ALLIANCES, in international relations, are coalitions or leagues entered into between rulers or states for the purpose of combined action of a political or military nature. An alliance maybe defensive or offensive, or both. in giving circumstances stipulated for in a treaty. A treaty is the contract signed by the representatives of the states which are parties to the alliance, and defines the conditions under which the powers are pledged tc defend each other against an attack in war, or of jointly attacking another state. Nominally, only independent or •sovereign* states have the power to contract alliances; yet there have bees several cases where states under suzerainty bars concluded alliances without consent of the suzerain. A neutralized state, i.e., a state slid as Belgium, the existence of which is guar anteed by other states, can contract alliance only for the purpose of defense; an offensive alliance would involve a breach of its neutrality, Alliances may be permanent or temporary; to the latter case they expire with the period o: time for which they were formed, and are either renewed or (canceled). It is a generally recognized rule of international law — in theory, at least — that immoral obligations cannot be the object of an international treaty: hence offensive alliances are regarded as valid only when their object is not immoraL Yet what may appear immoral to the outsider may be quite otherwise to those directly involved. An interesting example of this kind is fur nished by the Balkan League (q.v.).
sive in intent (and therefore *inunorala , the League made war upon Turkey in o to liberate their respective co-religionists and m nationals from political oppression, a perfectly 'moral' undertaking. The most important con
ditions of an alliance are those which refer to mutual support in the event of war, which may consist either of military or of naval assistance.. or of both. Where financial assistance only is involved, such a pact is termed a treaty of subsidy, not an alliance. Any agreement in volving physical — as apart from gmorals support, or the permitting of the passage of troops or of warships through territorial waters, constitutes an alliance. Thus, strictly speaking, the passage of the Goebere and Breslau through the Dardanelles early in the war ipso-facto constituted an alliance between Turkey and the Central Powers as the vessels were not interned according to international law. The term cants firdeess signifies the oc currence of the event provided for by treaty which makes it imperative for one or more of the contracting parties to render the assistance promised under the terms of the alliance exist ing between In a defensive alliance the castes federis arises immediately war is declared against one of the allies. Unless the cam federis is precisely defined in the treaty of alliance, different interpretations and contro versy may arise. Under the terms of the Triple Alliance, for instance, Italy was pledged to support Austria if that country were at tacked. Austria, however, made war on Serbia, which the Italian government regarded as an aggressive, and not defensive, act, and there fore claimed that the cases frederis did not arise.
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