Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Triple Entente was the alliance formed in 1907 between the United Kingdom, France and Russia after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente. The UK had already entered into the Entente Cordiale with France in 1904, while France had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1894.
Though not a military alliance, the alignment of the three powers (supplemented by various agreements with Japan, the United States and Spain) constituted a powerful counterweight to the "Triple Alliance" of Imperial Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, (the latter having concluded an additional secret agreement with France effectively nullifying her alliance commitments).
Russia had been a member of the League of the Three Emperors along with Austria-Hungary and Germany, but when Kaiser Wilhelm II ousted Russia from the league, Russia formed a military alliance with France. Britain had been asked to join in an alliance with Germany, but did not agree with the ideological and military goals of Germany. Furthermore, Britain and Germany had been in a naval Arms race for decades.
After the outbreak of World War I in Europe in August 1914, the three Entente powers undertook (September 4) not to conclude a separate peace with Germany or Austria-Hungary. Russia's separate armistice (December 1917) and peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 3, 1918) ended her alignment with the other Entente powers. Britain and France continued to collaborate in ultimately unsuccessful attempts to uphold the postwar order during the 1920s and 1930s, until France's crushing defeat (June 1940) in renewed conflict with Germany forced her into a separate armistice, leaving Britain alone in Europe.
Occasioned in part by growing German antagonism expressed in the development of a battle fleet capable of threatening British naval impunity, the Entente heralded the end of British neutrality in Europe. Ironically, the Franco-Russian Alliance which had seemed so weak during Russia's ill-fated war with Japan subsequently appeared the more powerful alignment with Russia's unexpectedly rapid recovery from defeat and revolution and the addition of Britain as a diplomatic partner, contributing to the foreign-policy adventurism and contemplation of a pre-emptive war which culminated in German readiness for conflict in 1914.
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