Austria-Hungary and the Triple Alliance
The Triple Alliance brought Germany into World War I following Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia, an ally of Imperial Russia.
by Michael Haskew The emergence of Germany as the dominant power in Central Europe in the 1870s and the unification of Italy in the mid-19th century despite Austrian efforts to prevent it combined to quell the immediate territorial aspirations of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary on the Italian peninsula and in the Balkans. However, portions of Austria-Hungary and Germany shared a common language, while mutual cultural and economic interests were recognized as well. By 1880, the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires had begun to formalize their relationship. [text_ad] With the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the opportunity for expansion into the Balkans was revived in Austria-Hungary. However, Imperial Russia, its rival to the East, also sought to take advantage of the eroding Ottoman hold on the Balkan states. As the two countries appeared on a collision course, Russia offered in 1876 to partition the Balkans. Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Gyula Andrassy refused the overture on the grounds that his country was unable to absorb additional territory at that time. This decision contributed to a steady escalation of tensions between Russia and Austria-Hungary for another generation. In August 1878, the Austro-Hungarian Army occupied the Balkan province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, eventually annexing the former Ottoman territory in 1908. Italy Makes 3: The Alliance Is Created Meanwhile, Russia won territorial concessions from the Ottoman Empire with the concl
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