- (1873–1887)The Dreikaiserbund, or Three Emperors’ League, was an informal system of cooperation involving Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia in regard to their interactions with the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. From the German perspective, the league was also a means of blocking an alliance of France and Russia against the newly formed German Empire. German chancellor Otto von Bismarck appreciated that the emergence of Germany as a new Great Power in Central Europe as a consequence of the Franco-Prussian War could make Russia a natural ally of France in any project to undermine or weaken Germany. Yet he also grasped that tsarist Russia - troubled by anarchist, nihilist, and socialist subversion - had much more in common politically with Germany than with republican France. Tsar Alexander II also sought German support for Russian interests in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire and in Central Asia against the British Empire. Bismarck therefore arranged a meeting of Wilhelm I, Tsar Alexander II, and Emperor Franz Joseph at Berlin in September 1872, and the three thereafter held frequent conferences between 1872 and 1876. The system nonetheless collapsed in the 1880s over Austro-Russian differences in the Balkans.See also <
>; < >; < >; < >; < >.FURTHER READING:Langer, William L. European Alliances and Alignments, 1871-1890. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939;Taylor, A.J.P. The Struggle for Master in Europe, 1848-1918. Oxford: Clarendon, 1954;Wehler, Hans Ulrich. The German Empire, 1871-1918. New York: Berg Publishers, 1997.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.