Triple Alliance and Triple Entente

WW I soldiersThe Triple Alliance and Triple Entente are two opposing international combinations of states that dominated Europe’s history from 1882 until they came into armed conflict as the Central Powers and the Allies, respectively, in WORLD WAR I. Although there were numerous areas of contention between the two groups, the two principal problems that finally brought them to war involved rival claims in Morocco and the Balkans


The Triple Alliance was formed when the secret Dual Alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary (1879) was joined by Italy in 1882. Serbia also joined in 1882, and Romania in 1883. Italy and Romania were never entirely comfortable within the alliance, however, and in fact both fought on the side of the Allies in the war. The Triple Entente followed the rapprochement (1890) between France and Russia and their secret Dual Alliance (openly acknowledged in 1895). In 1904, France and Britain, despite their traditional rivalry, formed the Entente Cordiale, which was brought about mainly because of their disquiet over German commercial and colonial imperialism. In 1907, Britain formally joined the Dual Entente, thereby converting it to the Triple Entente.

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