyre Crowe minuted, "The fundamental fact of course is that the Entente is not an alliance. For purposes of ultimate emergencies it may be found to have no substance at all. For the Entente is nothing more than a frame of mind, a view of general policy which is shared by the governments of two countries, but which may be, or become, so vague as to lose all content".[9] Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907[edit] In 1907, Britain and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 to end their rivalry in Central Asia, nicknamed The Great Game. Britain[edit] In the last decade of the nineteenth century, Britain continued its policy of "splendid isolation", with its primary focus on defending its massive overseas empire. However, by the early 1900s, the German threat had increased dramatically, and in Britain thought it was in need of allies. For most of the 19th century, Britain had regarded France and Russia as its two most dangerous rivals, but with the growing threat of Germany, policy began to change for several reasons:

France and Britain had signed five separate agreements regarding spheres of influence in North Africa
North Africa
in 1904, the Entente cordiale. The Tangier Crisis
Tangier Crisis
later encouraged co-operation between the two countries from their mutual fear of apparent German expansionism. Russia was defeated in the Russo-Japanese War, which resulted in less concern over Russian imperialism and encouraged Russia to secure its position elsewhere. France was already allied to Russia in the Dual Alliance. Britain was frightened about the rising threat of German imperialism. Kaiser Wilhelm II had announced to the world his intentions to create a global German empire and to develop a strong navy. Britain, traditionally having control of the seas, saw that a serious threat to its own empire and navy. In 1907, the Anglo-Russian Entente
Anglo-Russian Entente
was agreed, which attempted to resolve a series of long-running disputes over Persia, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Tibet
Tibet
and helped to address British fears about the Baghdad Railway, which would help German expansion in the Near East.

France[edit] Main article: French Third Republic During the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
of 1870–1871, Prussia defeated the Second French Empire, resulting in the establishment of the Third Republic. In the Treaty of Frankfurt, Prussia forced France to cede Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
to the new German Empire. Ever since, relations had been poor. France, worried about the escalating military development of Germany, began building up its own war industries and army to deter to German aggression. Also, France developed a strong bond with Russia by ratifying the Franco-Russian Alliance, which was designed to create a strong counter to the Triple Alliance. France′s main concerns were to protect against an attack from Germany and to regain Alsace-Lorraine.

A 1914 Russian poster in which the upper inscription reads "agreement". The uncertain Britannia
Britannia
(right) and Marianne
Marianne
(left) look to the determined Mother Russia
Mother Russia
(centre) to lead them in the coming war.

Russia[edit] Main article: Russian Empire Russia had by far the largest manpower reserves of all the six European powers, but it was also the most backward economically. Russia shared France′s worries about Germany. After the Germans started to reorganise the Ottoman army, Russia feared that they would come to control the Dardanelles, a vital trade artery that carried two fifths of Russia's exports.[10] There was also Russia's long history of rivalry with Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
had recently annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, greatly angering Russia, which had considered itself the leader of the Slavic world (Pan-Slavism). Russia viewed the invasion as another step towards annexing Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro. Russia had also recently lost the humiliating Russo-Japanese War, a cause of the Russian Revolution of 1905
Russian Revolution of 1905
and the apparent transformation into a constitutional monarchy. To counter its enemies militarily and politically, Russia sought to revive the Franco-Russian Alliance. Although it was perceived as useless during the war with Japan, the alliance was valuable in the European theatre. Russia also signed the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
with Britain to counteract the threat of the Triple Alliance. The alignment of the autocratic Russian Empire
Russian Empire
with Europe's two largest democracies was controversial on both sides. Many Russian conservatives mistrusted the secular France and recalled British past diplomatic maneuvers to block Russian influence in the Near East. In turn, prominent French and British journalists, academics and parliamentarians found the reactionary tsarist regime distasteful. Mistrust persisted even during wartime, with British and French politicians expressing relief when Tsar Nicholas II
Nicholas II
abdicated and was replaced by the Russian Provisional Government
Russian Provisional Government
after the February Revolution in 1917. An offer of political asylum for the Romanovs was even withdrawn by the British king for fear popular reaction.[11] Also, France never brought up the subject of asylum with the deposed tsar. See also[edit]

World War I
World War I
portal

Allies of World War I Central Powers
Central Powers
(allies of Germany in World War I)

References[edit]

^ Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914 (3rd ed. 2003) ch 15 ^ Feuchtwanger 2002, p. 216. ^ Gildea 2003, p. 237. ^ Henig 2002, p.3. ^ Holborn 1982, p. 247. ^ Holborn 1982, p. 249. ^ a b Holborn 1982, pp. 304-305. ^ Reinsurance Treaty ^ Hamilton, K.A. (1977). "Great Britain and France, 1911–1914". In Hinsley, F.H. British Foreign Policy Under Sir Edward Grey. Cambridge University Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-0-521-21347-9.  ^ Fiona K. Tomaszewski, A Great Russia: Russia and the Triple Entente, 1905 to 1914 (2002) ^ Gareth Russell (2014). The Emperors: How Europe's Rulers Were Destroyed by the First World War. Amberley. pp. 164–65. 

Sources[edit]

Albrecht-Carrié, René. A Diplomatic History of Europe Since the Congress of Vienna (1958) Andrew, Christopher. Théophile Délcassé and the Making of the Entente Cordiale, 1898–1905 (1968). Clark, Christopher. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to war in 1914 (2012), pp. 124–35, 190-96, 293-313, 438-42, 498-505. Fay, Sidney Bradshaw. The Origins of the World War (2nd ed. 1934) vol 1 pp 105–24, 312-42, vol 2 pp 277–86, 443-46 Hamel, Catherine. La commémoration de l’alliance franco-russe : La création d’une culture matérielle populaire, 1890-1914 (French) (MA thesis, Concordia University, 2016) ; online Henig, Ruth Beatrice (2002). The origins of the First World War (Routledge. ISBN 0-415-26185-6) Hughes, Michael. Diplomacy before the Russian Revolution: Britain, Russia, and the Old Diplomacy, 1894–1917 (, 2000). Kennan, George F. The decline of Bismarck's European order: Franco-Russian relations, 1875-1890 (1979). Kennan, George F. The fateful alliance: France, Russia, and the coming of the First World War (Manchester UP, 1984). Langer, William F. The Franco-Russian Alliance, 1890-1894 (1930) Langer, William F. Ther Diplomacy of Imperialism: 1890-1902 (1950) pp 3–66. Neilson, Keith. Britain and the Last Tsar: British Policy and Russia, 1894–1917 (Oxford, 1995). Schmitt, Bernadotte. Triple Alliance and Triple Entente
Triple Entente
(1971) Sontag, Raymond. European Diplomatic History: 1871-1932 (1933), basic short summary Taylor, A.J.P. The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848–1918 (1954) advanced coverage Tomaszewski, Fiona. "Pomp, Circumstance, and Realpolitik: The Evolution of the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
of Russia, Great Britain, and France." Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas vol. 3 (1999): 362-380. in JSTOR, in English Tomaszewski, Fiona K. A Great Russia: Russia and the Triple Entente, 1905-1914 (Greenwood, 2002); also excerpt and text search

v t e

Diplomacy of the Great Powers 1871–1913

Great powers

Austria–Hungary France Germany Italy Japan Russia United Kingdom United States

Alliances

Triple Alliance

Dual Alliance

Triple Entente

Franco-Russian Alliance Entente Cordiale Anglo-Russian Entente

Anglo-Japanese Alliance

Trends

Ottoman Decline

Eastern Question

Revanchism New Imperialism

Scramble for Africa

Pan-Slavism The Great Game The Great Rapprochement

Treaties and agreements

Treaty of Frankfurt League of the Three Emperors Treaty of Berlin Reinsurance Treaty Treaty of Paris Treaty of Björkö Taft–Katsura Agreement Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905 Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty Racconigi agreement

Events

Congress of Berlin Berlin Conference Weltpolitik German Naval Laws Anglo-German naval arms race

Dreadnought

Fashoda Incident Annexation of Hawaii First Moroccan Crisis Algeciras Conference Agadir Crisis Bosnian crisis

Wars

Russo-Turkish First Sino-Japanese Spanish–American Banana Wars Philippine–American Boxer Rebellion Second Boer Russo-Japanese Italo-Turkish

.