Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 27 >> Siam to The Growth And Con >> Triple Alliance_P1

Triple Alliance

treaty, contracting, parties, power, austria-hungary and military

Page: 1 2

TRIPLE ALLIANCE, a name applied to various international agreements, the earliest being that concluded in 1668 between England, nolland and Sweden, with the object of op posing the advance of France. Within two years, however, Charles II of England signed a treaty with the French king, binding him self not to interfere with the French designs on the Netherlands.

(2) An alliance formed in 1717 between England, France and Holland, guaranteeing the clauses of the Treaty of Utrecht referring to the English Protestant succession, the French succession and the renunciation by Spain of her claims to the throne of France. It was intended as a counterpoise to the alliance of Russia, Sweden and Spain, and by the adhesion of Austria became the Quadruple Alliance in 1718.

(3) The Triple Alliance (India) was formed between the English, the Peshwa and the Nizam in 1790 with the object of invading the do minions of Tippoo Sahib and equally sharing them between the contracting parties.

(4) The alliance of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in the war waged against Paraguay from 1865 to 1869.

(5) The most important Triple Alliance, and the one usually intended by the term, is that concluded between Austria-Hungary and the German Empire in 1879, to whicty Italy became a party in May 1882. The text of the treaty of alliance between Austria-Hungary and Ger many — which is not subject to periodical re newal — was first made public on 3 Feb. 1888. That between Italy and Austria-Hungary was never made public until 1915, after Italy's de nunciation of it on 4 May and declaration of war against her former ally, Austria, on the 23d. The preamble of the treaty between Ger many and Austria-Hungary of 1879 declared that a "solid alliance" between the two empires "can threaten no one, but is rather calculated to consolidate European peace as created by the stipulations of the Treaty of Berlin" (of 1878). The two emperors, therefore, solemnly promised each other "never to give an aggres sive tendency whatever to their purely defensive agreement."

Article I of the treaty reads as follows: "If, contrarily to what may be hoped and contrarily to the sincere wishes of the two high contracting parties, one of the two Empires were to be attacked by Russia, the two high contracting parties are bound to lend each other reciprocal aid with the whole of their im perial military power, and, subsequently, to conclude no peace except conjointly and in agreement." Article II declares that: "If one of the two high contracting parties were to be attacked by another Power, the other high contracting party binds itself, by the present act, not only not to uphold the ag gressor against its high ally, but at the least, to observe a benevolent neutrality with regard to the contracting party aforesaid "If, however, in the case previously men tioned, the Power attacking were to be upheld by Russia, whether by way of active cooperation or by military measures that should threaten the Power attacked, then the obligation of reciprocal assistance with entire military forces — obligation stipulated in Article I of this Treaty — would immediately become executory, and the military operations of the two high contracting parties would also, in such circum stances, be conducted jointly until the conclusion of peace?' Ex-Chancellor Prince von Billow in his book on thus describes the pur pose and results of the alliance: "It was neither the desire of conquest nor unsatisfied ambition that brought the states of the Triple Alliance together and keeps them united. The three mid-European states are bound to each other by the firm resolve to maintain the existing balance of power in Europe, and should a forcible change be attempted, to prevent it if need be by force. The united strength of mid dle Europe stands in the path of any revolu tion — any European policy which might elect to follow the courses pursued by Louis XIV or Napoleon I. This alliance is like a mighty fortification dividing the continent in two.

Page: 1 2