The Triple Alliance (Italian: "Triplice Alleanza“) Was a defensive alliance concluded on May 20, 1882 between the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Kingdom of Italy. It came into being when Italy joined the dual alliance, which was established in the October 1879 had been closed. The Triple Alliance Because of its internal power-political and ideological contradictions, it is considered one of the most volatile elements of the international state system before 1914.
The Kingdom of Italy hoped for from Triple Alliance a support for his colonial endeavors in Africa. The immediate reason for the accession of the country to Dual Alliance was the occupation of Tunisia by France (1881) what the North African country became French protectorate made.
The treaty committed the signatories to mutual assistance in the event of a simultaneous attack by two other powers or an unprovoked French attack on the German Empire or Italy. Italy secured its aid only in the event of an unprovoked French attack on it German Empire (not on Austria-Hungary) to. In addition, was upon request Italy added a clause stating that the country's participation should not be interpreted as directed against Great Britain. Austria-Hungary was released from the obligation in the contract, Germany against France to support.
Italy hoped that the Triple Alliance would provide support for its colonial policy France and Great Britain. Italy wanted to compete for Africa participate and saw his colonial ambitions there endangered by French politics.
Resigned on October 30, 1883 Romania the Triple Alliance which was renewed every five years until 1912.
With the Triple Alliance has been Italy contractually to the German Empire bound. On the one hand, the rivalry between Austria and Italy on the Balkans On the other hand, Italy could long-term as a military partner in a Franco-German war the southern flank of the German Empire relieve.
Triple Alliance and Entente Cordiale
As the situation changed, the Triple Alliance mainly from German Empire held up, who cherished the wish France to keep in check. The alliance lost more and more importance around the turn of the century. Closed in 1902 Italy and France a secret agreement in which Italy committed to military neutrality. So acted Italy contrary to the im Triple Alliance agreements made. With this neutrality treaty, the lost Triple Alliance in importance and the Austro-Italian tensions undermined it from 1911 onwards. With the Italian declaration of neutrality (1914) and the entry into war on the side of the Entente (1915), the Triple Alliance finally broke up.
Europe before the world war: allies and enemies
What essentially weakened the Triple Alliance were beside ItalyNeutrality contract With France the Bosnian annexation crisis (1908) showing the relationship to Austria-Hungary heavily burdened, and the war Italy against that Ottoman Empire 1911/12, which was not incompatible with German efforts to improve German-Turkish relations.
After Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia saw himself Italy not obliged to enter the war on the side of his partners. Italy only wanted to take a friendly stance if Austria-Hungary agreed to make territorial concessions. A detachment of any part of the monarchy came for Austria-Hungary out of the question. In Vienna talked about Italy„Deceit and unfaithfulness“.
Around Italy on the side of the Entente- To lure powers, sweeping territorial promises were made at the expense of the country Austria-Hungary made. With the planned reorganization Europe after the end of the war should Italy get the Brenner border, so not just the Italian-speaking one Trentino, which since the "Risorgimento" as "terra irredenta“(Not yet liberated land) was valid, but also the German-speaking areas South Tyrol. In addition, was Italy the Austrian coastal country at the upper Adriatic and parts of the dalmatian coast promised areas that were largely not inhabited by Italians, but which radical Italian nationalists had long been demanding.