League of the Three Emperors

The League of the Three Emperors, also known as the Three Emperors' League (Dreikaiserbund), was an 1873 alliance among the emperors of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, the three largest powers in Eastern and Central Europe at the time. It was intended to stand in opposition to increasingly liberal forms of government to the west. It was set into motion by the unification of Germany by Prussia after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War.

At the time, Germany was led by Emperor William I, German Emperor, Austria-Hungary by Emperor Franz Joseph, and Russia by Emperor Alexander II. These conservative leaders stood in contrast to the more liberal leaders of Western Europe, such as Prime Minister Albert, 4th duc de Broglie, of France and Queen-Empress Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Conservatives in the three countries were wary of the perceived threat of liberalism and so created a league of nations that would protect their more conservative forms of government. Although the league provided no formal alliances, it listed socialism, and more importantly republicanism, as the greatest evils. The league was part of Otto von Bismarck's grand foreign policy plan to keep France isolated and keep both Austria-Hungary and Russia on his side.

The League of Three Emperors disintegrated as a result of Russia's dissatisfaction with the Congress of Berlin (1878). The League was resurrected in 1881 after Russia realized their anger toward Germany was quite dangerous with the new Austro–German Alliance in place, approached Bismarck to renew the Three Emperors’ League as Bismarck expected. The league lasted until 1886 when Russia refused the renewal of the Three Emperors’ league due to increase in distrust between Austria and Russia.

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