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HIS103Y1 (431)

Jan 31. Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Alison Smith

The decision by Bismarck to ally with Austria was more of a tactical than a long-term strategic one. It was a defensive pact, and allowed Bismarck to dictate Austrias foreign policy, specifically pertaining to Russia. This treaty did not give Austria full license to confront Russia. The real reason to ally with Austria was a warning shot to Russia. It had been in an anti-German mood and Bismarck felt Russia needed to be put in its place. However this backfired. Austria was led by anti- Russian foreign ministers. Their motives were to reconstruct an alliance, the Dual Alliance and include Britain to create the Triple Alliance aimed at Russia. The Austrian hoped in this regard by the absolute refusal by British PM Gladstone to such a binding agreement. The liberals in Britain were wary of such a deal. This gave Bismarck a way out. The Austrians reluctantly joined Bismarck in the Three Emperors Alliance of the 18th June 1881. This treaty guaranteed neutrality, not supporting powers in times of war. This was enough for Bismarck. This promise was to take into account each others interests in the Balkan peninsula. Bismarck appeared to have created peace in the Balkan peninsula. However his actions in 1882 and 1883 showed that Bismarck valued the Austrian friendship more than the more powerful Russian Empire. These two diplomatic instruments were the Triple Alliance of 1882 and the Austro-German Treaty of Defense with Romania in 1883. Why did Bismarck concluded these anti-Russian treaties? The Triple Alliance was with the Italians. They found themselves threatened by French colonial expansion in Tunisia. The Italian PM Depretis, approached Germany for some alliance to of
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