1. 1668. Alarmed at the growing power of Louis XIV's France, which was overrunning the Spanish Netherlands, the Dutch and the English formed a defensive alliance in January 1668, which was joined by the Swedes. Louis was obliged to make peace and at Aix-la-Chapelle his gains were modest. He set to work to break the alliance and succeeded in 1670, when Charles II of England signed the treaty of Dover at the expense of the Dutch. Louis's great invasion of Holland followed in 1672.
2. 1717. Soon after the death of Louis XIV in 1715, the Regent d'Orléans of France sought a rapprochement with Britain to check the ambitions of Philip V of Spain. An understanding was reached in 1716 to guarantee the succession in France and Britain and to expel the Pretender from French soil. By the accession of the Dutch in January 1717 this was converted into a Triple Alliance and when the Emperor Charles VI adhered to it in 1718 it became a Quadruple Alliance.
3. 1788. After the War of American Independence, Pitt's government was concerned at Britain's diplomatic isolation. Political instability in Holland in 1786 gave rise to fears of French aggrandizement and in 1787 the Prussian army intervened to suppress the pro-French party. This was followed by a series of treaties in 1788 between Prussia, Britain, and Holland to guarantee each other's territories.
4. 1882. The adherence of Italy to the Dual Alliance of Germany and Austro-Hungary in 1882 produced the Triple Alliance, which lasted until the outbreak of war in 1914. France, Russia, and Britain responded with the Triple Entente (1894–1907), thus dividing Europe into two armed camps.
J. A. Cannon
Triple Alliance, in European history, any of several coalitions. 1 The Triple Alliance of 1668 was formed by the Netherlands, England, and Sweden against France after Louis XIV had invaded the Spanish Netherlands in the War of Devolution. Largely because of the initiative of the Dutch statesman Jan de Witt, the alliance represented a sufficient threat to Louis XIV to induce him to negotiate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. 2 The Triple Alliance of 1717 was a treaty signed by Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Designed to strengthen the terms of the Peace of Utrecht, it was joined in 1718 by the Holy Roman emperor and became the Quadruple Alliance. 3 For the Triple Alliance of 1872, see Three Emperors' League. 4 For that of 1882, see Triple Alliance and Triple Entente.