Foreign policy. – Shortly after the Peace of Frankfurt, when Europe is, it can be said, still under the astonishment of the Prussian and German victories which have upset the old equilibrium at the root, it is clear to all that a new great Power has formidably formed itself at the center of the continent and that from now on it will be impossible to disregard it for any policy. Undoubtedly, the consolidation and rapid political, economic and commercial ascension of the German Empire arouse jealousies and concerns especially in the continental powers, nor does Bismarck delude himself that Germany can remain isolated in Europe, especially vis-à-vis France.. It is therefore logical that Germany is approaching Russia – also favored by the personal relations existing between the two emperors – which is concretized, Dreikaiserbund). With it, Bismarck guarantees the territorial status quo created by the German victories and prepares greater freedom of movement for Germany’s participation in the issues that inevitably already make Austria and Russia antagonistic in Eastern politics. However, even before this antagonism has the occasion to reveal itself clearly at the Congress of Berlin, Russia, which has not ceased to cultivate excellent relations with France and has agreed, through a particular pact, with Austria on possible changes in the Balkans, clearly opposes Germany’s plan, asserted by the Russian Chancellor AM Gorčakov, to attack France again (1875). From this moment the Dreikaiserbund ceases to have any value and Bismarck, now forced to choose for a decisive orientation towards Russia or Austria-Hungary, shows that he has already chosen his path, when in the autumn of 1876 he opposes, in turn, a invasion of Austria-Hungary by Russia. Bismarck’s politics now becomes linear again. His firm support given to Austria in the Berlin Congress to secure Bosnia and Herzegovina cuts off any possibility of a new intimate understanding with Russia, whose government, pressed by popular irritation, comes to a real threat of war. Thus, after not a few and no slight difficulties, among which William I’s stubborn reluctance to break away from Russia out of a feeling of legitimist solidarity towards the Tsar, we arrive at aAustro – Germanic, alliance). Bismarck sees in Austria “a necessarily peaceful and conservative power”, while he judges that “Russian politics has taken on an increasingly threatening character for the peace of Europe”. And after the conclusion of the Double, fully satisfied, he declares that “Germany’s international situation has never been more brilliant”.
According to HOMEAGERLY.COM, the secret nature of the alliance of 7 October 1879 meant that until the publication, which took place after the World War, of the documents preserved in the Viennese archives, this treaty was considered to be closely related to the subsequent stipulation of the Triple Alliance. Today it is clear that the two treaties are completely independent. For some time Bismarck had tried to win Italy over to himself, not because he believed that the young kingdom would eventually constitute a considerable and sure help for Germany, but above all to prevent Italy from joining France.. Thus necessarily fruitless, due to mutual perplexities, the various exchanges of visits between King Vittorio Emanuele II and the emperors Franz Joseph and William I and Crispi’s subsequent travels to Berlin and Vienna (1877); but Bismarck prepared the decisive blow at the Congress of Berlin, supporting Austria for Bosnia and Herzegovina and throwing the bone of contention between Italy and France: Tunis. Then the Austrian threats against Italy are renewed, while a skilful Austrian and German campaign clearly warns that Italy is about to suffer a setback in Tunis and that, in the need for it to get closer to the Central Powers, the way to Berlin passes through Vienna. B. Cairoli tries to make a more active politics in Tunis, but France is vigilant and in May 1881 the French protectorate over Tunis is a fait accompli. And while the Italians’ bitterness and indignation are made deeper by the resurgence of internal polemics and quarrels, here are the Austrian threats turning into flattery and flattery; then the idea of a trip by the Italian royal family to the Austrian capital fanned out from Vienna. Italy, indignant against France, nevertheless remains skeptical, split, and Bismarck, both for reasons of internal politics towards the Center and to push Italy to a decision, suggests that the Roman question could be raised again, and the threat coincides with the demonstrations that took place in Rome during the transfer of the body of Pius IX from St. Peter to St. John Lateran. The Italian government is now in a difficult and delicate position; the visit of the royals to Vienna was hastily decided. The Viennese welcome to the king and queen oftriple alliance). With this treaty the two Central Powers undertake to take up arms in the event of an attack by France against Italy. The same commitment assumes Italy in the event that Germany is attacked by France. However, Italy makes an explicit reservation tending to exclude any direct hostility against England.