Triple Alliance

views updated May 23 2018

Triple Alliance.
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

views updated May 29 2018

Triple Alliance Several international coalitions involving three states. They included the anti-French alliance of Britain, the Netherlands, and Sweden of 1668, and the alliance of Britain, France, and the Netherlands of 1717, directed against Spanish ambitions in Italy. The most recent was the Triple Alliance of 1882, when Italy joined the Dual Alliance of Austria-Hungary and Germany. In South America, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay formed a triple alliance in the war against Paraguay (1865–70).